CRM2: the biggest ambition killer ever?

CRM2: the biggest ambition killer ever?

CRM2: the biggest ambition killer ever? Being a manager isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. With full implementation of CRM2 – more specifically the increased paperwork and oversight required of any managerial role -- some advisors are wondering if a branch management role is really for them. 

The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Adviser column recently mused about the subject of branch management. The suggestion was that brokers in the U.S. are increasingly reluctant to take up a job as branch manager -- once a very prestigious and sought-after position.

The reasons are the same as those now facing advisors in Canada as they contend with CRM2; namely, tighter regulatory controls, more onerous compliance issues and, while not directly related, the increased pressure to promote proprietary product. Less secure and stressed about time constraints, advisors are deciding to remain focused on their individual books instead of moving up the firm’s managerial ladder.

Ultimately, this has to be bad for institutional firms and the wealth management arms of the big banks, charge insiders. But not to the same extent.

“From my experience the situation is very different if you’re working with a bank than if you’re working for a non-bank entity,” said Monica Weissmann, an advisor with Manulife Securities “They [branch managers] appropriate for themselves the manpower which is allocated to the branch and they make this manpower actually work for their own business and partially to the branch so that the workload of the paperwork is on the admin of that particular person.”

The pressure is still there, says another industry veteran.

“If you’ve got a situation where a branch manager is overlooking 30 advisors that’s a tough job,” Rob McClelland of The McClelland Financial Group of Assante Capital Management Ltd. said. “But if it’s a smaller branch and they’re overlooking four or five advisors that’s more reasonable.”

Still all agree: It’s going to be trickier under full CRM2 implementation.

“Every industry’s got to figure out what the future looks like, and it’s hard,” said McClelland. “They’ll figure out [Branch Managers] how to automate stuff.”