The Value Of Client Ownership As A Financial Advisor

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Ownership over anything, like your house for example, gives you a stronger desire to nurture and protect that asset.

The same can be said for having ownership of your client base as a financial advisor.

The concept of ownership holds tremendous value for financial advisors at Consolidated Planning. Ownership when it comes to an advisor’s client base has a positive correlation to the client experience and the success of one’s practice.

In this article we’ll help you understand client ownership and how it relates to client capital, The Broker Protocol, and your overall practice value.


Client Capital And Client Ownership

Client capital is referred to as the collective value derived from the relationships, trust, and loyalty that financial advisors build with their clients over time. This value goes beyond the obvious assets under management, and really extends to the intangible benefits that sprout from a strong client relationship:

  • Clients’ confidence in their advisor’s experience
  • Willingness to follow their advice
  • The advisor’s reputation

And those benefits make all the difference in a lifelong client-advisor relationship, if that’s what you want for your financial advising career.



Building client capital isn’t something that happens over night. This takes a concerted effort with your client base. But, having that ownership over your client base can shift your behaviors in a positive way. 

Think about it this way, when you take care of your clients, you take care of yourself.

When you know the success of your career is built on building meaningful relationships and delivering real solutions to your clients, you are more likely to provide:


Recognizing the importance of maintaining and nurturing these relationships, as client satisfaction and loyalty are essential for sustaining and growing your business.


Investing time and effort in understanding your clients’ unique situation, goals, and risk tolerance, enabling you to provide personalized and relevant recommendations.


Working in a proactive, rather than reactive way, to exceed client expectations and reinforce your position as their one trusted advisor.


Always striving to do more and be more by staying up-to-date on industry trends and developments, advisors can provide valuable insights and solutions to their clients.

These behaviors help you build and strengthen your client capital, thanks to the ownership you are able to have over your client base. However, without that ownership of your client base, you can’t have the tangible and intangible benefits.


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The Broker Protocol And Client Ownership

The broker protocol was established in 2004 out of frustration with rash litigation that regularly arose whenever a broker decided to switch firms. Prior to the Protocol, advisors would likely quit on a Friday and rush to the phones in attempts to retain clients by recruiting them to their new firm.

As you can imagine, litigation here became frequent and expensive.

Today, According to The Broker Protocol, the principal goal of the protocol is to further the clients’ interests of privacy and freedom of choice in connection with the movement of their Registered Representatives (“RRs”) between firms. 

So, why does this matter for you and the ownership of your client base?



The Broker Protocol says that if the advisor leaves a firm, it’s in the best interest of the clients to follow them.

Now, we’re not encouraging “job hopping” here but we are encouraging that you do your due diligence in evaluating the best firm for you and your clients, whatever that may be.

The introduction of The Broker Protocol was so important for this reason – the ease of transitioning firms without losing your hard earned clients. This is significant for a few reasons:

  • Advisor mobility: The protocol allows advisors to move between participating firms while taking certain client information with them.
  • Continuity of service: If you move to a different firm under the broker protocol, your clients have the option to remain with you and continue receiving your financial advice and services. This can help maintain the continuity and familiarity of the advisor-client relationship.

Part of evaluating the right firm for your career should include questions around The Broker Protocol. Is the firm part of the protocol? What are the terms and conditions of the firm’s specific stance related to the protocol?

Since Consolidated Planning is part of The Broker Protocol, advisors benefit from support in transitioning their clients, not resistance. Without the protocol in place, firms may make your exit difficult. This could be from a legal standpoint or simply just not making it easier for you.

Deciding that you’re not aligning with your firm once you’ve developed a client base can be a daunting realization. And if you don’t have any rights to those clients, you could be starting over elsewhere.


Practice Value And Client Ownership

A financial advisor’s practice value is the worth and marketability of your practice. Your practice is made up of your client base. This includes tangible and intangible assets, one of which is client relationships.

There are several factors that can influence practice value but two of the most notable ones are, the size of your client base and the stability of recurring revenue streams. The more robust and sustainable these elements are, the higher the practice value is likely to be.

When you own your client relationships, there is value on your balance sheet. This matters for two reasons: 



Your balance sheet shows the value of these trails, including earnings and renewals.


Whether that’s through succession planning, or not, if you exit your life’s work on your own terms, you are unable to do the job anymore, or you unexpectedly pass away, client ownership means there is something to protect. Protection and security for you and your family so if something were to happen to you, your family would receive the value of your book of business.


Client Ownership Matters For Your Financial Advising Career

Because you have more skin in the game as an advisor who has ownership of their client base, you are able to become a better advisor by investing in your clients and yourself.

Ownership of their client base allows advisors to deliver personalized service, true holistic planning, and an increase in revenue potential through compensation structure and earnings with a client overtime.

So, in what world wouldn’t an advisor have ownership over their client base? This is likely due to:

  • A lack of awareness when they started with a firm
  • They were paid a guaranteed income in lieu of client ownership

While building a practice from scratch and meeting your expectations in year one as a financial advisor is hard work, don’t give up uncertainty today for opportunity in the future.

Ready to learn more about investing in yourself and your clients? Reach out to a recruiter to start the conversation.


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2023-155771 Exp. 5/2025

Published:  May 26, 2023