Ryan Edwards of The Adviser Platform says that as a proud sporting nation, financial advisers can learn a great deal from the world of sport when it comes to running a successful business…

As a proud sporting nation, many parallels can be drawn between the sporting realm and the world of financial advice. Here are a few lessons that can be learned from sport, and applied to an adviser business.

The best technology

Gone are the days of wooden tennis racquets and rugby balls made of pigskin. Athletes are now blending physical excellence with cutting-edge advancements in materials, composites and equipment.

Advisers should also be challenging themselves and their ‘tech stacks’, asking themselves if their systems are best in class.

  • Am I running multiple databases and tracking things manually?
  • Can I generate reporting on the hard work I’m doing?
  • Can I segment my database to identify areas I can add further value?
  • Will my systems help or hinder me in an audit?

If advisers are not running systems that are designed specifically to run a FAP in the New Zealand market, they should be asking, “Am I entering the America’s Cup in a wooden dinghy?”

Unyielding focus

Roger Federer doesn’t string his own racquets, and Lewis Hamilton doesn’t change the tyres of his F1 car. Top performers have recognised that their success is tied to their ability to have a laser-like focus on the task at hand, and share the load of other jobs with a team of specialists who help them achieve their goals.

Advisers must now be ruthless with their time and outsource as much as possible so that they can focus on delivering to their clients. Never has the opportunity cost of time been higher. Sstudy after study repeatedly shows that advisers are bogged down with everything other than giving advice and servicing their clients.

It’s no longer realistic for advisers to attempt to be the main adviser, compliance expert, systems guru, and administration specialist at the same time. Those who are attempting this will be swallowed up by the competition who recognise the value of a well-oiled support team.

Advisers investing in proper services and support networks can run far more smoothly and assist many more clients than those trying to run a business by themselves (or close to it).

Keep the referee on your side

Very few games have been won by arguing with the referee. The best teams and players know the rule book intimately and look to challenge themselves and grow, playing the game as it’s written – rather than always ‘arguing the toss’.

Advisers who embrace change and ‘play the ball as it lies’ are going to have far greater opportunities to build successful healthy businesses, rather than constantly worrying about whether they are going to receive a dreaded ‘red card’.

Seek support from the video ref; take advantage of auditing and compliance services to identify any gaps in your processes and demonstrate that none of your ‘wins/ have a question mark hanging over them.

Advisers with great systems in place, well-managed administration, and comprehensive governance and compliance frameworks are far more likely to receive a ‘Play on!’ message from the regulator than those lacking these things.

Ryan Edwards, Managing Director of The Adviser Platform.
Ryan Edwards.

Ryan Edwards is Managing Director of The Adviser Platform, which provides a complete set of services for advisers looking to run their own FAP.

The firm works with more than 150 advisers who have access to CRM systems, compliance and governance services, as well as being able to tap into a team of more than 50 trained administration staff.