Advisors don’t always practice what they preach, particularly when it comes to planning for the future of their practices.

More than two-thirds of advisors (68%) have no formal succession plan for their businesses and among those who do, the plans are sketchy, according to a survey released today by SEI, a provider of investment management business outsourcing services.

More than a third of advisors (39%) with a succession plan admit they’re not sure to whom they ultimately transition their businesses. Nearly half with formal succession plans (47%) plan to transition their businesses to “an identified internal buyer,” while only 14% plan to transition to “an outside buyer.”

“Simply preparing a succession plan is no guarantee of successfully transitioning the firm to new owners, but it is an important step,” John Anderson, head of Practice Management for SEI Advisor Network, said in a statement. “Rather than preparing a plan to sell your firm, you need to prepare your firm for sale. That starts with an in-depth look at your book of business and processes.”

Also noteworthy, 54% of the more than 100 financial advisors polled said they have no strategies in place to attract younger investors, despite aging client bases. SEI notes that ignoring investors under the age of 50 is a mistake as the demographic group is growing in both size and wealth.

“It’s important to have a plan in plan in place to develop the next generation of leaders at your firm and to take a strategic approach to securing the next generation of clients your firm will serve,” Anderson said.

To access SEI’s succession planning toolkit, click here.


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