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#24 Ricardo Teixeira – Transcript

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Louis van der Merwe
Welcome to another episode of Financial Planners, South Africa. Today, I’m really excited to have Ricardo Teixeira. Join us from the BDO. Offices. Ricardo, thank you so much for joining us.

Ricardo Teixeira
Thank you for the invitation. Lovely to connect with you again.

Louis van der Merwe
Yeah, Ricardo, your name pops up quite a lot. You know, we see that last year BDO won the FBI proof practice, and you are building one of the bigger financial planning firms in South Africa. But before we jump into the kind of nuts and bolts of how to run a business, can you give us a little bit of a background of how you ended up in financial services?

Ricardo Teixeira
Absolutely. I started off my career as a chartered accountant. So I did articles at KPMG many years ago, and and soon after that I decided to join a commercial sort of career and I’ve moved into financial services, soon after finishing articles, not wanting to stay in order to end the profession. And it was moving into financial services that really got me on this journey where I am today. And if I can share with you, I knew nothing about financial services at the time, got myself into a product development house, it was in cubed back then. And that thing led to a series of roles and exposure that I was very fortunate to be able to simulate and be exposed to during my career, which included developing products included with distribution, role sales and distribution, and tax structuring. And eventually, according to a business coaching role, set from n cubed, I moved into access. And eventually access became more mutual. Do you think when I when I reflect on my career to date, liberal really to sort of moments that became sort of inflection points or tipping points in my career, and that was during the CFP competency exam in 2003. And then, eventually also doing a coaching course, in 2010. I think both of those were fundamentals and personal development milestones that led to where I am today. Because it was back in 2013, that I was actually coaching BDO Wealth Advisors at the time, I was with old mutual wealth. And BDO was one of my clients. And I was sitting across the desk helping Ellen Hannon and his team run a better business as a coach. And it was during that interaction that gave me the opportunity to be invited to be a non executive director with old mutual with BDO Wealth Advisors at the time. And subsequently 2015, I was invited to be a permanent member of staff and executive director. And that’s when I joined PDO full time as the chief operating officer

Louis van der Merwe
recorder, it’s interesting to hear that your your route didn’t come through advice, right. So typically someone completing their certified financial planner examinations and going into coaching. At some point in their career, they try their hand at advice, and no, a lot of people would argue that it’s helpful having an advice background, but it can be equally as limiting actually thinking this is the way you know, we should be delivering advice. How has it helped you run your business not having experience with with clients face to face?

Ricardo Teixeira
So I think a couple of thoughts that I can share with you, Louis is that so having the designation and having an having an, I suppose an intimate understanding for the advisory industry has helped me relate to advisors. But at the same token with my commercial background, I’m able to I think marry the two, I think quite quite beneficially to the business world where I can actually look at and add value to operating the business. And so I think that’s what I take from from my role at BDO. It’s not just about the advice, the advice is critical. That’s what makes that’s who we are. But it’s actually operating a business that is efficient, profitable. And it actually gives the clients the right experience. And that’s an that’s really I think we I’ve been fortunate in terms of being able to play the role of chief operating officer in an advisory business. But having the appreciation for advice through my industry experience

Louis van der Merwe
record, I love that quote from Tony Shea was the founder and CEO of Zappos saying we’re in a service business, right, and they just happen to sell shoes, and I think that relate so much to the advice world. Right. When in a in a service business, we just happen to deliver advice and you have a full time role looking off to BDO as the Chief Operating Officer,

Ricardo Teixeira
correct. That’s right. And and it’s it’s the client advice or the client experience that will be central to everything we do. It’s helping clients make good financial choices and decisions. But it’s how we organize ourselves, how we position how we process it so that it is efficient and that Clients will get the best experience from video is really which which, which is we will switch to what I enjoy. And I think I can relate to that quote from Sephora.

Louis van der Merwe
Yeah. Can you give us a little bit of a background on, you know, what is the size of BDO? How many household Q servers? How many offices do you run just for someone that might not be familiar to get comfortable with what the business looks like?

Ricardo Teixeira
This video wealth advisor is part of BDO, South Africa, Louis BDO. South Africa is a professional services firm which spans South Africa with suppose 1500 staff members. But if you just carve that out BDO Wealth Advisors is a team of 60 people, which is represented across four offices in South Africa. And we within the team just narrowed down, we have 12 financial planners in the team, to associate planners, and currently five assistant financial planners will have two legal advisors and three real benefit consultants, I think gives you sort of, I suppose, a reflection of who we have in the team. We currently advise our 3000 families across South Africa, and another 1000 members of employer group schemes, we have 100 Incorrect group schemes that we, our employee benefit consultants to across South Africa. I think it gives us really a great depth into South Africa, in terms of be able to help South Africans make good decisions, get to the right solutions, so we can actually make a positive impact on their lives.

Louis van der Merwe
Yeah, so it sounds like this is a business that have managed to figure out how to scale advice. And it’s something that pops up quite a lot with someone in a medium sized practicing, how do I get from, you know, a smaller team of maybe maybe eight to nine or 10 people to the kind of 60 person team? Did you see part of that transition in your career.

Ricardo Teixeira
So I think I’ve always appreciated the fact that advice is SIMPLE Travaasa being professional. And coming from a professional background, I grew up understanding how how you deliver professional advice on scale. So to me, too, as was always natural, and but yet, through my career, dealing with financial planners in the different roles that I’ve had, it was very apparent back in 2000s, that the industry was very much a sole proprietor and sort of individually owned business. And I think with with the passing of time, with the formalization, and professionalization of our industry, in South Africa, and globally, we’ve seen the ability to actually use your words go and scale, I don’t think PDO is large, by corporate standards, I think a lot of our peers, my friends in the industry corner, refer to us as a corporate, it’s not I think it’s you spot and I’ve been having having the depth within the team to to get to a broad populated broad section of our population. And I think we, we we, I think are excited about it is that we share infrastructure, we share processes, which really allows the professionals to face the clients and not actually worry about running the business. And so your entire sort of mental capacity as a financial planner, and and use of your day is allocated to clients, as opposed to the distraction of operating a business, and we know it goes to operating business. So that’s the benefit of being on scale.

Louis van der Merwe
You’re hoping that that focus and clarity really does make a massive difference. Recorder globally, we’ve seen audit practices kind of distance themselves from financial services, and some of them move towards what is the role been within BDO? And how does that sit within the rest of the business?

Ricardo Teixeira
Every we’ve been very clear. And strategically that as BDO Wealth Advisors, our value proposition and our reason for being existence, is to help clients get to the right solutions, as we’ve anchored our value proposition on an advisory experience. And as a result of that, I think we fit very comfortably within BDO South Africa, we don’t manage money. We’re not asset managers. We’re not discretionary fund managers, we’re advisors, and that fits perfectly with our peers. In actual fact, I think critical sort of milestone in video wealth history was in 2015 when we applied to be recognized as an FBI approved professional practice, and while said it was quite a critical milestone, particularly BDO, South Africa is that appears started to recognize us as a professional advisory business and not just a brokerage. And that’s and that’s where we are, that’s what we’ve submitted on is if we are professional like as your business. We start with understanding the client’s diagnose, and then you implement at the end and that fits perfectly well with the rest of it. Professional Services in Vidya South Africa with its audit, advisory or tax.

Louis van der Merwe
Can we stand still a little bit on the FBI proof practice? I mean, last year, you won the award for the best FBI approved practice. But I want to rewind a little bit on that journey, you know, to become an FBI proof practice in 2015, that you mentioned, and also what growth had to take place for you to, you know, into the process, and also, you know, make it round to, to ultimately winning it.

Ricardo Teixeira
For us, I think there was never, I’ll be, I’ll be frank, as if there was never the intention of winning an award and inactivating back in 2015. The ward did not exist. It was, I think, what appealed to, to myself and Alan, as the executive directors was really the professionalization of the industry and being associated with the credibility of being a professional practice. That was the one and I think in terms of the journey, I think, what what it’s taught us, and what it exposed us to movie was a number of those elements that make up a professional practice. And yes, it’s the advisory process. And it’s around the quality of the client experience, but largely to run the people that we have within the business. It’s the mentoring of new incumbents into the industry, and as the financial literacy and pro Boehner, which are also key elements to your professional practice. And what we would refund is by actually putting our hands up and being recognized, and accredited as a professional practice, it’s encouraged us to go on this journey, what we find is when we realize if I reflect back up on 2020, and would if we were given as the professional practice in South Africa. I mean, it was really it was It was humbling to be recognized as such, but also it made me appreciate and Ellen appreciate how much we’ve been doing over the last five years. And so I think what I what I can share with you is that it’s not a one stop sort of project. It’s an ongoing evolution. It’s ongoing change. You just keep working at it, and just keep refining what you’re delivering.

Louis van der Merwe
Yeah, it’s that constant change. And one of our previous discussions you also mentioned, you know, it’s looking for the small thing that you can improve, and, you know, grinding away at that and constantly doing that. So, record a, what are the things that you see in your business today, and maybe even as an industry, that are the pieces that people are missing? Like, what are the things that we should be focusing on that needs improvement, where you think the bar is still very low?

Ricardo Teixeira
So I think the one that immediately comes to mind is mentoring and training professional financial planners in our in our country, I would like to talk about that, Louis. And I think the other is also just around as ability to actually operate professional businesses on a national basis. So using processes systems and the like. I think this is more from an operational point of view. I think those are the two that stand out for me, Louis right now in terms of professionalizing, the industry or the opportunity that we need to be focusing on, there’s a couple I mean, continuously, also working on what we’re working on at the moment, a PDR is looking at remuneration models, we are working on a couple of other things like the sort of differentiated service offering, and the like. So there’s a couple of those. I’m not sure where you’d like to take the conversation, but I’ll be led by usually. Yeah, I

Louis van der Merwe
think let’s start with the first one. Right, the mentoring, we had Google’s rudaki on one of the first episodes, tell us how impactful mentors on one one impact the mentors have played in her life so that she now becomes a business owner, you know, successfully running her own practice. And so what I’m wondering is, like the mentorship role that you take within your business, at what point do you get to say, Okay, well as a financial planner, but maybe they’re not suited for our business, that kind of way, the mentoring goes so well, that someone actually wants to leave, like, how do you handle that as an employer and have one of the one of the discussions that you might have had or could be coming up?

Ricardo Teixeira
And I think that’s an important point to reflect on. Why I’m so we’ve been mentoring CFP graduates or let’s say, financial planning graduates towards a CFP designation for five years now this yes, we started in 2016. And initially, it was exactly as you’ve said, we wanted to retain the CFP professionals, we quickly realized that it doesn’t work like that doesn’t and graduates are young and aspirational. And they don’t want one career for life or don’t want employer. And so what we’ve what I think really resonates with us as a business is that it’s about creating skills within the country. And so we’ve actually shifted our mentorship program and I’ve enough perspective on it is that it’s not just about the video and retaining stuff. It’s about this we get the benefit of having the leverage of clever minds. capable individuals working within our business, we learn a lot through them, they learn we get give them expression, they learn, ultimately, you ceding industry in South Africa with some young professionals. And that’s been so rewarding. And so we don’t retain a lot of trainees, actually how the random programmer, but we don’t retain him, which we caught, we hopefully try and retain as many as we can. But even then, our associates, they leave and then move on to other businesses. So I can think we’ve helped First National Bank, Alexander Forbes, the face on bird named FCA, we’ve helped a lot of industry participants, with with skilled certified financial planners.

Louis van der Merwe
That’s wonderful. I saw a post yesterday from someone that was on the on the brink of leaving Google and everyone said, Oh, this is the best job you’ve ever had. And now you’re going to do your own thing. And so what I’m hearing is that you don’t want to hold on too tightly to your employees, you want to create the platform where they can flourish, but at some point, it’s also okay to you know, help them go and make an impact in the industry. And that’s part of your bigger role within South Africa to create jobs and to create skills. Correct,

Ricardo Teixeira
correct. And I think going back to your observation earlier, I mean, that’s the one thing we can do differently in our country, is really creating a supply of professionals. We’ve got lots of willings graduates within South Africa. But our businesses aren’t geared for mentoring. If you think about what you and I were just talking about earlier, the industry started off as sole proprietors. And it was me, my family, possibly running a business. But yet, ultimately, at scale, is feasible by bringing people in and through it, it’s bringing in, it’s meant bringing in young talent into the industry. And so I think we’ve as a shift towards being more as structured businesses be more professional, we naturally will have the opportunity to bring graduates in and train them in the artificial planning. disappoint, which, which really, I think stands out for me is I came through the through the industry, like not knowing anything about financial services. And that’s how it was, is that it was very much seen as a sales environment, it was product, and it was a distribution channel. And the industry of that back then was if you were skilled in distributing, if you’re skilled in sales, you could become a financial planner. And now we know that that’s shifted completely 360 degrees, we now our graduates are starting out with a very, very, very strong academic foundation, they’ve got zero sales skills. And the only way you’re going to learn that is by actually being involved in a professional environment where you can assimilate your sales skills, your ability to get clients into action. And so with that, mentoring is critical for us to continue this journey of being professionals.

Louis van der Merwe
I can’t agree with you more regarding I think Michael Kitsis often talks about how the responsibility of bringing in new clients should sit at the top right should sit with your business owners or your senior financial planners, because they bring the ideal clients, they bring the right fit. And so now these employees that you’ve had, and the mentees that are getting ready to move on, how do you handle the client base? Or how does that fit into your business structure? Because oftentimes, people don’t want to let employees go, because they’re afraid that the clients will follow, right? They’ll move their book of clients, like the industry loves talking about so how do you approach that? It goes

Ricardo Teixeira
back to your client experience, and the way you’ve structured your advisory, like I guess its process, but it is largely how does the client experience video? And, and yes, there will always be a key relationship holder, we thrive on that nature, if that’s what we want, we want our clients to be connected to an Ellen or a days ray or a ray, that at the end of the day, there is that connection to the business. And so it’s it’s having the depth within the team with having the difference in the business that a client or family sees that actually, they’ve got a financial planner, that they’re backed by a lot more than just one individual. And so when an individual leaves doesn’t take the relationship with the relationship is transferable obviously depends on who’s leaving and and how they’re leaving. But But largely if I look at the I just reflect on the mentoring program, initially, we had pushback from our financial planning team. So actually clients are getting used to the nearly and now she leaves and now we’ve got to me, like but that’s okay, because ultimately the client is seeing you as the relationship holder. It’s just another touch point within the business. And that’s exactly as Pandoc theory is that clients don’t aren’t attached to one individual. And even when it when a financial planner, try and what we call graduates a client from one vacation Failure to another financial plan. It’s a process of time. And there’s graduation process. Plants are comfortable with it if you deal with it correctly. And so the same applies to staff attrition or turnover. It’s just how you’ve dealt with a client relationship. From the word go, I think that will anchor how they experience it.

Louis van der Merwe
I love how you’ve turned these challenges into such positive things, right, you get to graduate to move to to someone else, it’s no longer or your financial plan is lifted, and you’re often client. But it sounds like the foundations within your business is really strong. And I’d love you started talking about the kind of remuneration policies, I’d love for us to talk a little bit about what the options are, in terms of remunerating your staff because the industry today is still the kind of, you know, eat would you kill, the person bringing in the sales gets to take the bulk of the money home. And what we’ve seen in in countries like America is that that distribution between the rest of the team is more normal, right, it’s a face shape between the income, tell us a little bit about how you see it and what you’ll be doing in the business.

Ricardo Teixeira
I’ll start with Louis, just with the proviso. And I suppose the disclaimer is that we haven’t got it right yet. And I’m being honest and sensitive, we keep evolving our approach and policy to getting that remuneration model correct. But I do think having said that, we’ve made huge strides in our history and the way we’ve worked. So currently our philosophy around remuneration for financial planners, and again, when we’re talking to people lead portfolio, relationship holders, it’s really a, it’s a principle around sharing profits within the client portfolio. And so very, we take a leaf from the audit partnership, and the principles then that it’s looking at a portfolio of clients and participating based on the profitability of that portfolio of clients. So a principle that that’s the principle but they weren’t underpins it is that everyone is on a fixed salary, as well as a variable element to their earnings. And the fixed element is really referenced to the profitability of their portfolio. And these thresholds based on margin. If portfolios are profitable, then scales up your your participation, your profitability. And if the profit if the portfolio is not profitable, taking into account the cost of actually doing business, then there’s a negotiated, fixed salary that’s anchored. And we found that that has really, I think, aligned the rim with the sort of the business’s intention of doing right for clients that we don’t bring in targets. There’s no incentives around sort of production or metrics around new clients or assets, policies, whatever it may be, it’s around advice and charging fees for that advice. And the charging of fees results in a revenue line, which then draws folks to profitability. And so we found that we’re getting better and better at measuring that and I’d like to talk a little bit about some of the changes we’ve made, which has helped us measure profitability. And then we just flowing that forward Louis or following that their thought process is then the variable incentive is linked, again, to a metric of profitability, which we call net profits. Net really then becomes a shave of the growth in the fees, urine, you’re in such a lovely alignment refill in terms of actually that upside sharing as a business grows, the portfolio holder would be rewarded for it. And they’ve been, it’s combined with a fixed salary, and you have total earnings in the package. And what we found, Louis is that if you if you get the numbers, right, equity is not an issue, particularly this in a business of our size, in that we are largely owned by the audit practice of video South Africa. And and the financial planners don’t have equity in the business if you if the remuneration structure correctly. And as I said, we have got it wrong, and we keep refining it gets better and better that it’s actually not about equity. It’s about that partnership model on on revenue and profitability.

Louis van der Merwe
Jay, I love the fact that you’re cultivating that Ownership mindset without necessarily having shares in the business you you get to manage the profitability of your client portfolio. And then it’s not just toplines not just sales and selling more taking on more clients. It’s also about looking at the cost aspect of running a business which can get quite I could can be a really big chunk of the income and I’d love for us to maybe talk a little bit through that when we talk about profitability. What are the performance measures that you keep a close eye on to say, hey, this business is going into, maybe there’s some some trouble hitting our way when we look at these figures, or is it really just, you know, you look at everything and it starts jumping out at you,

Ricardo Teixeira
Louis, it’s immediately, my response would be as fee per client. So very, very key metric, which we currently hold very dear PDO, in our, in our business discussions, and again, I represent as the commercial sort of view of the business, whereas Ellen, as the managing director represents the advisory aspect of the business, and the two of us have dovetail very well. So the conversations I have with financial planners is around their business. And the one metric that has to come out in our dashboard is what’s your fee per client? And that talks to a lot of balance in terms of the profile of the client. Also, how are we raising fees? And how are you pricing your advice relative to the client? So that is one that definitely stands out. And there’s a couple of others, I think the frequency of client contact in terms of reviews is another metric for us. Understanding that. And then a third metric is, again, measuring insight into estate planning for clients can because we find it quite a powerful metric in that it’s not just talking about transactions, but it’s talking about the family holistically. So are we able to quantify that we’ve have done complete estate planning for family. And again, it’s not every club, every family, we get that there’s a lot of segmentation and this differentiated services that would come through, those are the kind of metrics that we talked about, when we look at a management dashboard for our financial planners

Louis van der Merwe
recorded the estate planning, one is not often heard of to look at your profitability to say, Oh, well, he has an estate planning component. How did that come about? And what are the what are the actual things that you look at within that metric? What what drove

Ricardo Teixeira
us to put that on the on the dashboard, Louis was simply the fact that we wanted to recognize that certain profile of clients or key clients, we needed to be relevant to them holistically. and estate planning and having the they will correctly drafted having the structures in terms of how their wealth is owned, and how to pass on from generation to generation is critical. And what it led us to also think appreciate is the fact that actually our fee, as professional advisors, it’s not just for the investments, not just for that element of what is typically seen as the advice process, but it’s actually been a guide to help a client in all aspects of their life. And so that’s, I think that has shifted our conversation quite a bit quite quite, I suppose appropriately, to look at families. And again, it’s not every family, because we’ve got a wide range of clients, a few 1000 families, but but it’s looking at the right clients to have that holistic conversation, and bringing it back back to our fee for service making sure that there’s value created, through the through videos, advice.

Louis van der Merwe
Yeah, it’s wonderful how you’re thinking about actually the longevity of your business through looking at the figures of, you know, talking about estate planning and retention of these assets in the longer term, not just the kind of short term, you know, what are the income that we’re generating from these clients?

Ricardo Teixeira
Sorry, to interrupt, it also, then we find indirectly creates the opportunity to connect with the next generation, connect with the IRS, because you are you interested in you, and you’re part of that process? And that talks to what you’ve said now about long term longevity of the client relationship?

Louis van der Merwe
Yeah, we see these statistics of, you know, close to 80%, of widows would choose a new financial planner after their partner passes away. And, and therefore these things are so important to track. And we don’t have to wake up one day and figure out, most of our clients have now passed away and we don’t have a relationship with maybe the spouse or the children or I was just that isolated piece. Recorder, you service quite a large number of households. But I’m wondering what are the things that might have surprised you in terms of the issues that your clients are having? What are the things that they’re struggling with at

Ricardo Teixeira
the moment, if I reflect on 2020, which was sort of the heart of our lockdown, and the global pandemic, I think was was so refreshing, Louise, that our our clients generally struggled with was just emotional, dealing with the environment around them. And it wasn’t around money, necessarily. And it wasn’t necessarily around sort of Texas, or estate planning. It was just around life. And I think that is exactly where I think the industry is at as financial planners is that it’s about how do we marry living? How do you marry life to the money that you’ve got? So Jimmy fella cut off our clients and our clients are arranged for clients who are business owners. We’ve got professionals and executives, retirees and wealth accumulators. Okay, so We spent very wide sort of, sort of population of South Africa. But generally, the challenges are all around sort of, how do I make sure that I’m doing the right things in my life, whether I’m wealth accumulator, trying to decide to buy a car, or whether I’m a business owner looking at existing my business, it’s all around that family connection or letters conversation with their family, and they laugh.

Louis van der Merwe
You had Susan Bradley, the founder of sudden money Institute always says that when life changes, money changes, and when money changes, life changes. And these two are not two separate things kind of intertwined. And, you know, you we can have one discussion. Are you upskilling, your advisors to have these conversations? And if so, you know, what are the things that that they’re working on within the business,

Ricardo Teixeira
within our advisory team, if I just focus on the financial planners like, so we have 12 across South Africa, and the financial planners, each person has a control over their own personal development. So as a business, we very clear we all share common philosophy and approach and offense, our video, talks about money and how we how we deliver financial planning. But yet in terms of the individual skills that we it’s incumbent on each professional in the team to upskill themselves with it. And it’s not necessarily about so it’s not about being dictating say it was going to be a coach, and it was going to go on results coaching one on one, it’s about actually you to following your passion and finding what fits best with you. As a result, we’ve got quite a wide range of skills within the business. And not there’s not a cookie cutter approach. And I think I love it. Because as a large financial planning versus having financial planners, it’s not about having everyone follow the same script, even follow the same dance, it’s actually doing what’s right for the clients, we’ve got a philosophy that ultimately each person has to what’s right, and they feel comfortable with.

Louis van der Merwe
Yeah, talk to you that diversity and inclusion, right, bringing different ways of doing things, if everyone follows the coaching, where you did might be beneficial to your client conversations, then you’ll be running a coaching practice and not necessarily financial.

Ricardo Teixeira
But also what it allows us to do, Louise is to map up and so match up clients to the correct profile of the family that will help them it is what they need. And so not every client is going to need a deep conversation around the meaning of life. And so we’ve got within the team the ability to map and match clients to the right financial planner. Let’s proceed invest.

Louis van der Merwe
Can you tell us a bit more how that’s done?

Ricardo Teixeira
So I look, a lot of our client growth is done through referrals, as with most financial planning businesses, and in that instance, the financial planner would would pick up that referral directly. There are instances where financial planners feel they’re not well equipped to take on a referral, and they voluntarily talk to a colleague, and pass on a client relationship happens often. So within within an office where one financial planner would say, Well, I feel I think you might be better suited. That’s the one way the other ways we do, we do have quite quite a lot of direct inquiries into into video. And that gets received through our website and through other platforms, and then allows the practice management team to then assess profile whose individual what are their needs, do a quick sort of discovery phone call, and then allocated to the correct office to the correct financial planner, which we believe would best be suited to their clients. So it’s very much a hands on approach to allocating clients.

Louis van der Merwe
And that talks back to your remuneration structure. Whereas if you were responsible for you know, taking home, the bulk of the income, financial advisors tend to hold on to those clients and not be willing to pass them on to colleagues and refer them to someone that might be better suited. Instead, we as an industry used to hoard clients and yeah, I do you measure the capacity of your advisors? Like is the is there a limit that advisors can have in terms of the clients that they service, and complexity? And what are the things that go into that thinking?

Ricardo Teixeira
So the initial metric is, again, the number of clients so I think we found time and time again, that that’s one of the better sort of indicators of suppose your level of effort that you need to put in and availability of time. We haven’t got a magic number. But if I had to put a pin in it, I’d say somewhere in the region of about 250 clients is that is that a deal number? We have senior planners with 300 families. But again, if you look if you will you understand that this tale of clients which are not highly demanding, so it’s very possible. We’ve got on the flip side financial planners who have listened that and so what we have, we found a lot of success in is is the best ability to, again, graduate clients from one financial plan to another over a process of time, so that you are able to, I suppose, open up capacity, and correctly share the responsibility of looking after clients across the team, as opposed to just under one financial planner?

Louis van der Merwe
Yes, it’s a very systematized process that you’re building your business on. And when you think about the future of your practice, and BDO, you know, where are the places that that you do your research and your thinking and, and what influences your thinking recorded at the moment.

Ricardo Teixeira
I think most of us really show you similar days, just reading widely, and being and being open to a lot of sources of information. And so I think there’s a lot of free I think, well regarded sort of thought leaders in our, in our industry globally. Coleridge has come to mind to service his writings, which Anthony, but again, Michael Kitsis, I think through his blog gives a great sort of snapshot of a number of, of great minds in financial planning across the world. And so for me, that’s just about reading and, and listening, I guess to to 14, as an industry just been exposed to better.

Louis van der Merwe
It’s wonderful to see how, you know, global community has come so close, where we can pick from Australia and from America and from the UK and say, Hey, here’s the base people. And it’s learned from them. And let’s, you know, taste that within our within our practice and see if again, yeah,

Ricardo Teixeira
that Louis, just on, I suppose, taking inspiration. It’s great to look into industry. But I think it’s also important for us as professionals to look at other sources of inspiration that are not financial planning, orientated. And so if you look at law practices, or you look at accounting or engineering practices, then it’s any how do they operate as professional services, because they are. So financial planning is not that dissimilar. I mean, trade wise, for the art of what we’re doing is completely unique to a lawyer or an accountant. But I think in terms of actually taking a cue for how they operate as professionals, I think, is also one another source, which we mustn’t underestimate. And I’ve also found, I think, very from that,

Louis van der Merwe
you’ve mentioned a couple of times the art of financial planning. And that struck me that it’s, it actually can be such a creative process, not just about the technical, and someone that’s a chartered accountant by trade, I find it quite interesting that you mentioned the art.

Ricardo Teixeira
I think that I use that word previously, because I’ve realized in my career that you need to need to learn the skill and the art of financial planning. And I say that, because you continually learning every client is unique. No textbooks can prep you for being able to deal with every client scenario. And so there is this ability to keep learning through, through I suppose experience. And I love to use the word art because it’s not a science is an element of it, which is strongly technically based. And so let’s say scientific, but a lot of it is an art. And I see it with our young financial planners, who migrate from assistant financial penalty Associates, and how they sit side by side with a CFP professional, and they are simulating the art of engaging with the client. And so I often refer to that as become an anchor.

Louis van der Merwe
I love that these artists in training, if you could give them some advice before they join your practice or, you know, potential employees, what would you like to see these potential employees work on in terms of skills of improving, improving that art piece specifically? Is there anything that comes to mind?

Ricardo Teixeira
I think the obvious one is people skills and people skills is quite broad, but it’s the ability to relate to people. And I think we use the word empathy, but it’s been able to connect and listen. And through that listening as far as able to reflect back and how you can actually advise or help a client, that’d be the one. I think the other skill, which we mustn’t underestimate up is the ability to get a client into action. Set another way, that’s our sales skills. And as professionals regardless of who you are, and which profession you’re in, there is the need to get a client to make a decision, and that we must not underestimate and we want to mention that is that I do see a lot of the financial planners, Junior financial planners, particularly associates who want to make the transition to be a financial planner, struggle with it, because I’ve never been exposed to it. And I’ve never, I suppose, simulated that ability to put a bit of pressure to get someone to make a decision. And I think that is again a skill that we mustn’t underestimate and I you know, in a industry,

Louis van der Merwe
I love how you phrase that, you know, to help someone take action could actually be seen as a second skill. And some might argue that, you know, it is a process that you take someone through that process of change to get them to a point where they actually already to change and, you know, how do you balance and you balance the sales with actually serving the customer and, you know, allowing the client to determine their own pace.

Ricardo Teixeira
Well, it’s about getting, getting getting the family or the client to a point where they, they acknowledge what they need. And that’s often if that’s relatively, I think, easy through the process of reflecting back and modeling a cash flow model, let’s say to family, and allowing them to identify these other gaps. And what I need to take action with, what we often find is that if you leave it, it’s going to stop there. And I look at myself as a client of PDO, my wife and I, if my financial plan in our video financial, it doesn’t get us into action, it doesn’t get any way. I know I’ve got to do it. And I’m a CFP, professional, I’ve asked a professional, but we just don’t do it. And I think we similar to most human beings. And so there is that need, and I think we we put it as one of the values as a financial planner, one of the values you bring is to get a client interaction, particularly if it’s what the client wants, is how do you help them make the transition to get to do the to do the work?

Louis van der Merwe
Of all we needed was knowledge we’d all be millionaires with six packs, and you were saying the role of the advisors also to take action and to proficiently be professionally persistent, someone once said that, and that really resonated with me to, to follow up and help someone actually get closer to their dreams, right? Because this can be a very big role that we play in someone’s life.

Ricardo Teixeira
Absolutely, that’s right. And and if it’s not, if you don’t, if you don’t get into action, no matter how good and how well, the plan is crafted, no matter how eloquent, the goals are set out, or the actions are described, if you just stay there, and that family will never live their dreams as they’ve intended. And so you’ve got to marry that record. Is there any

Louis van der Merwe
kind of client stories that might stand out in your mind in terms of someone’s experience with a financial advisor? Maybe in BDO? Or outside of the industry? That really stands out for you?

Ricardo Teixeira
Oh, that’s interesting question, Louis. Asked him the chief operating officer client stories. I think there’s, I can, I can reflect on Louise, that we currently often talk around the stories of financial planning within BDO. And why we do that is that, I suppose one, it’s one way of sharing knowledge within the team. So you get to understand sort of client experiences. But again, it also makes us appreciate the value of the advice is that it’s not about spreadsheets and numbers and models. It’s actually how that suppose that it was translated to a client’s experience. And so yeah, we do a lot of stories around that. I can’t think of one particular story that stands out for me immediately right now. But what does stand out is the I suppose when when you have families turn around and say thank you, that’s been meaningful. And for whatever reason, whether it’s been a particularly difficult sort of situation that we need to solve for that a family with real life challenges, or it is one that just actually you were there as my sounding board. And those are greater. So we hear about those. I think one story that I can share with you, which is top of mind was a new client that approached us earlier this year. And quite a wealthy family and through the, through the sort of onboarding and sort of going through, particularly the estate planning became evident that there was a large investment in Bitcoin. And when we started unpacking it, the father admitted that he had actually lost quite a significant amount of money to Bitcoin, through a fraud. And it’s those kind of experiences. And what stood out for that story was actually fact that he approached us to, for advice to say help, it was something at the back of his mind that gone wrong, which happened to be a fraud. But he approaches say, Please help with my affairs in order. And I think that’s really where we want to be as financial planners, not at the back telling someone’s made a bad mistake, but ideally, you want to help them either correct it or go forward with with good advice. So that’s something that they did recently, from a client experiences,

Louis van der Merwe
that’s wonderful to hear that as your role in terms of looking after the business and the operations. You are still so involved in knowing what going on with clients and these clients stories and that, you know, the, the figures are important, we can’t neglect that, but it’s probably not the most important piece, you know, like you mentioned the client experience and you know, actually just knowing that they’ll be okay. is really what What stands out from me from that?

Ricardo Teixeira
Absolutely, exactly. And I think it’s, I think what we would really enjoy across the business, myself included, is there’s opportunity to spend time with our clients. Pandemic included. I mean, we do a lot of virtual get togethers with clients on small groupings as well as large groupings, but it’s about just having conversations. And as they will you get to hear the stories of what’s actually happening in their lives,

Louis van der Merwe
your recorder, and thank you so much for sharing your story videos story with other financial planners and financial planners in training, listening to you today, I want to wish you a wonderful success in what’s coming next for BDO. And also congratulate you on you know, getting getting to this, there’s a lot of people that look up to you. And thank you for making a positive evolution in financial planning.

Ricardo Teixeira
Thank you, Louis, thank you for the opportunity to think reflect on what we’re what we’re doing. And I think at the end of the day, I think what’s what’s valuable about suppose this platform and, and by industry, it’s about sharing, and it’s about talking what we are doing, and I think what’s so, so evident is that there’s just not there’s no rulebook, and there’s no guidebook to practicing financial planning or running a business or financial planning. And so these kinds of conversations are valuable just to glean new ways new thoughts of how we do it. But ultimately, I think we’re having said that there’s no rulebook it’s all about experimentation cautious experimentation and trial it’s not we want to get it right but keep keep moving forward with by experimenting

Louis van der Merwe
with that auto financial planning that just comes back and goes back. Recorder where can people reach you based if they want to get hold of you?

Ricardo Teixeira
Our website is www dot video wealth co zero and all my all my contact details in the company’s contact details are on our website. Brilliant. Thank you so much. Excellently lovely speaking to you. Bye bye.

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