New Guidebook Available for Advisers

Pershing Advisor Solutions developed a new guidebook called Developing a Sustainable Business and Succession Plan: An Independent Advisor’s Guide. 

The guidebook examines the critical elements of business and succession plans. This continues a series of practice management guides being developed by Pershing Advisor Solutions to help registered investment advisers (RIAs) improve their business planning and execution.

Developed with Advisor Growth Solutions, the guidebook says that many RIA owners have not sufficiently addressed succession, as independent studies indicate less than one-third of independent advisers have either defined or implemented a succession plan.

Pershing cites highlights from the guidebook including:

Key Elements of an Advisory Firm’s Business Plan – To be effective, Pershing says a business plan should serve a purpose and be treated as a living, breathing document where elements like the company overview, market analysis, strategic plan and financial plan are reviewed and revised on a regular basis. Once completed, every firm should revisit their business plan on a regular basis to ensure it continues to meet the organization’s needs and goals.

Succession Plan Options for Owners – RIA owners’ choices for succession have never been greater. In evaluating these options, owners of advisory firms should carefully perform their due diligence and align their personal goals with the strategic goals of their business.



Mitigating Risk and Protecting Owner’s Equity - Anticipating potential detours that can occur prior to the execution of a succession plan can help advisory firm owners mitigate risks and remain on course to achieve the desired outcome. To help manage risk, RIA owners should estimate the overall impact of unforeseen events and take steps to protect ownership equity.

Resources Available to Advisers - RIA custodians, independent consultants, adviser coaches and strategic acquirers have all developed capabilities and services designed to help independent practices manage key issues and drive industry growth. Because of the significant amount of time required to develop comprehensive business and succession plans, advisory practices should consider leveraging third parties that can provide best practices and create a process, timeline and accountability mechanisms to aid in the development and execution of a successful plan.

“The risks of not having a business and succession plan can vary widely – ranging from having high client and employee turnover to developing a low growth trajectory,” said Kim Dellarocca, head of practice management at Pershing. “Neglecting to implement a well-designed plan remains a blind spot for many advisers and can conceivably be in conflict with their fiduciary responsibility.”

To obtain a copy of the Developing a Sustainable Business and Succession Plan guidebook, visit