Episode 247 Reduce Time and Costs During Your Advisory Firms Transitions With Jeremi Karnell


Welcome to top advisor marketing where you will learn how to become a prolific online influencer, attract more ideal clients and grow. Your practice brought to you by top advisor podcasting a done for you. podcasting solution built just for trusted advisers. And now, nor co up top advisor Marketing Kirk Glow and Matt Halloran. Hello and welcome to another top advisor marketing podcast today we're going to get hard core tack on everybody, and as many of you know, I absolutely love technology. It's super duper. Fun. I'm an early adopter probably earlier than I should be on some things and today, so we've got Jeremy Karnal. He's the president and Chief Operating Officer at true. Lyrics Inc.. And I'm really excited about learning from him. Because as I was preparing for the PODCAST, I realized I actually don't truly understand what truly does and how it works, but I have been told because he was referred to us that it's wicked important so I'm really excited to learn to Jeremy. Welcome to the show well. Thank you so much for inviting me happy to be here. Okay, brother, let's let's just dive. Right in what surfer stuff? What? What is your history? How did you get involved with this level of technology? So I am a serial entrepreneur by graduated college in Nineteen Ninety three which put me out of wonderful place in. Being able to start my career when the Internet became commercially available, so I thought I was originally going to be a lawyer and ended up going down this pat, because how often is it that generation actually gets to live through one of those periods I was naive enough to think that the industrial revolution was the last major economic evolution. We'd ever seen a lifetime and here we are graduated as an Undergrad and I said. This is amazing, so I paid. My Own have been a serial entrepreneur. I actually started my poor experience in the. The Marketing Lane and the Digital Marketing Lane in Nineteen ninety-three grew a firm from zero to about one hundred million dollars in gross revenue with offices, three or four offices in the United States London. Singapore Sao Paulo exited from that. In Two thousand twelve, and then went in created a new startup monetize some it out of Harvard in that was called autograph. It was an early stage multi tenant, SAS platform that allowed brands to identify connected monetize relationships with key influencers. We still that the polygraph media here in Austin Texas where I now live. That was back in two thousand fourteen, and in two thousand sixteen through a Mutual Acquaintance I met Tearing Mullen. Who was the one who I really identify this intellectual property that was being held by Investment Bank in. They were doing nothing with it, and so he wanted to pull together a team by the technology, and we launched officially officially in two thousand seventeen. Okay, so let's talk about the technology component, is so you? You get word SAS which is something that we hear all the time and according to you know your your Lincoln connection, which by the way everybody you need to connect with him on linked in. J. E. R.. E. M. is so make sure that you have in his name, but it says here it is a leading business intelligent SAS platform in the wealth management sector. So, what does that mean us? Software as service, okay, and and software service became very popular when web applications began to take over from traditional software that you know back in the eighties and nineties we're so used to installing on our laptops, and then installing updates, things of that nature web applications changed all of that where you could go online everything in the cloud, and and so and everything began to become. Become subscription base, and so that's really what software service means in, so we created a web application that really has to core audiences. One is is that we help wealth management enterprises, we define those independent broker dealers asset managers custodians alleged Jay's large multi office as we help them attract and retain advisory businesses while really reducing the time and costs related to transitions and transitions. covered. The Ganic and this industry in particular just everything seems to be in transition. We we're talking about from a recruiting standpoint from a practice management standpoint and helping ver- off the independent financial advisory firms grow their business and grow their intrinsic value from protecting that asset through an unplanned secession or emergency continuity event as well as then giving that asset, a path at exit or strategic acquisition through. Through a matchmaking service, so there's all of these critical transitions that happen throughout the life cycle of a financial advisory firm. We're helping the wealth management enterprise at work with them. Offer that primarily because we're in the midst of a great transition. You know this the echina-. The the demographic dynamics associated with wealth management industry, which over indexes on a personnel. That's really getting ready to retire, that's. The calculation is like thirty trillion dollars of assets under management that could transition during that time in the ten fifteen years, and so it it's really incumbent upon these management enterprises broker dealers, etc, that really want to see those assets under management be retained help. Those independent financial advisory firms can with them transition in a way that that really helps them be able to keep those assets at the same time, then the exchange in value for the independent financial advisory firm is helping their business grow, diagnosed the health and wellness that business, so that at the point of transition they're going to maximize their. So I mean transition also is where a lot of things go wrong Jeremy mean that's where there's all sorts of hey, and you got to contact declined five or six times because you screwed. Something up, I don't want you to give away your secret sauce to be honest. Don't think our listeners totally understand what the sauce was anyway. How, how do you do that? How does your? How does the platform help? Make it so that those hiccups don't happen as frequently. Yes not a problem, so so I said earlier that really looking to solve some of the transactional costs related to transitions in wealth management. So when I mean transactional, really it's time and money right, and so let's look at. Transitions across those those it through those lenses, so it's an expensive process. Right recruitment, internal broker dealers external recruiters. They take high fees percent of salary like five to ten percent in addition to collecting retainer unplanned secession, those could cost anywhere between ten fifteen, twenty thousand. To find a partner business broker and Business Booker typically charge ten percent conditions on the value that business plan session that could be anywhere between ten to one hundred thousand dollars, and usually involves other professional services, business brokers, attorneys, sometimes accountants, and then emanate right, emon. A two, thousand eighteen. I think Forbes indicated that. Two thousand seventeen saw the highest accumulation of emanate advisory fees for the top five which. which ended up being like point, two ten twenty billion dollars, and that was a record breaking, and so there's just an enormous amount of money that that is part of that process, and then it takes enormous amount of time, and so our platform does, is we? It's made up of four distinct modules so true lyrics is made up of a macho culture recruit. which is really focused on the at the enterprise level, the recruiting the marketing in the finance personnel, and it's really geared to helping them. Sort of throw away the excel spreadsheets have an online intake form in recruiting how that since then with their salesforce, and then be able to take that data and look at it against our date, we our database, we have seven, thousand, five, hundred independent financial advisory firms in the database, making it the largest of its kind in the United States, then they can look at those prospects against our industry benchmarks, and so once they close a prospect that prospect says he has on a move from this broker dealer to. This broker dealer then our next module, which they move into is called true performance, and that then moves into the practice management group. The practice management group uses true performance. It's set step intake process we diagnose as I said earlier, the health and wellness of that business through offering that fifty different key performance indicators, which includes four standard valuations and give the practice manager and the firm owner, a quantitative ability to be able to see where in their business they need to focus on to drive traffic value of that business, so at the time of an exit They're going to maximize that. Then the last two modules are made up in focus solely on the secession. Planning groups those are emerging. Faster than I ever thought would occur like almost every one of our major enterprise customers in the a lot of them, they all almost all of them, dedicated secession groups within them, and so we have what's called true continuity which we just launched. Ironically the week that we all were told to shelter in place because of the pandemic. This is the irony I it's it's beyond me. And so true continuity allows firms to be able to have a secure online vault that allows them to store. All of the different unimportant documents related to emergency continuity. It's tied to a workflow, so you identify who your continuity contact is. That continuity contact can unlock the vault unlock the bulk it sends a workflow email and automated emails out to everyone that has. Be notified about that their their lawyer. Their business partners, the the independent broker dealer custodian asset management's that they want to know about that, and and it also then because true performance ha is able to diagnose the health and wellness that firm it puts time date stamp on the over wall value in health, and well. It's that asset at the kind. That locker was unlock. The final module is true performance, and that's actually the only one that hasn't been launched officially yet. We're still in development of that. It's earmark to launch actually in twenty twenty we were pushing to have launched in q one until the whirlwind sideways, and so we decided to. Really take our time with that and and make sure all of the business requirements dialed in before we get that launch but that's a online matchmaking solution, and it's really geared towards private matchmaking within Wealth Management Enterprises, so if you're a Sitara or l., p. l., adviser, group or Cambridge. It's you really want to be able to see plans to sessions. Happen within your network of affiliated advisory firms. That's what that helps it. Each module stage of the life cycle from recruiting again to practice management. But unplanned implants. Okay, well, let's talk about so. This is the top adviser marketing podcast when you're about the analytics or really taking a a you know the pulse of the firm in that phase two right How does marketing play in that I mean. Do you ask those questions? And if so, how do you provide solutions to them so that the advisers can focus on what they should be focusing? Focusing accepts anything about what you've done here. Is Your once again? Removing some of the noise? Some of the frustration that financial advisers have, so they can focus on what they do best in our podcast world We want to be able to make sure that they're also able to market more successfully which we believe in fact, I, just interviewed David Grou- junior firms. Accession Resource Group. And one of the things that David had said, was you know a practices valued higher through transition? If they have a solid marketing plan that provides them consistent. You know ideal client, so help me with that Brienne. Yes so we're not focused on that side of the industry, the demand generation side of the industry. This is more internal affirm optimization from a business standpoint and but. But you can do it through this Lens, so we are interested in ensuring that the firm positions, it's brand in his able to market itself effectively to potentially strategic partners or any other place that where they're planning to make a move, so this is less about sort of beat. AC- demand generation. This is more about B. Two B. Demand Generation, one of the things that I really like where I see truly. Value Values that and I've said this multiple times internally and and declines as well as that. It's the system that allows firms to be able to generate or at least convey positive bias. When I mean by that is, you might have heard the life insurance company Health Iq. It may have seen this in your facebook feed. They're the ones that have the ads that say if you run at eight minute mile or each cycle fifty miles a week. You can save money on your life insurance. They do that because through this process with them, and because I'm a cyclist and I you straw vote. Track my cycling. Generally cycle between sixty to one hundred twenty miles a week and I share that data with a life insurance company. It was able to get a really aggressive quote because of that and they're doing that. Because health insurance companies determine their rates, basically on the lowest common denominator right there risk full really determines how much people pay, so if you're a health insurance company that is able to only attract the healthiest. Then you're able. You're going to be able to pass those savings onto them population and so I view true lyrics for an individual. Individual or an independent financial advisory firm as the Strada or the Apple Watch that is able to give you that traffic data that you're able to share them with a independent broker dealer that you want to switch to or affirm that you want to merge with to be able to show and be transparent about the health and wellness of your firm. There's not a lot of systems that do that, and so on one those in even if your, even if your numbers in our system, even if your key performance indicators aren't the best. That actually secondary from the fact that you went through the process to begin with if you're serious enough especially in this industry and Industry that's made up of really lifestyle businesses, and that's that's the challenge. That's faith that the industries faced with right now. You've got this great transition. Massive amount of baby boomers potentially are going to retire in the next fifteen years a massive amount of boomers that didn't really treat their business as a real business for. For a long time, and so this is a path to be able to start to do that. To take to be able to convey to any any player or any partner that you're wanting to engage with that. You're taking your business seriously that you've been able to assess the health and wellness that here's the data shows where both on thriving as well as where I might need assistance, and and that then I believe put you in different. Sort of population of maybe other firms that haven't taken those steps that don't have that information that aren't sincere about really optimizing their business for that critical transition time. So I always go back to the marketing mind right, and so a part of that is just because that's just how my brain works, but but it also works with. How do we reduce the? And the fears and the. Discomfort of financial services professionals so that they can focus on what they truly focus on. So if I'm acquiring a practice right, so if I'm going through all of this and I'm looking at the health and wellness over practice acquiring because there's going to be a lot of those here in the next ten years me, there are a lot of people are getting out of the Biz right and if you have the opportunity to say, oh, my Gosh, well, this is this is a much healthier practice. This here are the things that they need to work on part of my unique ability. Your competence than when you go to start marketing to your new audience is going to be way higher because you have a much better. Looking under the and so Jeremy, so that's been one of the issues that I've had. David and I had a really fun conversation about this on our last podcast. was you know really asked about? How do you look under the hood right and they have a very comprehensive question, but you're talking about looking under the hood. You're talking about like doing A. Plug in diagnostic on your car and really getting a good. Is that a good analogy? So so that's a that's a great analogy, and that's where we are right now where we're headed is taking that a couple of altitudes up for several altitudes up where we're looking to really zillow FI, the entire session space within wealth management right I think that's one of the things that zillow succeeded. APP At expedia succeeded at that glass door expedient. exceeded. That was making. Common Knowledge Common. And, so yes, right now in order for someone to really extract value out of our system, they long in they go through seven intake process they get these detailed diagnostics and they have a road map on how to increase the value of their firm as well as then that then it's then tied to an emergency continuity solution, so all of that data's than associated with the locker, and all of that data is then associated with your match profile. Right what we WANNA do and we're headed and what will probably be able to roll out by the end of the year is? Really take that from out. Take that from. An experienced. That's right now. Inside the four walls of true Lennox. In. You have to subscribe to see to really becoming more transparent we're. We have a database of seven thousand five hundred. Independent financial advisory firms were able to make pretty accurate estimates on the overall value of the entire independent industry, and so pulling together more public pages dislike, Zilog it about the the overall value of your house and it's an estimate generally always lower than what you think it is, but it's they've got what public landing pages associated with every house in the United States related to what that looks like given the amount of transitions that are about to happen in this space. Given that space that has an overdependence on consultants and professional services to assist with those transitions. We're headed towards the path of. Again that mantra of making uncommon knowledge common, and so if we can help the industry, elevate and be able to understand where everyone sits, and from an estimate standpoint allow those people to be able to not only see that be able to connect being able to work on that together. Then we see that it's essentially being a big driving force in the. In the in the coming soon Nami of It's GonNa. BE A. Wave isn't it man? So you use the word subscribers, and one of the things that I'm sure you've experienced as much as anybody. WHO's infant Fintech at all is is adoption right and A lot of advisors are older on the scale and some of them aren't as tech savvy. So how are you making the interface or the process as convenient as something like zillow so that you're not gonna get that technological resistance. Well I even have data around the swing, bought the intellectual property from the Investment Bank back in two thousand sixteen, and launched it in two thousand seventeen. We launched it as is, and that was a a soft, basically a web application that really wasn't optimized for the best experience and me with Mike Marking background in especially within my marketing background. I think I've boughten I bought three or four user. USABILITY agencies globally in my lifetime, so I I used to have a staff of fifteen PhD's that used to work for me around this? And so I take it very seriously, and it was one of the things that always bugged me about the Ip when we bought it I, said. This is one it's. It doesn't even meet current standards to given our population of hoover dealing with it's going to make things even worse and then three weren't online We offer online tool. This is our our brand is tied with. With that experience, so it's not a website in the application. It's not just about the storefront and about the sign age. It's really about everything about what's on the shelf in them. What you bring to the register and then how you use that product afterwards, all of that is so intrinsically tied together with online business that we had a really take a step back and redesign the entire experience and we did that we did that from the middle of two thousand seventeen through the middle of two thousand eighteen, and in that timeframe, our monthly reoccurring revenue was probably like. One thousand five hundred dollars a month when we launched the new experience in the middle of two thousand eighteen between the middle of two thousand eighteen in the middle of two thousand nineteen, and this again is purely driven really around an enhanced user interface that made the application a lot easier to use as well as having an enterprise focus. We went from fifteen. M are two hundred twenty thousand dollars a month in monthly reoccurring revenue, so the data right there tells you. Enough. So that drove the demand but but we still really require a lot of work with our enterprise customers, the practice management group in assessing Chris to educate all of all of the users on the value of the platform helped them in many cases in areas, in which they potentially still get stuck, and then throughout the entire thing. Make sure that we have A. A customer success team that is on really ready six able to answer any specific question. Anyone has any given time and we've done I. think a very good job at that. Last year we ended we. We measure our net promoter score on a quarterly basis and seventy five is considered world class. We ended two thousand nineteen at a seventy, and that is unheard of. In financial services yeah so. It doesn't mean we're out of the woods, I, mean it's it's a constant. It's it's. It's definitely a journey. And so we still have a lot more. We know we need to do well. Let let's Let's let's a pause and take a look at your journey a little bit more right, so you said the Enron, habits cycler right What what what turns you on about that? so I used to be a track and field die in. Back in the eighties and early nineties I grew up in in Northern Indiana I. Think you if I. Read Your Info vilely. my mind. Father actually went to Western this again, and I spent a half my childhood in Kalamazoo. Guy In so so anyway during this time I, was big traffic guy, and then I got into rowing in college, and did a lot of rowing after college, which I loved a, and then had my soul startup experience, and married late, and had my first obviously my only marriage in my. I think we got married. When I was forty right, we met when I was like thirty seven are we had our first children when we're forty forty one there now obviously seven nine years old, but being in my early to mid forty S, and in my third startup. I realized that I had stopped working out. I needed to find something to do to get back into the state that used to be in, and my wife's thankfully bought me a Peleton for Christmas three years ago, and that happened at the same time that we had a neighbor move into a next door, actually a financial adviser who had just retired at forty eight years old and now decided to spend his retirement cycling, and so he heard I gotTa Peleton. He was all about cycling so I got a road by showed me the ropes and. What happened so now with with being a serial entrepreneur I'm sure that there are missteps that you have made. So, let's talk about some of the things that you've learned. Because a lot of our listeners, a you know have obeys outside business activities right. They have other businesses that they're involved in. And when you look back on on your cereal entrepreneurship, what are some of the biggest lessons that you think that you've learned that? Our audience could find benefit in. So one is to mean as an entrepreneur. You're going to embarrassingly have successes and failures I've had both. In the most dramatic ways possible like the best successes and I've got worse failure and one of the things that I've learned in that whole experience is really to not be so hard on myself about that. That's probably been the biggest lesson I've learned as an entrepreneur that with seeing both the good times and the bad. Rich really during those bad times. That I I originally took those failures personally. Versus viewing them as an invaluable education right, and indeed those times more than any other times it was those times that played such an instrumental role in all of my successes today, so that that took a while I mean I started for narrow career when I was twenty three years old here I am forty nine and so. The twenty-three-year-old Jeremy that twenty eight year old German thirty five year old Jeremy men ended. I struggle a lot with. Trying to rationalize failure in here I am now closing fifty and I'm like. Why did I ever spend the time stressing about that? So. To to to begin to wrap up today's podcast And before the opportunity for for people to find out how to connect with you an NBA involved with with your system here You've obviously learn from those mistakes right and so you. What are some of the things? If if somebody says you Jeremy. What's the Best Business Book you've read her or Jeremy What's the best tedtalk you've ever heard her? What do you find? Is that one thing that you give away like all the time as that one thing that you think was a huge key component of your success. So I would urge everyone to read the infinity game by Simonson. And that is a business book that really is focused on the idea of stay in the game. Always stay in the game. Run Your Business so that you've got the runway to stay in the game. That's all that's what it's about so. if you need to make hard decisions about your ex need to make hard decisions about the financial situation of your firm so that by yourself more time. Do that you have to do that I failed to do that in some early start ups in those. That's what drove a lot of my I would say a lot of failures that I had is that I didn't have that mindset that the whole thing. The whole point of the startups is to play the game in play the game until you win, and you have to make every decision you possibly can do keep yourself in that and I think that book is is a Bible on that whole topic so I would highly recommend it well. So my follow up question to that is. How do you win? Right so. Winning mean to you, I, mean you've you've said that you've you know you've had missed up so so with this system that you guys have truly what what is a win for you? How do you know that you've crossed that? Finish line, and you're like dude. I did it. So I've already won in some respects, so half of it has one I. Wake up every morning. Not Believing that I make people pay me to do what I do. That's half the battle is is doing that you do that? That's the secret to life. You just like if you're doing what you do and you do it well and people pay you to do that, that's i. that's a win in my book now. I would love to see exit with True Lennox if we get acquired by A. Huge, wealth management enterprise or big tech platform, the wealth management space than that obviously adds the financial security that everyone's looking to have. That affords me more time to spend with my wife and children. Then that's the other side of the equation is spending more time with family and having the freedom to do that I would say. The third leg of that stool would be then to give back to the community as much as I. Possibly can so again being happy with what you do spending. Spending time with your family and having the resources to do that so and and then being able to give back as much as people have given me throughout. My whole life is is really what I would see a success well Almenda that brother, that's absolutely fantastic and and I think that's truly what the majority of people are looking for so now if somebody wants to reach out to you and in get involved in intro lyrics, what is the best way for that you the them to do that? Just go to true dot com. There is a contact form there that people could fill out. Get sent both to me as well as my business partner Gary Mullen. WHO's the CEO? We would get that immediately. You could find me on Lincoln Twitter facebook social platforms I'm there again. It's J R. E M I. How, parents cited to spell my name, which I'm. Grateful for 'cause it's unique. But but you can look me up Jeremy Cornell on any of those platforms, still free to connect with me in any way shape or form Mike email is Jeremy at Trulia cst dot. COM So. Jeremy that. We have links in our show notes for all of that. Thanks Dude. This was a fascinating to me. I hope that the the line of questioning that I had for. You was good, but I do WanNa say that my favorite question which I have not asked you that to wrap up today's podcast is. Is there something I should have asked you because I do prepare for these and I WANNA. Make sure that I'm covering all of my basis. Were there any questions I should've asked you that I didn't that. You think our audience share. So. That's my. So. Yeah, so I would. I would ask. Why this is important for enterprises why what we're doing is so important for the wealth management, industry and specifically wealth management enterprises. I was what I said earlier about the fact that our systems both reduced time and cost related transitions. Take a look at as well as anyone in the front office or any executive of part of these enterprises that is facing. All of these transitions as a potential massive impact on your business, look at your systems look at the time in the costs associated with the traditional way. You're going about managing transitions. From recruiting practice management always session. And if that's not an if anything, the pandemic taught us. It's how important digital platforms are in keeping businesses sustainable, even through rough times than I would highly recommend that when you go through that assessment. Look at Rolodex and look at new ways to be able to manage Processes that have traditionally been pretty professionally services trigger, and and if that can help, both you retain both attract. Grow as well as than retain those assets. That's the win so. Fantastic Jeremy Thank you so much for being a guest on the show. You got it really appreciate being here right, Journey Karnal, president and Chief Operating Officer of True Links Inc a make sure you go to dot com. We'll make sure that we have all of those links in the show notes, and also if you haven't picked up Simon Sinek book, please do it's unbelievable and can be game changing and philosophically changing on how you truly look at where you are, and where you WanNa, go if you have not subscribe to the podcast. podcast make sure you click subscribe now, but blow that we every time we come out with a new podcast directly on. You're listening device and finally if you have any guest, ideas or topics that you'd like for us to cover here on the top adviser Marketing Podcast, all you have to do is email me Matt at top adviser Dot. com so for everybody truly and everybody here atop advisor marketing we'll see on the other side of the Mike very soon. Are you ready to change the way you communicate with your clients? Are you tired of being the best kept secret in your area? Learn how to become a prolific online influence, her attract more ideal clients and grow your business. Contact us today and see what the power podcasting can do for your business could on the contact US link on our website at top advisor, marketing dot, com and set up a call to learn more. Follow us on Lincoln facebook for more, updates and information. This was brought to you by Irish dot. XYZ A platform, helping financial professionals become better in business and life through new media and new voices. visit them and learn more at Iris Dot XYZ.

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