Dan Taylor says his new program will shake up the financial services industry.

North Carolina Advisor Dan Taylor intends to change the investment world, one professional program at a time.

His latest-actually first-industry-shaking effort is called the Divorce Mediation Program (DMP) and it grows out of his "desire to escape the stifling regulation and increased commoditization of the financial services industry" and "a deep desire to bring an alternative structure to the family law system in the United States and Canada."

What the DMP does is give the advisor a blueprint for how to go about charging the client for an entirely new suite of services that he or she will render.

Taylor's marketing materials boast that "the DMP-structured via seminar, workbook, book (divorceconversation.com, Palisade Business Press, Watertown, Conn.) and Web site-provides a viable, new capability for individuals who specialize in financial planning, law, or other counseling industries. This process provides a profitable new capability for these individuals that may be of great value in today's economic times. In addition, it affords an economical and efficient divorce option that has industry-transforming potential."

Explains Taylor, "Most advisors might not think there is anything new under the sun. But that only means they are thinking inside of the box."

Taylor himself has used portions of his DMP program with great success, receiving large, upfront payments for his services that are not in any way associated with financial services fees or other compensation. He has done so by emphasizing the non-confrontational nature of his financial advisory skills and the advantage of a negotiated-rather than litigated-solution.

In one large case that he handled recently, Robert and Debra Davidson (not their real names) were in the second year of a divorce that had created nearly $150,000 in legal bills and immeasurable amounts of emotional anguish. Robert, a successful surgeon, and Debra, a master's level psychologist, had created over their 30-year marriage a $6 million marital estate with stocks, bonds, real estate, art, fine wines and various business interests.

Debra's attorney referred her to Taylor and his partner for a second opinion on a proposed settlement from her husband's attorney. Debra felt that her husband's attorney was manipulating him to prolong the litigation. Using a process he calls the Equitable Distribution Solution Tool, Taylor determined the proposal was not equitable.

Debra felt if they could sit down together without the lawyers, they might be able to work out their financial and marital situation. Taylor suggested the couple meet with their CPA, as well as Taylor and his partner. Each side would come with their best proposals and attempt to reach an agreement. At the meeting, Robert's proposal was 10% more generous than the EDS analysis had indicated and substantially more generous than his attorney's proposal.

The result: a fee to Taylor of $7,500 and, after a four-hour meeting, the couple had reached an agreement. Total elapsed time, 27 days.

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