"First, the rep may find she has opportunities to help a client but doesn't want to take the time to learn how to implement them," he says. "We pay the rep a finder's fee of 25% of the client revenues and our back office does the work. Second, let's say the rep has a great relationship with the client but not the ability to create proposals. We do the heavy lifting, putting together a proposal for their clients. We do conference calls and provide support and share the revenues 50-50.

"Finally, the rep can choose to build his own alliance and create his own model for collaboration; CSP will then act as a coach and take just 25% of the revenues."

Ellen says about half of CSP members choose the second option, typically planning for business owners and/or individuals with $10 million or more of net worth. The revenues are often $100,000 or more from a middle-market company client, he adds. Those who select the third option, though, are entitled to use CSP's relationships, some of which may even be in the advisor's local community.

"We show them our alliance model, meet once a month, look at their client base and figure out where they need help," he says. "About 20% of my own new business comes in from relationships in once-a-month meetings." He adds that he was recently introduced to a $350 million public company this way.

"A lot of advisors look at these demanding planning situations as being overwhelming. If their practices are successful, CSP is a great way to enhance what they're already doing. They can almost always be doing more for their business owner clients."
Not only is Ellen's CSP doing good things for advisors, he and his family spend considerable time doing good for others in need. As part of a program he calls "Turn Kindness On," his son collected $1,400 in three days from kids at school, just $1 of which will bring 40 days of clean water to an African orphanage. For efforts like these, Ellen was named "Humanitarian of the Year" by the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 2008. He also promotes financial literacy in classroom conversations and on his blog at www.kidsfinancecoach.com.

To the extent that we, as advisors, achieve success for ourselves, our families and our clients, we are all stars. Yet, some stars shine a tiny bit brighter for the work they do to further the industry and make the world a better place. Brett Ellen is an example of such an advisor.

First « 1 2 3 » Next