Communicating Your Clearing Platform Decision
Once you’ve completed your analysis and selected a clearing provider, it’s time to implement the broad communication component of your change management strategy to define how the decision will be delivered and received by your various teams. Your communication plan should consider all audiences (clients, vendors, sales force, home office, regulators). There are many appropriate ways to communicate, to gather and monitor feedback, questions, concerns and additional risks or issues so that your firm can achieve the best outcome.
Before You Execute the Communication Plan
Your clearing partner will help provide some key milestones and a target clearing conversion date. Prior to the conversion, performing a thorough risk assessment around your people, processes and systems will help you anticipate and put into place plans to mitigate risks that may arise during the conversion. A thoughtful approach to key decisions around products, systems and tools, commissions, fees and other organizational impacts will impact your risk assessment and mitigation tactics. Once you know what decisions will need to be made, prioritize and schedule them, and set expectations for approximate resolutions.
Determine who will communicate which messages, how frequently, and by what methods.
Executing Your Communication Plan
- To help make the transition as smooth as possible and help limit attrition rates you must achieve as much enthusiasm for the change from your employees as possible. Your executive leadership should deliver the first message – Why Change? Explain the business case for the change, and what’s in it for them.
- Provide the next level of leadership with regular updates and progress talking points to keep the information timely and accurate. Zero or limited information will create a vacuum to be filled by the office grapevine, which often leads to chaos, ill-will and decreases confidence.
- Keep folks informed and release key decisions as soon as they are fully-vetted and confirmed. More regular frequent communications should occur the closer you get to the conversion.
- Track conversion metrics and report out. Give credit to those who contributed. Celebrate the accomplishment!
About the Authors:
Pete Bowman has extensive executive and management experience advising on Brokerage Platform and Correspondent Clearing Alternatives. He began his career 35 years ago at Wheat, First Securities where he was a member of the “Management Fast Track Program”. Pete worked in all facets of Brokerage Operations and took on various supervisory and management positions. Ultimately he was appointed Director of Operations of First Clearing, the clearing arm and subsidiary of Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Advisors). Pete expanded his career by joining the Correspondent Clearing Services division of Wachovia Securities as a Segment Director, where he oversaw top tier client relationship management and assumed numerous roles in Product Development and Sales. At Oyster, Pete created the Brokerage Clearing and Platform Advisory Services.
Pete McAteer has senior level management experience in coaching, consulting and leading large programs and operations teams; driving significant, impactful change management, process improvement and implementation efforts. He possesses a deep background with over 25 years of experience with Fortune 500 companies working in International Quality Manufacturing and Financial Services industries. Pete has spent the past 18 years in the financial services industry (brokerage and retail banking) in quality service delivery, program leadership, PMO governance and operations leadership roles. He has led complex organizational/operational integrations, change management and implementations, client service programs, regulatory responses/remediations and process improvement efforts. He has a proven track record of success serving as executive management consultant, Program Manager and PMO lead. Pete is especially skilled at building strong trusting relationships across all levels and functions across organizations.