“When clients come into see me, they say ‘ok, what happens if you get hit by a bus tomorrow?” he says. “It tends to be a question from prospective clients so if you can’t answer that question, that client may not hire you.”
Though large wealth-management firms in the U.S. encourage their advisors to implement these plans, they are not mandatory. Systems may be in place to move client accounts around, but the personal relationship and trust developed over time are not easily transferrable.
“Companies that hire advisors have a vested interest in maintaining continuity with the client as a result of the advisors’ timely or untimely departure,” says Doug McCaw, managing director of Stonegate Private Counsel, located in southwestern Ontario. “They (compliant firms) work very hard to put contingency plans in place in order to assist clients going forward.”