Two-Minute Take: Future Proof Retreat

The Future Proof Retreat in Colorado Springs, Colorado in late March was a new event for the industry. It had a different feel than the signature California beach Future Proof Festival. The retreat was a nice combination of educational presentations, productive “Breakthrough Meetings” in the style of one-on-one matchmaking sessions and experiential fun which drew interest in the event.

We are often asked about our thoughts on the events we attend, so we launched our Two-Minute Take Event Recaps to share our unbiased perspectives. Rather than summarize what went on, we highlight what we think will impact the industry. Without further ado, here are three key trends that stood out to the three of us who attended on behalf of F2 Strategy.

Manufacturing Growth for Growth’s Sake

Throughout the event, we felt the undercurrent of advisors’ lack of organic growth. Presenter Dave Barton pointed out the almost frenetic pace of M&A activity we’ve seen lately is because there is no organic growth to be had. Firms are trying to create growth for themselves. But you can’t scale inorganic growth. Putting two mediocre firms together simply makes one big mediocre firm and doesn’t sustain long term growth. This is why it's imperative that firms develop a strategic inorganic growth plan and implement the tools to sustain it.

It’s Time to Plant the Seeds

Marketing was a prevalent topic throughout the week as people brainstormed ways to spur organic growth. We couldn’t be more supportive of advisors engaging in strategic marketing. Bear in mind, client lead generation and advisor recruitment can have sales cycles between 18 months and three years. Firms have to put stakes in the ground now to reap future rewards. They also need to acknowledge that marketing and client experience tie together and are today, table stakes expectations. We believe that technology can drive organic growth and build seamless, more efficient processes for firms.

A Lot to Take On

We gathered that many advisors and firms feel overwhelmed at the number of things they must do. There are a lot of tools that they need to train their back-office teams, advisors and even their clients to use effectively. We sensed worry among advisors that their new initiatives will lose momentum because the staff wasn’t prepared. Adoption needs a plan. We like the idea of outsourcing the education and process building functions to help advisors stay on track and grow organically.  

Two minutes wasn’t enough? Get in touch with Michelle Borkowski, Jaci Stanton or Wade Spencer for more about this conference.

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