Welcome back to the forty-fifth episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Rebecca Pomering. Rebecca is the Chief Practice Officer of Moss Adams, a mega-accounting firm with more than $600 million in revenue and 2,800 employees… which includes a wealth management division with more than $2.1 billion of AUM, and an advisor consulting division that originated benchmarking studies for financial advisors.
What’s fascinating about Rebecca, though, is her own personal career across all of these business lines at Moss Adams, having started as a 23-year-old in the firm’s financial advisor consulting division, becoming a partner with Moss Adams by the time she was turning 30, taking over as CEO of Moss Adams Wealth Advisors at $800 million of AUM right before the financial crisis and nearly tripling the size of the firm in the 7 years after the market bottom… and now becoming the Chief Practice Officer of the entire Moss Adams enterprise, applying her practice management expertise across all the professionals in the firm’s 28(!) industry niches.
In this episode, we talk in depth about Rebecca’s lessons learned in practice management in a career that’s spanned consulting, leadership, and executive roles, with a particular focus on how to structure compensation for employee advisors, why bonuses should be tied to both business development and the profitability of the firm, and why it’s a good idea to share your advisory firm’s income statement with your entire team so everyone understands how the business really works.
We also talk about the challenges of growing a wealth management firm within an established accounting firm (which makes a lot of sense on paper, but is much more difficult to implement in practice!), why accountants actually feel that it’s risky to make referrals to outside financial advisors (but can be even riskier to referral internal financial advisors at the firm), and her lessons learned in taking over Moss Adams Wealth Advisors right before the market crash… and the changes she had to make to keep the firm on track.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Rebecca talks about how she established her own credibility as a young consultant by focusing her expertise into a particular niche, and how, even and especially at the size of Moss Adams crossing $600 million of revenue, Rebecca still sees the firm’s path forward as being entirely focused about going deeper into niches. Which at the size of Moss Adams and its 2,800 employees, actually means going into 28 different niches simultaneously!
So whether you’ve been contemplating your own firm compensation for employee advisors, wondering how transparent you should be with financials within your firm, or interested in the challenges of growing a wealth management firm within an established account firm, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!