Teams in 2020 are in vogue again. Financial firms want to acquire teams. It’s time to address the entire logistics of a team move. In the past there are two schools of thought when it comes to moving a team or practice group. First, it is much more difficult to get a firm to want the entire group. Second, a group is more difficult logistically to get all the pieces together in order to move. Therefore, though we want the group, we will pass! However, there is a common thread to these two schools of thought, which is the desire of a firm to want the group.
What constitutes a team?
You may think, “What an obvious question.” It’s not. Many people only think of a team as being current members of the same firm. I can tell you that I have been able to create teams of people from numerous financial firms and put them together for a team move. In certain circumstances, I have reunited previous co-workers. When thinking about a team move, consider looking for people outside of your firm.
Let’s address the two thoughts previously mentioned. As deals are getting slimmer and tighter, it appears that financial firms are looking for any advantage they can get over their competition. If a team of investment bankers, Bond Counsels, or even a Municipal Finance Practice Group is dominating a market; the firm that acquires that team steps into those roles immediately. There is an advantage for any law firm or investment banking firm that would see the value of the transition. The process of hiring a group is going to take longer; but trust me, the firms want you and your co-workers.
A Recruiter Reaching Out
The second one of logistics is more of a concern. This is where thorough communication, planning, and managing the process comes in. Let’s discuss how a team might come to the attention of a recruiter. There are basically two ways. The first way is when the recruiter calls them or conversely where they call the recruiter. In my experience of moving teams, it is usually the latter. Let’s discuss the prior one first. A recruiter could get a hold of a person on a team, and interest them in talking to the senior member of the team to judge the team’s “temperature on making a move” to different financial firms. If this occurs, the junior member must feel extremely comfortable with approaching the senior personnel. Today, more and more teams are having full communication with all their team members, regardless of rank or position within the team. Most teams have been together for a long time in order for each member to become aware of concerns that address the entire team. This is different from what I wrote about in 2015 where the junior members of the team usually would fear approaching the Managing Directors or Senior Counsel.
The Senior Member Contacting The Recruiter
However, experience has proven that the Senior member of a team usually initiates the call to the recruiter. When the senior members (whom everyone respects) can direct the process, the deals tend to close. This can only occur when the senior member of the team is revered by the rest of his/her team. As with any move, everyone needs to be on-board. Also, the senior member for the team must make sure they have complete control over the decision-making process and the individual team members. I’ve witnessed the occurrence of some members of the team deciding it is in their best interest to go along with the concept of the move; however, in the 11th hour, a team member decides to pick up the business that the other team members think they will move. This team member then remains at their current firm. Complete confidence in your team members is paramount in moving financial firms. If not, this can backfire. In my personal experience of moving teams and groups, dealing directly with the highest senior team member will allow all to be on the same page. Logistics, although sticky and cumbersome, are also handled. The result ends in a successful team move.
If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out to me for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email me at [email protected].
About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels. He can be reached on LinkedIn, at [email protected] or 760-477-1284.