Welcome back to the 223rd episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Marianela Collado. Marianela is the CEO and majority shareholder of Tobias Financial Advisors, an independent RIA based in Plantation, FL, that services over $500 million of assets for just under 300 households.
What’s unique about Marianela, though, is that she is the next generation owner and leader of Tobias Financial, having successfully navigated an unexpectedly accelerated succession plan laid out by the founder, Ben Tobias, and in the years since has grown the firm from a one-person practice into a business with multiple lead-advisors and an eye towards developing a subsequent succession plan for the next, next generation… all while intentionally keeping the Tobias Financial name.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Marianela’s deep background and expertise in tax planning for ultra-high net worth individuals gave her instant credibility when coming into a practice where clients had only ever worked with the founder, how her vision for building out a larger advisory business with the capacity to serve more clients didn’t end out being a roadblock for the succession plan since she and Ben shared the same foundational values around client service and advice, and the subtle changes that Marianela made around client experience and branding ahead of the final execution of the agreement that helped foster a sense of natural transition from the client’s perspective.
We also talk about how Marianela identified early on after joining the firm that, in order to create a solid foundation for growth later on, she would have to formalize a development program to attract and retain talent, the tangible lesson everyone at the firm learned shortly thereafter about why a succession plan is such an essential element of servicing clients well, what it was like when Marianela realized the gravity of the role she assumed after she was handed the company checkbook and instantly responsible for her staff’s livelihoods, and how that led her to hire someone else to run the day-to-day operations of the firm so that she could focus on leading the business’s growth and its client service.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Marianela shares how she set out to create a cohesive culture within the firm, align employee compensation with firm goals, and formalized her advisors’ organization structure by implementing Angie Herber’s Diamond Team model, how she fosters relationships with CPAs and attorneys by conducting “sound checks” to get feedback on planning strategies she’s implementing with her own clients (and, in turn, making those outside centers of influence shine in the eyes of their own clients), and the industry recognition that Tobias Financial has earned for building out a diverse team of advisors and support staff (and the key insights around diversity and inclusion that helped Marianela create a structure to achieve such diversity with her team).
So whether you’re interested in how Marianela executed a successful succession plan, how she’s managed to 2x the size of the firm she took over in a little over three years, or how she’s been able to build such a diverse team, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast with Marianela Collado.