The Cash Opportunity for Advisors series:
Seven steps to a successful rollout
May 15, 2023
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
As we conclude The Cash Opportunity for Advisors series, we’ve shown that cash matters and why having a solution is important for each and every client. The difference between the firm that takes a strategic approach to rolling out Flourish Cash and the firm that takes an ad hoc approach could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest not earned by your clients. In the final article of the series, we provide advisors with a seven step process for getting a strong cash management program up and running in your firm.
Laying the foundation to drive results
Although it’s easy to get started with Flourish Cash,1 firms need to take a structured approach to be truly successful. “Advisors are great at doing things within the portfolio,” explained Flourish President Ben Cruikshank. “However, when it comes to one-off, advisor-led initiatives, even simple projects can fail to gain momentum when firms don’t approach them systematically.”
Over the years, we’ve seen firms who have successfully implemented Flourish Cash into daily operations and have invited thousands of clients, with hundreds of millions of dollars in the program and millions in interest earned by clients. And then there are firms who are initially excited to offer the solution to clients, but fail to move past internal testing due to a lack of coordination.
Unsuccessful rollouts are often due to three key missteps:
- Lack of ownership: When firms don’t intentionally select an owner who can navigate both the client experience and technology, or worse, when firms don’t select an owner at all.
- Insufficient alignment on use-cases: When firms don’t align on client use cases, how Flourish Cash differs from options at their custodian, and how to talk to clients about Flourish.
- Not engaging client services, support, and operations: The disconnect that takes place when advisors are trained, but support functions haven’t been brought up to speed on Flourish.
“If you show advisors the next new thing and never follow up, you’ll wind up with uneven adoption across advisors and will only reach a handful of clients,” said Cruikshank. “It’s about building internal consensus. The best firms put in place a simple rollout plan and then execute, allowing them to easily reach clients and drive real results for the firm.”
7 steps to a successful rollout
Success in rolling out Flourish Cash comes when firms take a tactical, professional approach to rolling out a cash-management offering to their clients. While every firm is structured differently, we’ve identified seven key steps taken by firms who get it right:
1. Appoint an owner internally: Ensure that you have a single person who is responsible for overseeing the adoption of Flourish Cash. This is often a CIO, although we increasingly see roles like Head of Financial Planning, Head of Advisor Experience, or Head of Growth. The internal owner will lead the rollout and measure the impact. We also recommend that every firm selects a day-to-day point of contact, often in client services or operations, given Flourish is in part a technology solution that will require some management.2. Determine the use cases: Understand where advisors should use Flourish Cash and where they shouldn’t use it. We typically see advisors using Flourish Cash for:
- Clients with held-away cash
- Typically money that's sitting in checking and savings accounts
- Emergency funds, "sleep at night money," short-term liabilities, etc.
- Clients with $0-$2MM in cash
- While there's not a hard cut-off, Flourish Cash works extremely well with balances from $1 to $1-2MM. If someone has $25MM in cash, other options are very competitive
- Client profiles:
- Typically households between $0-10MM net worth
- Clients that are comfortable opening accounts online
- Secondary use case: accommodated cash positions that you’re holding for a client at no cost that you want to get off the books
- Clients with held-away cash
Conversely, advisors typically do not use Flourish Cash for the following cases:
- Extremely large cash balances
- For a $20MM cash endowment, for example, there are other portfolio solutions
- Clients who aren't comfortable with online accounts
- Cash you are charging on that’s at the custodian
- Extremely large cash balances
3. Align on a rollout plan: The internal Flourish owner should create a rollout strategy, which typically covers:
- Existing clients: Will advisors discuss held-away cash with every existing client in the next quarterly meeting?
- Adding Flourish Cash to the “new client” onboarding process
- Reaching prospects
- Engaging centers of influence
- Determining if Flourish Cash will be added to a newsletter, the website, or other marketing initiatives
Rollout strategies can be as simple as committing to discussing cash with every client during the next quarterly meeting, but it’s critical to align and then set the plan down on paper.
4. Train advisors and support staff: Once you’ve appointed an owner, determined use cases and aligned on a rollout strategy, it’s now time to train your advisors. Schedule an advisor training session with the Flourish team to get advisors up to speed. Ensure that your client services and operations teams are looped in, potentially scheduling a separate training so that they know how to support advisors by prefilling applications, enabling integrations, and setting up standing instructions with existing brokerage accounts.
Immediately prior to or following training, your internal owners should invite all advisors and support staff to create advisor accounts with Flourish, encouraging them to invite themselves and test out the experience firsthand.
5. Enable integrations: Ensure that Flourish Cash fits into your existing workflows by enabling direct integrations with eMoney, Orion, Envestnet | Tamarac, Redtail, and SS&C Black Diamond.
6. Engage marketing: Consider creating a plan to share the news with clients. This could include highlighting cash as a topic – including opportunities to earn more – in your quarterly newsletter, sharing on social media, or highlighting on your website. While marketing will not replace one-on-one conversations, it helps to build excitement and familiarity. Flourish provides advisors with marketing templates in the Advisor Resource Center and our team is happy to engage with you to help spread the word.
7. Periodically review results: Like all initiatives, top firms review results on a periodic basis. On a monthly or quarterly basis, review which advisors are using Flourish Cash and which ones haven’t gotten started, how much cash clients have deposited, and whether integrations are functioning properly. Over time, assess if you’ve accomplished your goals, and discuss how and where Flourish fits into your financial planning process going forward.
Making it a reality
Over the years, we’ve seen both large and small advisory firms succeed with Flourish Cash, helping clients collectively earn millions in interest and discovering millions of dollars in cash held away from the firm. We’ve also seen firms go wrong, struggling to even get started. The difference is often the very act of coming up with a plan, contrasted with firms that do not plan at all.
Our business representatives would be happy to work with your firm to craft a rollout strategy that works for you and your clients.
“We’d love it if more firms came to us and asked for help in creating a plan to bring Flourish Cash to clients,” said Cruikshank. “Ultimately, this should be a lightweight and fast initiative, but taking the time to do it right could be a meaningful step towards helping your clients reach their goals.” Reach out to your Flourish representative if you’d like to learn more.
Flourish builds technology that empowers financial advisors, improves financial lives and retirement outcomes, and delivers new and innovative investment options to advisors. Today, the Flourish platform is used by more than 550 wealth management firms representing more than $1.5 trillion in assets under management. Flourish is wholly-owned by MassMutual. For more information, visit www.flourish.com.