Commonwealth Financial Network, a firm dedicated to providing adviser-focused business solutions, has announced the launch of its Virtual Administration Program.
The offering pairs advisers, who may need support in a range of operational areas, with professionals who are trained and employed by Commonwealth. According to Commonwealth, the team of specialists, part of a larger operations department, aims to seamlessly collaborate across business functions to provide “prompt, accurate support” to the advisers and clients they serve.
Commonwealth says the solution offers advisers an alternative to hiring part-time staff and can eliminate the need to spend time and money on training, human resources management, technology and setup.
“This program takes the time-consuming, day-to-day tasks off an adviser’s plate,” says Jon Bohs, senior vice president of brokerage operations. “And it’s one-on-one support, not a pooled service. By gaining an intimate knowledge of the firm they’re working with, our virtual administrators recognize their advisers’ needs and work to maximize efficiencies, so the adviser can focus on growing their business and training their staff for more client-facing work.”
Bohs says the VA program has been tested in a beta format, based on the idea that some advisers needed help for one or two days a week.
“But what we found was that, by getting back more time, advisers were able to identify growth opportunities or impediments and take action to make improvements,” he says. “It’s exciting to see how our program has not only provided operational support but has also been a springboard for helping advisors evolve their practices.”
Advisers participating in the program are matched with a dedicated virtual administrator, who acts as a part-time staff member for the duration of a six-month agreement, which can be automatically renewed. The Commonwealth professionals work for their advisors in eight-hour segments, up to 24 hours per week.
The tasks handled by Commonwealth’s team include document preparation, opening and updating accounts, transferring assets, pulling reports and providing direct support to an adviser’s clients. They have access to Commonwealth’s customer relationship management system and an email address at the adviser’s domain.