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Looking forward: Optima Group’s Perspective

As we all acclimate to a new working and living environment, we hope that everyone is doing well during this difficult period. We are here for you and encourage you to reach out to us with any questions you may have. This is a time where we believe we can only succeed by coming together as a community, even if virtually, and supporting each other.

This has been a challenging week for all of our clients, but today I was especially thinking about the RIAs. Their simultaneous need to manage clients, adjust investment strategies, and maintain firm morale has been overwhelming. And, most RIAs’ budgets are in disarray since they are faced with steeply falling revenues for the first time in years.

Yet, this is also an opportunity for many firms. Ones that recognize the fundamental tenets of running successful small businesses in different economic environments are likely to recover more quickly than their peers. Ones that don’t may suffer further disruptions from client attrition and loss of key personnel.

What are some winning strategies?

Client money in motion during times of crisis will result in new business opportunities. Make sure you are communicating to your clients and your market using every channel available. Recruit successful sales resources that may be looking for a new home. Step up your marketing activities, including letting clients, prospects and centers of influence know why you are still their trusted advisor.

Be ready to access capital. There is a tremendous amount of capital that is still available to RIAs – both as equity interests and lending facilities. While valuations and initial payments are being dialed back, firms that can think strategically about building long-term value can position themselves to come out of this downturn with higher upside potential. Don’t think about the great deal that got away because the market intervened. Think about how to get the best deal done now.

Get your team motivated and involved. Tomorrow is not going to be like yesterday. Successful firms will need to sacrifice in the near term to be ahead in tomorrow’s climate. Be blunt and direct but make sure your staff knows that you are all in it together. 

Get help while you can. The financial incentives and relief in the bill passed by Congress, and the facilities available in many states are there to be used. Don’t think that the funds are for other industries or businesses or be reluctant to access these resources. Your competitors will. Shouldn’t you?

To sum up, you know you offer great solutions, client service and reporting. It’s time to take a breath while doing even more. Run your business daily like a driven, entrepreneurial firm. Spend time on yourself and your business – not just your clients. We will all get through this. But some, with insight, perseverance and persistence will find themselves in a better place in the not too distant future.

Stay safe and healthy,

Ken Hoffman
Managing Director and President