Solo advisors willing to delegate work to knowledgeable assistants can increase the quality time they spend with clients and potentially raise their take home pay by as much as 80 per cent, a business process consultant told a webinar of the Independent Financial Brokers of Canada (IFB).

Edmonton-based Shyam Ganesh, who is also a certified financial planner, said using team members and technology to look after much of the work he used to do when he was on his own has given him the freedom to increase business with current clients.

Ganesh said a full-time time advisor on his own can spend 14 hours on a client file. With a team, clients still get the advisor but his time has been cut to 10 hours, with the team team putting in a total 22 hours, said Ganesh.

“This will add value to the client while reducing how much I as an advisor need to spend on that file.”

U.S. statistics indicate that for a full financial planning engagement, a solo advisor can normally take on 73 clients. Add on the appropriate team member and an advisor can increase his client load to 120, said Ganesh. This can result in an 80-per-cent increase in take-home pay – from $155,000 after expenses for a solo advisor to up to $279,000 with a team member.

“You have time to focus on business development – and the paperwork, servicing and meeting notes are all being handled by your team.”

Unfortunately, said Ganesh, there is a perception that getting the right hires is too difficult or costly to do. “But I’m here to tell you that that is not the case and there are opportunities.”

Advisors can delegate a number of administrative tasks, including bookkeeping, social media posting, newsletters, illustrations, sending out calendar invitations, engagement letters for prospects, prospecting and marketing tasks, data gathering and filling out paperwork.

Ganesh acknowledged that delegating can be much easier said than done or people might not have the financial wherewithal to hire the required delegates. So he suggested advisors take one step at a time.

Many portions of financial planning scenarios and estate analysis and plans can also be done by those without a financial planning background, such as compiling net worth statements.

In fact, Ganesh said when he meets with a client now he does the sales initiation and needs analysis and if they are already a client, he may have some quotes on selling other products, including insurance and investments. Then the assistant takes over – filling in the electronic app for the insurance, getting the signature from the client and following through with underwriting or any delays and compiling all the compliance documents. Ganesh said he doesn’t get involved again until the delivery stage.

At the beginning, an assistant will sit in with Ganesh for a couple of visits with clients but once the person gets the hang of the job, the assistant can put together templates that can then be used for other clients.

Ganesh used Valenta BPO to provide industry-trained financial planning assistants rather than have extensive onboarding and training.