Building Your Team: The what, how and who of delegating

If someone else can do it, someone else should do it

Building Your Team: The what, how and who of delegating
Christine Timms

In the first article of this series we discussed how clients, team members, firms and advisors benefit from an advisor’s willingness and ability to build a strong team. The second article discussed overcoming obstacles and fears that discourage delegating. This brings us to what should be delegated.

What to Delegate

I have always believed if someone else can do it, someone else should do it, because time is an advisor’s most valuable resource. Over time I came to realize that someone else could do more and more of what I was doing. Eventually I also concluded that if I don’t like doing it, someone else should do it. I wanted to enjoy coming to work everyday.

I encourage all advisors to push themselves to delegate as much as possible. Keep asking yourself, “Can someone else do this task?” If the answer is yes, then you should probably delegate, especially if you don’t like performing the activity.

Your choices regarding what to delegate will relate to addressing your personal fears of delegating. Start with what you are most comfortable delegating, likely what you find easy to teach and supervise for quality control.

I often hired people with no experience in our industry. I protected my clients from the new hires’ potential mistakes by starting them with behind-the-scenes tasks that were easily taught and easily supervised. You want to give yourself the opportunity to catch the mistakes before clients can see them. Templates and written processes help a lot.

Much can be delegated before you reach the point of sharing your client relationship with your team members such as:


Most advisors start with delegating administrative duties. Documentation and other admin activities are often ideal for delegating to new team members as they do not involve much direct contact with clients and provide a good introduction to the business.


A member of an advisor’s team can do most of the work for marketing to groups with a little direction from the advisor and no direct contact with prospects. Junior team members can write and distribute content, generate prospect lists, and update websites. They can also do much of the posting and monitoring of responses on the social media sites you work with.

Clientele Blast Communications

Junior team members can write first drafts of newsletters, updates, contribution reminders etc. for clients with some guidance and no relationship sharing. Very junior team members can carryout the distribution to clients.

Background Preparation For Client Contact

Many of the activities to prepare for individual client contact can be done by team members without sharing client relationships. Doing so will serve as excellent preparation and training for the day you wish to share client relationships with the team member. For example, researching the answer to a client’s question or making required calculations for recommendations.

Contacting Clients Regarding Investments – The Beginning of Relationship Sharing

Allowing licenced team members to call clients with very simple investment recommendations will also serve as excellent training of team members for future relationship sharing. Many of my team members started to develop relationships with clients by calling to reinvest maturing bonds or GICs in keeping with our bond ladder strategy.

Investment Selection

With some guidance from the advisor, team members can gather all the info you need to make final decisions regarding securities, investment products or money manager selections. All the activities can be performed without sharing client relationships and once again serve as excellent training for team members. Many of these activities can be a combined effort of the advisor and team members capitalizing on the knowledge and experience of everyone. A good example of this is meeting money managers together. This background research may also help document your investment process to satisfy some CFR obligations.

Financial Planning and Insurance

Inputting data and creating a financial plan can be done by team members or outsourced without involving the client relationship. Team members will learn a lot in the financial plan preparation and review process before presenting to a client. I strongly believe that the presentation of the plan to the client is best done by the advisor, likely with the team member in the room. Much like financial planning, a team member can do much of the behind the scenes work for insurance including quote preparation and reminder contacts.

Tax Returns and Tax Strategy

Once again, a team member can do much of the behind-the-scenes work relating to tax services. For example, providing documents at tax time, determining potential tax loss selling candidates, and determining which security is best for charitable donations.

There is likely an infinite number of activities that advisors delegate to their teams. The above ideas are just a few that will hopefully trigger many more ideas relevant to an advisor’s unique practice.

In the next article of this series Building Your Team ,  I will discuss when an advisor should consider adding a member to their team.

Potential Resource: Quickly create team member duty lists using a customizable checklist template downloadable in the Team Building for Financial Advisors Templates Bundle found  here. The template includes over 140 potentially delegable activities for teams of any size and various structures. A short video demonstrating the team member roles & duties distribution template can be found on here.

Christine Timms is the author of three Handbooks for the Professional Financial Advisor including “Team Building for Financial Advisors” (available in paperback and ebook through  Amazon  and Chapters Indigo ).   provides descriptions and testimonials, as well as introductions (written and audio) of each book and videos of tutorials for templates.