Collier succession planning

From Admin to President: How One Financial Advisor Took on His Father’s Business

June 26, 2018

LPL Financial

Written on a wall in financial advisor Brandon Collier’s office is a life lesson he learned years ago from his father: “Focus on making the biggest impact and everything else will fall in line.”

“It’s so true. My dad never lost his focus. He was always present, and he made an impact, both at home and at work,” said Brandon Collier, one of Forbes magazine’s 2017 Top Next Generation Wealth Advisors.

Brandon Collier was just 15 years old when his father, Jim Collier, joined LPL Financial in 1995, creating Denver-based Collier Financial. The younger Collier started there in 2004 following a discussion with his father on ways to fast-track his career. Business was growing, and Jim Collier needed a successor.

“I came in right away, got my Series 7 and started learning the business from the bottom up. I did a lot of the administrative office work and client reviews. It was a great way to understand what clients are invested in and why,” Brandon Collier said. “It was trial by fire, which I’m thankful for now. I don’t think I could have built out the team we have now without having worked all the positions in the office.”

Together, they grew their business significantly by following the same guiding principles Jim Collier leaned on when he founded the business: Be personal, provide exceptional service, and always put the client’s interest first. “Brandon is about enhancing services, not totally changing everything to conform to a new standard,” Jim Collier said.

Brandon Collier admits working with his dad was “not all rainbows and smiles.” There were tough times as they transitioned from the father/son mentorship to a genuine business partnership. But it was also a blessing. “Most fathers and sons don’t have this experience.  I’m so thankful for the 13 years we had working together and how we understand each other as men. That time made me exponentially a better advisor and father than I would have been without it,” said Brandon Collier.

Jim Collier retired Oct. 31, 2017. Using the “dimmer switch” approach, they began the transition about three years before announcing his retirement. The younger Collier took more of a leadership role within the firm, and often taking calls for his father, and they relied heavily on succession planning resources provided by LPL Financial. “All our longer term clients knew Brandon since they started working with me, some over 30 years ago. I love how one long-term client shared, “I watched Brandon grow up by seeing pictures of him in your office. I’m sure I’ll be just fine in his care,’” Jim Collier said.

The younger Collier is now president of Collier Financial and is proud of a career that provides the ideal work-life balance so he can be there for his wife Niki and children, Hayden and London, who play hockey and dance. “I was heavily involved in sports growing up, and my Dad was always there. This industry, and the independence of owning his own firm, allowed him to never miss a game.”

When asked about his legacy, the patriarch deflected the question and put the focus back on his son. “My legacy is important but so is the legacy Brandon is building daily with the client families he now serves,” Jim Collier said. “I know I am missed and appreciated – that’s enough for me. It’s time for Brandon to shine.”

Related articles:
A Father’s Reward: Daughters Taking Over His Financial Practice

Longtime Advisor Prepares to Transition ‘Ministry in Finance’ to Son

The Forbes ranking of Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of wealth advisors born in or after 1980. Advisors are interviewed by telephone and in person to evaluate service models, investing process, experience levels and integrity. Additional factors considered include compliance record, client retention, revenues produced for their firms and assets managed. Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receives a fee in exchange for rankings.