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Shauna Mace SEI
Shauna Mace, SEI's head of practice management

SEI Launches Free Growth Lab

The firm is giving the business-building tools away for free to all advisors, with an eye toward building client communities around the platform.

SEI launched a free practice management hub Wednesday, with tools and resources designed to help independent advisors improve and grow their practices.

The SEI Growth Lab is available to all advisors, not just those who are already SEI clients; the firm hopes many of those advisors will become clients and join advisor communities on the platform.

“The Growth Lab is a collection of toolkits, very much open and available to anyone, typically comprised of two to three tools,” said Shauna Mace, who heads up practice management for SEI. The toolkits are designed to help advisors identify strengths and weaknesses, clarify goals and provide actionable approaches to achieve those goals that can be applied relatively quickly.

In its inaugural iteration, Growth Lab is focused on four central practice management themes: "Foundations for Growth" (business planning), "Lead Generation," "Opportunity Conversion" (messaging) and "Scaling with Technology." Created as an on-demand online experience for advisors, this “digital hub” offers assessment tools, downloadable worksheets, and videos with actionable information and processes for advisors to implement at their own firms, according to Mace.

Prior to joining SEI last year, Mace spent more than seven years with asset management firm FS Investments before launching a growth consulting and coaching business that she grew during the depth of the pandemic. She has been responsible for the rollout of the new SEI resource, along with John Anderson, head of SEI’s advisor services team and lead author of its practice management blog, Practically Speaking, and Stephanie Riley, a senior advisor business consultant.

“We have a number of different subject matter experts who are building out the modules,” Mace explained. “The other thing that we're doing that is really important to us is incorporating the voice of the advisor. We are very much looking to doing interviews and feedback sessions and using our growth community to make sure we're listening and hearing what advisors really need and want. We are co-creating with our advisor community so that we're focused on the topics and the formats that are most relevant to them.”

“I think this is going to be a useful tool for firms,” said Tim Golas, partner at Spurstone, a $100 million AUM registered investment advisor based in Connecticut. Spurstone was one of 19 firms on a growth advisory board directly involved in the development of the site, and Golas himself is featured in the "Articulate Your Value" module.

“Most firms are looking for ways to build and grow, and trusted resources for providing insights on that,” he said. “SEI has always been pretty good about providing authentic input, in my opinion. I think it'll be useful to have good resources that are coming from a genuine place. It's not really like a sales pitch, you know?”

The toolkits are not based on SEI-specific tech and don’t require any purchase or investment in SEI services; they have been developed for use by any advisor of any stripe at any stage or size.

As the resource grows and new content is added, however, the company expects to introduce “growth communities” that are specifically for its advisor clients. These forums are intended to provide opportunities to exchange ideas and share experiences and best practices. Mace said that SEI will also share proprietary research within these communities. 

Advisors on the open site can jump from topic to topic, skipping those of lesser interest or need. There is a roadmap for anyone wishing to take advantage of all modules in a more directed format.

New modules can be expected, said Mace. The next one to launch will be around attracting business through referrals.

“We just finished proprietary advisor research on how advisors are getting referrals. It’s very tactical, very actionable stuff. And we're building out a toolkit to package those findings and deliver them to advisors, to help them actually develop their referral strategy.”

Ultimately, Mace hopes that the Growth Lab will be a place to connect communities of advisors.

“That’s definitely the future that we’re building,” she said. “And we will continue to look, not just within the firm, but also outside of SEI for advisor feedback to inform what the future does ultimately hold.”

A publicly traded company, SEI offers technology and investment solutions across the financial services industry to corporations, financial institutions, professionals and ultra-high-net-worth families. SEI currently manages, advises or administers approximately $1.3 trillion in client assets.

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