We are continually asked by financial advisors for advice on ways to obtain new equity compensation clients. Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets, but there are several things advisors can do to facilitate the process. Here are five:
#5: List yourself on the Advisor Find directory AND use the listing to promote your practice. Don’t expect any directory to magically produce leads. Send all your clients and prospects the listing and actively use the directory to tout your services and skills. StockOpter users receive a free Basic Listing for 1 year by completing this form. Discounts on Enhanced Listings that include more information, pictures and rotation on the Directory’s front page are available using promotion code: market.
#4: Identify all the public companies in your area and do some research using Yahoo Finance. Unfortunately, there is NO source that lists all the companies that grant equity compensation. However, local business directories and Chamber of Commerce listings should tell you what companies are located in your area. Keep in mind that a company doesn’t need to be headquartered locally to have a decent number of executives with equity compensation. Yahoo Finance will enable you to establish the existence of a stock plan and describe some of its details (use the SEC Filings and Insider Transactions links). Next, a quick visual check of the 10 year stock price graph will give you an idea of whether any stock options are likely to be in the money. These two basic pieces of information will help you to narrow down your company prospect list so that you can take steps to engage individuals or the company itself. NOTE: private companies are also a good source of potential equity compensation relationships, but they are harder to research online.
#3: Contact your local NASPP (National Association of Stock Plan Professionals) or GEO (Global Equity Organization) chapter. Their websites contain lots of information and resources. Membership is a little pricey so start by asking to attend a meeting or local event to determine if you want to join. The chapter president should also be able to tell you what issuing companies are local members. Meetings and events are good opportunities to establish relationships with other members and to talk about your approach to assisting employees.
#2: Join ECE (Equity Compensation Experts) and the various LinkedIn groups related to equity compensation (i.e. Equity Compensation Recipients – Decision Support). Then don’t just sit and watch, participate! Post an article on equity compensation or respond to a posting. This will keep you informed on the industry, get your name out there and establish some credibility. Social media sites are not appropriate platforms for selling but they do create opportunities for subtle self promotion.
#1: Create a StockOpter Equity Compensation Risk Analysis for your prospects or clients with company stock or options and contact them for a quick review. Asking for referrals is the BEST way to secure additional clients with equity compensation, but it is easier to do so AFTER you have discussed their holdings using the StockOpter risk analysis framework. Venturing, “do you know anyone else that would find this analysis helpful” is a logical and unobtrusive next step.