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Ep. #21 – The Ins & Outs of Succession Planning for Financial Advisors with Karen Jessey & Neill Turner


Many business partnerships begin with two people coming together with like-minded business ideas.

In the beginning things are great, both parties get along well and the creative juices flow. Eventually a legal partnership is formed.

However, once the business is formed, do you know how your partner deals with setbacks and success? Do you know how they deal with money? What about hiring employees?

In this episode, Referral Coach Bill Cates meets with financial advisors Karen Jessey & Neill Turner from Strategic Wealth Partners. They discuss how to successfully navigate the ins and outs of a business partnership, as well as specific considerations around succession planning for financial advisors. They share the process they’ve taken to build Neill’s acumen as the successor of the business as Karen moves towards retirement.

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Karen & Neill discuss:

  • Why Karen decided to start thinking about the succession of her business
  • The importance of having difficult conversations with your business partner
  • The decision-making process within a successful business partnership
  • The potential difficulties of bringing in a business partner, and eventual challenges regarding succession planning for financial advisors
  • And more

Connect With Bill Cates:

This podcast is for informational purposes only. The Top Advisor podcast is not affiliated with or endorsed by PAS, Guardian, or Strategic Wealth Partners and opinions stated are their own. 

Karen and Neill are Registered Representatives and Financial Advisors of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representatives of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Strategic Wealth Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Karen’s’ CA Insurance License #0D30689; Neill’s CA insurance license #0H55255. 2022-138112 Exp 5/24

  • Show Transcript

    Welcome to the Top Advisor Podcast brought to you by ProudMouth’s PodRocket Academy. I’m your host, Bill Cates, creator of the Cates Academy for Relationship Marketing. In each episode, I interview one of our industry’s top performers, getting them to pass on their secrets to success to you. So that you can impact more lives and generate more income. Now onto the show.

    BILL: Welcome. You know, before we get started, I want to let you know about some free resources that I invite you to retrieve after you’ve listened to this episode, you’ll find checklists guides, videos, other tools just by going to

    While you’re there, make sure you sign up for our free weekly tips where we’ll be sharing best practices and ideas. We’ll notify you of the next podcast. And while these are free, I think you’ll find them quite valuable. So I have built and sold two businesses. With the first business I was the sole stockholder and sold it for a fair amount of money.

    With the second business, I had a 50-50 partnership and sold it to escape a bad partnership and to let someone else take on the debt. So, you know, sometimes when you sell a business, you make some good money. Sometimes you just get out of a bad situation.

    But I’m struck by a phenomenon that happens all too often. Two people come together with some business ideas they seem to get along okay. The dynamic creates a lot of creative energy, may start with an idea sketched down on a napkin in a restaurant, which by the way, literally was the idea for the partnership I was in. A few weeks or maybe a few months later, they form a legal partnership, business is born and then, and only then do they really start to get to know each other, how each person deals with setbacks, with victories, with stress, with employees, with money, you name it and they eventually get to really know the other person. And it’s not always pretty. Right. You know, when you get married, usually you date for a while, and maybe even you’ll live together for a little while in sin, you know, and all that, but not so much with business partnerships.

    So that brings us to today’s topic and our two wonderful guests. I was delivering a virtual presentation for a group and while waiting for my time to start, I listened to Karen Jessey and Neill Turner discuss how they came together as business partners and how they’ve been able to make it work. And so we’ll do a brief intro on each person, then we’ll get going.

    Karen Jessey has been in business for 38 plus years. And by all measures in this business, Karen has been quite successful. Karen, I have at least one thing in common, and that we both have a degree in sociology for whatever that’s worth. Though I actually have a master’s in BS. Let that sink in for a minute. And although she resides in Colorado, Karen does have a passion for the ocean, and I understand she escapes to the ocean as often as possible.

    Neill Turner has been in this business for 11 years. Neill has a degree in engineering and all I can say is where would this world be without engineers?

    He probably agrees to that, maybe secondary financial advisors to keep. Helping those engineers keep all their money. Anyway, prior to becoming an advisor, he owned his own business, he was doing consulting to the automobile industry, kind of cool. Karen and Neill have now worked together for nine years.

    So if Neill has been in this 11 years, he was two years when he came to work with Karen. Neill is the successor to Karen’s business. As she slowly slides into retirement, they run their firms, Strategic Wealth Partners as a business. Not as two solo producers doing joint work. So before I give everything away and you go on and on, Karen Jessey, Neill Turner, welcome to Top Advisor Podcast.

    KAREN: Thanks so much bill for having us.

    NEILL: Thank you, bill. Appreciate it.

    BILL: Yeah. Welcome. Welcome, welcome. So Karen, I’m curious, what were the triggers, thoughts, feelings, events, that got you to start thinking about succession for your business.

    KAREN: Well for the first, almost 30 years I didn’t think of it at all.

    It was me and my longtime assistant, just going about it day to day and creating this practice. And then we started doing real financial planning. Financial planning that’s a little bit uncommon in the industry. We talk a lot about strategies that are different. And so as I would go through the process with new clients, and show them what we’re doing and the strategies that we’re going to implement. Inevitably towards the end, it would be, this has been great Karen, but what happens if you’re not here?

    And for the longest time, I kind of just shrugged it off, you know, I was younger and it was like, “Yeah, nothing’s going to happen”, you know, that type of mentality. And then I realized, who am I kidding? I’m in the world of protection and mitigating risk. And I could get hit by a bus and all the good work that we’ve done for the clients would go out the window without a plan.

    So I started thinking, I need to have some open eyes and build a path towards the future as to what that might look like for myself as well as for my clients.

    BILL: And from talking with you prior to this, in recording this interview, I know that a lot of it was a client centric decision, was it not? It wasn’t just, what do you do? How do you retire? How do you move forward from this business? It really is making sure that your clients get handled well along the way. Is that correct?

    KAREN: Absolutely. It’s always been client centric. This industry has evolved to a point where you don’t just don’t retire and just go away. You could have maybe in the past, but today it’s like that planning needs to continue beyond me. And so who do I have in place to help guide those clients all the way to the end line.

    BILL: Yeah. So I’m curious during the initial stages of this, did you seek out counsel help from anyone? Did you talk to others who went down this path? Did they share perspectives? I’m curious about that process.

    KAREN: I did actually talk to a lot of people. I didn’t feel I needed to reinvent the wheel if I didn’t have to. But so many people told me don’t do it. It’s people who have done it. Of course, those are the people who did it and didn’t do it successfully.

    And then, hiring the attorneys and all the legal fees and all that. They’re like, if there’s any way you can avoid doing this, try to avoid it. I did talk to attorneys and they were saying the same thing, they’ve never really seen this workout and there’s no blueprint out there that says, okay, here’s the best way of doing this because you can have everything written down but at the end of the day, it boils down to who your partner actually is. And if you don’t start there on a well laid path, it is going to go awry with the wrong person, walking down it with you.

    BILL: So what was the alternative they suggested? Just an outright sale of the practice as opposed to this slower succession plan?

    KAREN: Yeah, in our business, the only thing, you know, we do a lot of insurance work as well as investment work. And the only piece we can really sell is the investment piece of it. And so that would be the ultimate alternative, would just be to sell it to somebody who doesn’t even know who your client’s are.

    BILL: Right. And sometimes that works sometimes that doesn’t work for the clients or the advisers. Neill, how did you meet Karen? What were you doing when you met her? What attracted you to the possibility of working with a more senior and very successful advisor? Tell me about the beginnings.

    NEILL: I came into the business as a client first with a gentleman who used to work with Karen as a mentor years before me.

    And so my conversations with him were along the lines of who is in this business that’s very successful already. And how do I talk to them? Because like Karen just said, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel either. And I was starting a little bit later, so to speak, in the business, having had another business.

    So I wanted to really kind of ramp up quickly and he introduced me to Karen and told me who Karen was. And I walked down the hall to go meet her, per say. And that’s kind of how it all came together as a moment in time, just to have a conversation. And then the funny part about that is she said, well, you’re brand new, come talk to me in a couple of years, which is why my 11 years in the business didn’t start out with Karen, to begin with. There was a bit of time where I had to figure things out on my own.

    BILL: And Karen, tell me about that. I mean, some advisors will bring in someone green to the business as a junior advisor for the possibility of succession.

    But you wanted Neill to get a little more experience under his belt. Tell me your thoughts on that.

    KAREN: I mean, there’s a lot of thoughts that come to mind there. One of it is, when people come into this business and the failure rate is so high. People think this is easy. People are calling us just wanting financial planning advice and we all know that’s not the case.  I wanted somebody who got their knees scuffed, had their nose and bloodied, and still came back and have a long-term vision. And not just have a bad week and their gone. I also needed somebody who has a foundation underneath them as to what this industry is like.

    A lot of people come into this business from a different career. They don’t even know the verbiage, the acronyms, anything like that. So I wanted somebody who had a little bit of that knowledge.

    It was just me. So I did not have the capacity to be able to train somebody the way that they really needed to be trained and also run my practice at the same time. So Neill was able to get that through the agency system and through the insurance companies that we work with.

    BILL : It makes sense. And only two years, and maybe you hadn’t acquired too many bad habits yet to break him of some of those to do it your way. So that kind of brings me to the next question, which is the big one that I alluded to a little earlier in my very long introduction to this. And that is, as you get to know people, each other, through the successes and the setbacks and all that, so I guess the question is for both of you, and you can decide who goes first, but as you started getting serious about this partnership, I’m curious what you guys saw as the perceived risks and concerns as well as what got you excited.

    Whoever wants to go first, what were you concerned about, worried about, what was kind of the worst-case scenario in your head, and what was the best-case scenario?

    KAREN: Well, the way we started was we didn’t start out as a partnership. I didn’t just bring Neill in. I mean, he really had no experience.

    It would be different, I think, if somebody came to me who had the experience in the industry, it would have been a whole different conversation. He was brand new. So we were not forming a partnership right out of the gate because that’s easy to do and very difficult to unwind. So it was us just doing all of our work together with our clients so he could see how I work.

    And I could see how he works because at the end of the day, I mean, we have to hold the same values. I mean, we both had to be headed in the right direction and pulling our own weight. That wasn’t necessarily true at the beginning. I mean, I had to teach a lot. And I also had the type of clients that we wanted to work with. So a lot of that was coming through me too.

    So I had to learn how to be very patient and just be patient with the process, knowing that this is going to take time, but if we both put in the hard work initially, we’ll be rewarded in the long term. And I think in any business, it’s hard to keep that long-term vision and that’s what you really need here. And I think that’s what helped keep us on the right path and moving in the right direction.

    NEILL: I would add to that the communication is paramount. Having open communication, tough conversations, honest conversations was the biggest thing that I think we probably found ourselves really struggling with maybe in the beginning.

    And yet that’s where the magic sort of happened over time. And I would also add to that. We really felt like we had a level of trust in one another as time went on, it became greater and greater. And that communication is what brought that trust to be.

    And of course, there were some challenges and some setbacks and some other things that occurred along the way that really created more of a deeper connection, which I think all relationships could probably argue that the difficult times are where really the relationship grows and develops. And we through it all, as Karen said, it had a longer vision as to how this is going to go.

    And so we dealt with whatever it was and communicated and kept each other accountable. And here we are today and in a much better place all the way around than when we started.

    BILL: Were you both able to come to the table with kind of the, you feel it, say it, let’s just get it out and done and talked with about as quickly as possible? Versus kind of stuffing it and seeing how things will go? Either one would be natural or did it take a little while to sit on a thought, an idea, a feeling before you brought it forward? Just tell me a little bit about how that evolved, that interpersonal communication.

    NEILL: Yeah, I would say both. Karen was probably more prone to just saying what was on her mind and saying it right to me.

    And while that may be painful at times or challenging. I was also wanting to take all of that in, and maybe sit on things for a minute, think about it and then come back and have a conversation.

    And I think that really worked out well because I needed to hear certain things and they needed to be said, and then I also wanted to make sure that Karen had my thoughts on the matter and a response, and that also helped us grow and figure out how to work around and work with each other in a more sort of effective and overall better way.

    BILL: Yeah. So putting myself in the shoes of an advisor, listening to this, starting to think of this idea of succession, or just has an interest in how it went. Can you can, either of you remember any of those difficult conversations, that you’re okay sharing with the rest of the world? Anything somebody did or said with a client or a perspective that needed shifting to make things work? Anything come to mind?

    KAREN: Well, I mean, it does, for me. You don’t want to just go and force yourself on somebody else. And this is the way we do it.

    So it’s standing back a little bit and guiding and letting somebody do what they perceive to be the best thing and let them find out that it’s not so. For me and Neill, Neill comes from a yoga background and he had this whole save the world mentality as many of us do when we come in.

    That’s my degree in sociology, let’s save the world. And Neill came from yoga. And so he was bound and determined that he was going to work with yoga instructors and even did a yoga conference. And I just sat back and said, okay. And he learned rather quickly that’s probably not the market he wants to be in.

    And while we still want to save the world, we can do it in different ways. So, you know, you can’t just force yourself and all your processes and all that onto somebody, you have to kind of guide and teach and be a leader along the way.

    BILL: All the wealthy yoga teachers out there. Well, one of my best friend’s wife is a yoga teacher who ran two very successful studios.

    So it’s not like they don’t exist but interesting. And it doesn’t mean that Neill, you can still engage in yoga and all the good things that come from that. Right?

    NEILL: Yeah. And I would also add to that, I ended up in the first couple of years, really kind of engaging with both the instructors of the world and the practitioners of the world and a lot of the owners.

    So that kind of helped give me some insights as to the business planning and so on that was yet to be developed on our team.

    BILL: That’s good. So it was a precursor to that. I know that one question a lot of top advisors, folks who listened to this podcast ask us. How hard is it for an established advisor to bring someone in knowing that you’ll be giving up a percentage of the revenue?

    People, and Karen, you are giving up a percentage of the revenue to people that Neill hasn’t even talked to yet. Right? There’s a kind of a leap of faith. There’s a letting go, financial letting go as well. Hopefully with the promise of something better down the road. Talk about that a little bit. How did that go for you?

    KAREN: Well, that was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Honestly, it’s not easy because when you’re first bringing somebody on to work with you at the end of the day, honestly, it is still you who’s doing most of the work and wait, I’ve got to give up a percentage of every new client we bring in the door to somebody who’s just learning.

    I was challenged and I was challenged for a number of years, to be honest with you. But again, it’s that long-term vision. And you know, our practice is set up that it truly is a business. Every new client that does come through this door, it’s a split, you know, on the investments and the insurance side, different splits, depending on who’s taking the lead. And they’re now times where, Neill has the only interaction with new clients coming on and, I might do something behind the scenes or nothing at all. And now I get a piece of that case too.

    So I had to keep that vision. And also we also split expenses. So as his revenue goes up, and because I’m giving him some of my cases and things like that, or our cases, his income goes up. So the flow-through to the bottom line is that he ends up paying a little bit more towards the expenses.

    So it’s kind of like a cycle or a circle, but it’s hard. It’s a price you pay and it’s the leap you take and the faith you have and the trust you have, and you just keep going, “God, I hope I didn’t make a mistake.”

    BILL: So this is not in my list of questions. I prepared to ask you.

    You talked about how there wasn’t a roadmap for this and all these people told you don’t do it. And I know what your next career is, to help other people walk through this process perhaps, or maybe you’ll have enough of it. I don’t know. But you told me, I remember that at first you worked in the same office, but you kind of circled around each other, I think we’re your words.

    So, even though you started working together when Neill was about two years into the business or so, you didn’t really form the true partnership yet. So elaborate on that a little bit, either one.

    NEILL: Yeah, I’ll jump on that real quick. Just the one thing that I found is and that was maybe a source of frustration is an apprehensiveness to take that step to partnership and language to use for that or conversations with clients or anybody else, professional partners and so on.

    There was always a hesitancy and so it took her some time and some effort and I think a lot of trust and a lot of challenges. And then that connection eventually became more clear that I think there is more of a partnership here. And so we did sort of work together, but as two different advisors maybe sharing the team or the staff or at that time, it was more one particular staff member. And that was the real sort of way in which we started. And then finally came to the conclusion and agreement that we would be true partners and move forward.

    BILL: Karen, you want to add to that?

    KAREN: Oh, all I was going to say was that we weren’t circling around each other. Neill was circling around me.

    BILL: Okay. It makes sense. I get that.

    KAREN: But when he did finally have the guts to approach me, I did say to him, I said, well, of all the people that I see out there, you’re probably the only guy or gal, you’re the only person that I would invite to come onto the team and partner with.  I think one of the things we have found and studies have shown, the most successful partnerships are opposite-sex partners, not female, female or male, male. There’s certainly different perspectives that we bring to everything that we do from the male-female standpoint as well as, I mean, he’s an engineer and I am so far from that, we can drive each other crazy every once in a while. And you know, we always managed to come to the middle.

    BILL: Yeah, I call that a creative tension, right? So there’s usually a better decision comes out of that eventually. But it can be a little bit of friction along the way.

    So day to day, what does that looks like? There was a great phrase or expression you told me, that you weren’t doing joint work. You’re doing teamwork. So do you have separate clients? Do you bring different expertise to each relationship? Do you sit on appointments with the same client? Just give us all a feel of what the day to day. It probably varies I’m going to guess, but give us a feel for that. If you don’t mind.

    NEILL: It does vary. And I think in the beginning, like I was saying just a minute ago, we did work separately. We did have my clients and Karen’s clients. We didn’t have Strategic Wealth Partners clients. In fact, we didn’t even have Strategic Wealth Partners. It was just two people working together and now it’s vastly different. Every client is a Strategic Wealth Partner client.

    We work as a lead with certain clients. Yet, the whole team and each of us as partners in this team are very well versed at what we’re doing with our individual clients that we’re the lead with. And we work with certain clients together, all of our business owner clients, it’s Karen and I working in together.

    And then I would say I handle more of the personal planning clients these days. And Karen handles more of the retirement income planning clients.

    BILL: Do your clients know about this structure in a sense of that, Neill, you are the successor to Karen? Karen, have you talked to all your clients about it, some of your clients about?

    NEILL: Yeah, I would say at this point, we have definitely spent a lot of time having those conversations with clients, making it known to more the long-standing clients that Karen has had for many years as to what’s going to happen and how this transition’s going to go. And then any new clients that we bring to the table, that conversation is pretty easy to have upfront. This is the team and so on.

    But we’ve done a very sort of a diligent job and although it was challenging, we started a long time ago to make sure that clients were aware of how the team was growing, developing, and who I was and meeting them as they came along and continuing to meet them as we move forward, just to develop the relationship and make sure that that transition, that handoff is far more comfortable and warm than anything else.

    BILL: You know, as someone who has been handed off from one advisor retiring to another, I would say the handoff wasn’t perfect. In fact, I didn’t even really know that this guy was taking over. I can appreciate what you’re doing and how, hopefully, most of your clients appreciate it as well, because it’s not always done that way. Now luckily I really liked the guy I got handed off to. And so it worked.

    You know, in a minute, I want to talk to you guys a little bit about your decision-making process, what that looks like in your partnership. And I also want to talk to you about how the succession planning that you’ve done now helps you attract more of your right fit clients, business owners, who may at some point want to do their own succession planning.

    But first here’s a quick word from our great sponsor.

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    I’m back with Karen Jessey and Neill Turner talking about their business succession process. Karen & Neill talk to me about the decision-making process. Do you need to agree on all decisions that are made in running the business? Does one of you a have final say, if you will, at this point? What does that look like?

    KAREN: I think that we bring most all decisions to the table for both of us. And even beyond both of us, I mean, we are a team of five and sometimes it’s important to bring everybody to the table when making a decision, because everybody has a different perspective. They have a different role in the organization.

    So we don’t have anyone here who is like, my way or the highway. So, yeah, I like to think it’s very collaborative so we can hear all sides of an idea before we make a decision.

    BILL: Good, good, good.

    NEILL: It wasn’t always that way.

    BILL: Tell me more.

    NEILL: I would say in the beginning and I think this is pertinent for those that are listening in, is there is going to be someone like Karen, that is the lead that is paying a lot of the bills maybe, or bringing a lot more revenue to the table.

    And I knew that, and I was aware of that. And I understood that she would have more of the final say because she deserved that and I trusted her and respected her too. And yet I also knew that if I had something to say about a decision, I could voice that to her because we had that communication and that trust, and she would take that into consideration.

    And whether she changed her decision or not wasn’t the point. It was that she was open to hearing what I had to say. And I think, again, that it allowed us to be the team that we are because I recognized who she was and she recognized where I was at and we could talk about it and it would be a respected outcome.

    BILL: Yeah, that’s great. And you keep saying the word trust, and that really is the grease, the, whatever you want to call it that makes the relationship work. You know, none of us would be successful without support staff. So I’m curious how your staff has managed this. Maybe even supported it, helped you guys. Talk about that a little bit.

    NEILL: We use a business planning software and program called EOS. One of the things that they have in their training and their way of going about getting set up is having the right people in the right seats. And we would argue that is exactly what we have with our team, the right people in the right seats, doing exactly what they’re supposed to do and given the trust and the confidence to do what they’re supposed to do so that we’re not there over their shoulder, micromanaging and so on.

    And like Karen said, we have a team of five, one of which has been with Karen, Melissa, for 25 plus years now. And she’s our director of operations and does a lot of the marketing more than anything these days. But she’s accelerating in our business is accelerating I think because of a lot of that marketing. Then we also have our client specialist, Nisha, who is excellent with all things related to the client and a lot of the backend work that we need the clients need and so. And then we have a director of investments, Joey, who’s excellent in every facet of his role and developing that even further out beyond our expectations.

    So we’re really fortunate to have these three great people on our team. And of course, we’re looking to build out our advisory team as well to grow the sort of sales team within our firm.

    KAREN: Another thing I would add Bill would be, I hate that phrase, “support staff”. That’s not how we look at anybody who’s working with us because that’s what they’re doing, they’re working with us. They’re partners, they’re part of the team. And they have to be part of the team from day one. This is not just a job.

    It’s people thinking, how can we be better? What can we do to elevate the client experience? How do we bring the team together? So everybody’s moving in the right direction and nobody’s just punching a clock.

    BILL: No, that’s great. I stand corrected, sitting, but I sit corrected. Well, I did have the pleasure of interacting with Melissa a little bit on our first call and then a little bit with email and I hope she doesn’t mind me saying this, but she’s kind of the, I was going to say mother hen in the sense of she just wants to make sure you guys are taken care of. Right. And everything is taken care of and that the details are handled and all that. Right. So you found a gem in her.

    KAREN: Yes. She’s the glue. And she always wants us to look our best, be our best and put our best foot forward. So yes.

    BILL: We all need folks like that. I have a staff member, a team member, sorry. That is no longer with me. But when I hired her, I said, look, I need you to be my mother hen. I need you to pay attention, bug me, make sure I know where I’m going. You know, whatever, you can’t over bug me to make sure things are right.

    So I want to shift the angle a little bit, slightly. So you work a lot with business owners, and you help them with their succession planning, big surprise. Right? Makes sense. Did this come before you started your own succession planning or as your target client and outgrowth of the work that you’ve done on your own business. Speaking of mother hens, you know, which is the chicken and which is the egg here in terms of who you’re trying to attract and the work you’ve done?

    KAREN: I think we’ve, I’ve always worked with business owners in the past. But now it’s much more of a focus and we have much more conviction and relate-ability. I mean, we can now say to a client, “Listen, we’ve done this. We know this is not easy. It’s hard. And there’s a lot of hard conversations, but at the end of the day, you’ll be really happy and we’re here to guide you.”

    I mean, we have a little mantra, your businesses, our business, when we’re talking to business owners. So this is something we focus on. It’s not like, oh, we stumbled over a business owner. Yeah, sure we can help you. This is something we do every day.

    BILL: I get the feeling that since you’ve gone through succession planning, anytime you’re with a business owner who is contemplating that at whatever stage they may be, you guys are really more than just financial advisors.

    You’re business consultants. Right? You have the financial bent, obviously, that’s the focus. That’s what kind of brings it all together, but you’ve become business consultants. Speak to that a little bit.

    NEILL: I would say that’s pretty accurate. We find ourselves probably educating clients to the degree because there’s a certain idea that they would come to the table with it. Anybody with our title, financial advisor, financial planner, investment advisor, wealth manager. We’re just going to talk about investments primarily. And while there are investments involved in the planning that we do, the business planning that we do really has nothing to do with investments during the planning phase, it’s a lot more strategizing and developing plans that have those strategies built-in.

    And the tool that we use primarily is going to be insurance. And that’s where we’re specialists. And a lot of the work that we ended up doing is consulting with the business owners on how to ensure that they can protect their business, grow their business, retain all of those key people that help them grow their business, and then ultimately sell the business on the terms that are best for them and their family.

    And at that point, there may be a large sum if we do our job right. And everybody wins, that could be invested. But, you know, the bulk of our work is consulting with our businesses.

    BILL: Hmm. That’s great. Karen, do you want to add anything to that?

    KAREN: Yeah, no. I mean, I agree with Neill we’ve come up with the term, not the term, but we hold ourselves out as kind of the architects.

    We can’t and we don’t do everything. But we know the process. We know the steps, we know the players that need to be brought to the table. Some of them could be the business owners, current advisors, but their CPA may never have sold a business before. So we might have to bring in a different CPA and the same with an attorney.

    So we come in with a very holistic approach, you know, where most other advisors that’s like, okay, let’s fund the buy, sell agreement, or, you know, let me handle the millions of dollars you’re going to have when you reach retirement, and then we can help you invest it. But we help them figure how much money they need. You know, if this is their end game, and now this is going to be retirement. What do you have? What do you need this business to sell for? Because everybody will tell you how much they think their business is worth. And it’s always a gross number. It’s never a net of taxes and everybody elses fees. So it’s really like getting in the weeds with them and, you know, doing a lot of work where we’re not necessarily compensated, but you know, that’s what we do is we make sure we cover all the bases to help the client have the most successful transition of that business, which is typically is their biggest financial asset.

    So, you know, it’s putting together all of those pieces for our clients and that’s where they really appreciate us.

    BILL: And I would think that is that’s your differentiator, right? When you come to prospects, maybe people who are interviewing more than one potential firm, that’s probably the distinguishing factor is it not?

    KAREN: Certainly that and making sure the business planning dovetails right into their personal planning and everything’s coordinated on both fronts.

    BILL: Yeah, because depending on the business, their personal and their business, they’re not so separate. Right? Maybe they’re a separate legal entity, but they often see it as the same don’t they?

    NEILL: So certainly one affects the other.

    BILL: Yeah, without question.

    Well, my guests today have been Karen Jessey and Neill Turner, partners with Strategic Wealth Partners based in Greenwood Village, Colorado. I want to thank both of you for being on Top Advisor Podcast. This has been a great interview.

    KAREN/ NEILL: Thank you Bill.

    BILL: Teamwork. They just answered in tandem. I love it. If you haven’t already, head over to Sign up for our weekly tips, free guide, scripts. You’ll be notified when the next podcast is up. Really subscribe to the podcast and then you’ll definitely know when we have our next interview.

    And this is Bill Cates, reminding you that ideas do not make you more successful. It’s only acting on those ideas that will bring you the success that you desire.

    Thanks for listening to the Top Advisor Podcast brought to you by ProudMouth’s PodRocket Academy. I encourage you to visit my website, for links to my books, online courses, and to register for the Cate’s academy.

About Our Guests

For over 35 years, Karen Jessey has been helping people feel better about their financial world. Through the years, Karen built a team consisting of top-notch individuals. Together, they create a unique process which helps clients delve into their financial worlds and identify their dreams and goals, as well as potential problems. They value long term relationships that evolve and change as life does. In 2013, she partnered with Neill Turner to create Strategic Wealth Partners. When she isn’t helping clients build their financial future, she enjoys being outdoors and exploring the mountains.  However, the ocean calls her name every year and she must find a place to sink her toes into the water.

For over a decade, Neill Turner has been helping clients make better financial decisions. His experience waiting tables, earning an engineering degree, owning his own business, and teaching yoga has helped him become not only a successful financial advisor but a great partner. Karen is currently grooming him to take over the company in the future!

Connect With Karen Jessey & Neill Turner:

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About Your Host

Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE, works with established financial advisors to speed up their growth without increasing their marketing budget. Advisors tap into Bill’s proven process to multiply their best clients through introductions from advocates and Centers of Influence (such as CPAs and attorneys), communicate their value proposition more effectively, and create a reputation in a profitable target market. Bill helps advisors move from push prospecting to magnetic marketing – to attract more Right Fit Clients™.

Bill is the author of four best-selling books, Get More Referrals Now, Don’t Keep Me a Secret, Beyond Referrals, and Radical Relevance. Bill is a highly sought-after international speaker and coach, as well as the founder of The Cates Academy for Relationship Marketing™.


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