Business continuity planning includes succession planning as well as disaster preparedness. The recent tornados around the country wiped out whole towns in some cases. Imagine that your home or business was lost along with all of your records. What then? Are you prepared for that? Certainly, things would not be easy. In our case, most of our documentation is stored electronically and we have a mirrored server in case the one in our Asheville office is destroyed. Our tapes are backed up daily and stored in a separate location. Also, key employees can work from home and we have the ability to have calls forwarded to our Charlotte office. Remember, we do not have custody of client assets; they are in your name at your broker, and you can always call your broker directly for information or assistance concerning your account.
For succession planning, Parsec has a policy that any employee can buy stock in the firm. A business that is employee-owned typically has low turnover and good morale. We all have the ability to have a stake in the game. Consequently, there is an interest in seeing the firm remain viable and profitable for decades to come. We, like many other firms across the country, have employees over age 60 who will be retiring some time during this decade, and that includes me. Fortunately, we also have some dynamic advisors in their 40s and 30s to continue the business – and they are all shareholders. Our policies dictate a uniformity of client deliverables with checks and testing to ensure compliance. Therefore, we are all giving similar advice to clients – depending on your own unique situation. Consequently, the transition from one advisor to another should not be eventful.
Barbara Gray, CFP®