Workflow Your Way to the DOL Deadline

Oct 20, 2016

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Last month’s blog post, The People’s Tort: How Will Advisors Defend Their DOL-related Processes to Attorneys, asked advisors to think about a post-DOL world where your clients’ attorneys could question you about your fiduciary role. The post asked how you would defend your processes and provided some tips to help. To me, there is nothing stronger than the defense that shows:

  • Your thought process
  • How that process got you to where you are today
  • The communication to your clients and how you intend to comply with the rules

You can recreate those steps or reports when needed – or you can follow a repeatable process that allows for reporting. I think we all can all agree that rather than trying to remember what you did, actually documenting the process makes more sense.

Making it work(flow)

Way back in March of 2014, Raef Lee, Spencer Segal (CEO of Actifi) and I co-wrote a whitepaper called Workflows: The Key Ingredient to a Sustainable and Sellable Advisor Business. The key premise: for advisors seeking to increase their firms’ value and ensure a consistent service experience for every client, success may hinge on their ability to implement workflows. Workflows allow for creating repeatable processes and optimizing sales, service and operations to create greater efficiencies. They document processes and procedures and ensure consistency in client interactions.

Following the whitepaper, we worked with Redtail to create a whole program called SEI ProcessWise, which documented and created workflows for over 40 different advisor functions. The program started with an assessment, delivered a manual, and incorporated pre-constructed workflows into the Redtail CRM. The SEI ProcessWise program has helped advisors create that more efficient and scalable office.

DOL connection?

With the DOL clock ticking down (less than 6 months to go), we have created 4 specific DOL-related workflows that we’ll make available to everyone. It is our experience in the marketplace that while a lot of people are talking about DOL, very few are creating actionable content to help advisors navigate the steps they will need to take in order to remain compliant.

Working with Redtail, we’ve developed strategic and tactical workflows to help advisors plan, execute and comply in most situations with best practices to simplify your journey.

On Monday (10/24), I’m hosting a webinar with Missy Pohilg, and Redtail’s Rick Williamson that includes:

  • A brief review of the DOL rule and how it affects advisors
  • How to define your DOL strategy
  • How to evaluate each household and select the right tactical scenario – from leveling fees and moving to fee-based, to using a BIC exemption or orphaning an account
  • How your CRM can help you manage and comply with your broker-dealer and prepare for audits

Even if you don’t use Redtail (but it does help), our workflows can help you cover your DOL bases – with easy-to-follow diagrams and manuals to guide you along the way. Please join Missy, Rick and me on Monday, Oct 24 at 4 p.m. for Workflow Your Way to the DOL Deadline.

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John Anderson

John Anderson

John Anderson is the creator and lead author of Practically Speaking blog and Managing Director of Practice Management Solutions for the SEI Advisor Network.

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