Training the Next Generation of Advisors

Training the Next Generation of Advisors

The Wall Street Journal’s Caitlin Nish quotes Elissa on the topic of career path and developing young advisors.

The training program at Yeske Buie Inc., an RIA with offices in Vienna, Va., and San Francisco, has a somewhat different long-term goal–succession planning.

The firm, which oversees about $426 million in assets, is currently hiring only young new planners, typically out of college financial planning programs.

“Their minds are clean and we can show them our philosophies and methods,” says Chief Executive Elissa Buie. The firm has a structured career path for these new planners, comprising multiple levels of training and expectations.

For instance, once they pass the CFP exam, they graduate into the path’s second tier as an assistant financial planner. They are expected to meet with clients and provide relationship management, but don’t give advice. That doesn’t happen until they move into the second phase of the next financial planner level. Ultimately, the young hires are expected to work their way up to the senior financial planner level, where they will be on an ownership track.

Yeske Buie’s career ladder was originally designed by a practice management consultant but is constantly evolving, Ms. Buie says. For example, she’s realized that students aren’t getting a deep understanding of the securities market, like how a margin account works, in college programs. Therefore, she’s planning to add a new requirement to the financial planner tier–studying for the Series 7 exam and taking a mock test.

Ms. Buie says she and her husband, who together founded the firm, intend to be dispensable, but not gone, within the next several years.

“We won’t get to a place where they can run things by 2020 unless we’re crystal clear about what they need to be learning and how they need to develop over that time period,” she says. The firm currently has four planners going through the track, the oldest of whom is 27.

Meet Yeske Buie’s team.