Investire | April 2023

The ego of financial advisors most certainly does not resemble the ego of the Little Match Girl described by Hans Christian Andersen.

Being a financial advisor takes a high level of awareness of one’s own abilities, together with a healthy dose of self-esteem.

In fact, most financial advisors leave a permanent position, generally in a bank, to commit themselves to an entrepreneurial activity whose key to success lies in the advisor’s own skills.

This being said, in time the support of the bank/network has become a key component for both material and immaterial reasons.

Among the material aspects is the operating machine, that is what runs a network of financial advisors who work off site: operating systems, digital platforms, back-office support, IT equipment.

Financial advisors resemble a prima ballerina or a great tenor: everything needs to work smoothly for them to go on stage, as they are the ones who risk it all.

Therefore, the support of area managers needs to be factual and objective, limited chit chat and ability to solve tricky issues, in terms of relationship with both the head office and difficult clients.

The range and the quality of products, such as the internal advisory service, need to work optimally so as to avoid becoming easy preys to criticism or failure, while the head office is often equally responsible.

Training is fundamental. Once again, financial advisors demand the best: the topics need to be pertinent to current events and beneficial to their activity.

Moreover, their interest in training is not limited to contents, but it extends to the expertise and quality of the speakers, be them internal and external to their bank/network.

On the other hand, there are also some immaterial key aspects. Among them, the sense of belonging to a team, to a group of colleagues, to a support team, to an area and, most of all, to the bank/financial network.

The sense of belonging is fed by the feeling of trust in the management (both area and head office management), that is in those who lead the business.

This is strengthened further by the brand value of the bank/financial network, in terms of reputation, image and visibility.

When the bank/financial network is strong, credible, and invests in communication the leaders of financial networks tend to gain consensus even outside of the bank/financial network and financial advisors tends to feel secure and loyal.

And yet, the ego of financial advisors needs to be fed and their skills enhanced.

This is where personal branding comes in. Personal branding consists of a set of strategies adopted to promote one’s professional profile with the aim of communicating oneself and managing strategically one’s professional image.

Each professional can do it independently. However, some bank/financial networks provide a team of experts. The outcome of the collaboration with the bank/financial network is generally successful.

And as the best fables go…. and personal and corporate branding lived happily ever after.

Nicola Ronchetti