Godzilla’s spawn is targeting your clients – What will you do?

The invasion has begun. The assault on your Financial Advisory business has started in earnest. Godzilla’s baby wants to play in your market. What will you do about it?

News of the invasion of a new kind of VC funded super advisor – a theme we’ve discussed here on this blog before – came to me from a friend who shared a news release.  An excerpt:

Personal Capital came out of stealth mode today and announced that it has raised a total of $25 million in venture financing. The financing includes a Series A round led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), and a Series B round led by Venrock with IVP also investing.

Personal Capital will soon be launching a next-generation financial advisor, delivering truly personalized money management services utilizing a high-tech and high-touch approach to customers in all 50 states. Personal Capital’s vision is to create a new model for financial services that is built around each customer’s unique and complete financial picture.

You can read the rest here.

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There’s no where to hide from the bone-crunching behemoth.

This new spawn of Godzilla, with former executives from Fidelity, Intuit, Paypal, Everbank and E-Bank, represents an expansion on the current wave of new companies and investments with one goal: To take your financial advisory business away from you.

What about your supply lines – new clients.

Don’t misunderstand me. Pulling your existing clients away will likely be a challenge for the big guys, no matter how slick their marketing. But what about your potential clients? The prospects you’ve yet to engage with or convert? If you are not ready, these new competitors will crush your plans and cut off growth opportunities, particularly in the mass-affluent market. The evidence lay in almost any industry driven by technology convergence. The convergence enables businesses to become vastly more scalable. The new scalability changes the economics of the business, usually shrinking margins and shifting the competitive landscape to favor larger players.

Blunt the enemy’s advance.

What can you do to stave off the invasion? To compete, you’ll need reduce their cost advantage by making your personal business vastly more scalable and more available to clients and prospects. By doing so, you’ll blunt these competitors chief weapon: shrinking your margins. When you compete, you’ll be able to compete on personal service – a differentiator that will continue to be a fierce competitive weapon.

Introducing a new way of doing battle.

To survive the onslaught, you’ll have to think differently than traditional advisor community wisdom suggests. To win, you’ll have to focus on measurable effectiveness over tradition. Survival will require further simplification of your operations. Success will require enabling vastly more and better self-service for clients. In essence, it will mean ruthlessly eliminating anything that you do that isn’t directly supporting personalized client service.

We believe that Financial Advisors, armed with the tools and new process to simplify their business, can deliver a vastly superior client experience than the Godzillas aggressively invading the market. It’ll take smart and swift adaptation to remain competitive. Ignore the warning signs though and clients may never get in the front door to experience your superior services.

Your ally in this fight

[Warning, commercial message] We founded Blueleaf to deliver exactly the kind of tools advisors need to vastly improve scalability and client service and meet these threats head on. And we’ve been thrilled to partner with so many forward thinking financial advisors. We’re honored to go to battle with you.

John Prendergast John Prendergast is the co-founder and CEO of Blueleaf. He serves on the board of WiredTiger, a developer cloud optimized databases. He is also the founder and organizer of the Lean Startup Circle Boston. In addition to his decade and a half as an entrepreneur, John spent nearly a decade as an investment banker and financial advisor.