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Transforming March Madness into Lessons for RIAs: A Reflection on Championship Dynamics

An Outsiders Perspective on Rainmaking for RIAs, GTP Upgrades, and Our Team on the Road

I’m wheels up from Boston to Charleston, having wrapped up three days of meetings. 

If I had to choose a theme from the Spring Tiburon CEO Summit, it would be that RIAs will do far more with less. 

The impending retirement of RIA leaders has McKinsey forecasting that firms will shrink staff by 25% in the coming years. Pivotal moments for these firms revolve around broadening services, including becoming proficient in alternatives and integrating tax and legal advice into client experiences.

Before we discuss prognostications for the future of our industry, I’d be remiss not to mention the key lessons from college basketball.

This week, let’s talk:

  1. 4 Key Reflections on Championship Dynamics for Your Firm 4️⃣

  2. An Outsiders Perspective on Rainmaking for RIAs ☔️

  3. The Latest Boost on GPTs 🔋

  4. On the Road

Transforming March Madness into Lessons for RIAs: A Reflection on Championship Dynamics

This year’s March Madness captured the country’s attention for its climatic showcase of college basketball talent and for shining a spotlight on women’s college basketball like never before. Traditionally overshadowed by the media surrounding their male counterparts, women’s college basketball players soared in popularity, thanks, in part, to the phenomenal performance of Caitlin Clark.

While I could never personally cheer for Iowa, Clark’s achievements propelled her team and the entire women’s tournament to unprecedented heights, making the women’s tournament arguably more exciting and competitive than the men’s.

The women’s NCAA Final Four, a thrilling face-off between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Iowa Hawkeyes, underscored the indispensability of teamwork and strategic execution. Dawn Staley’s South Carolina team exemplified perfection, securing a national championship with a flawless record, illustrating the power of an unselfish team.

South Carolina’s strategy of not relying on a single star player but fostering a balanced team with depth and versatility resulted in a perfect season. Hidden inside Coach Staley’s team are crucial lessons for RIAs who also want to win. Let’s explore the importance of building a team that doesn’t hinge its success on individual greatness but thrives on the collective strength and talent of working together.

Key Steps for Building a Winning Team in Your RIA:

  1. Coach Your Team: Your leadership will make or break how your team shows up daily. It’s not an accident that one of the best point guards of all time is now running the best program in the modern women’s basketball era.

    When she was young, she learned the game, excelled, and knew what it took to win. She’s not out on the court shooting the ball now, but she’s assessing team capabilities, recognizing where they excel and where improvement is needed. You’ve got to do the same thing for your team.

    You don’t have to be the one meeting clients, creating plans or placing trades, but your knowledge of what needs to be done and how it’s best executed must be communicated repeatedly to your team. Coaching and development are not just occasional needs but constant requirements.

  2. Celebrate Wins with Everyone: When Dawn Staley coached her way to her first national title in 2017, she sent miniature trophies to everyone she played with in 1991 at Virginia—her team that lost to Tennessee 70-67 in double overtime after she fouled out.

    When South Carolina defeated Iowa last week, she shouted out Caitlin Clark, the other team’s star player, for elevating women’s basketball. She has a natural ability to take the joy of success and spread it as far and wide as possible. That kind of celebration, including the people you’re competing against, will revolutionize attitudes as it galvanizes your team.

  3. Continuously Recruit: The quest for talent never ceases. Team members move on to what’s next for them, and you can wish them well when you send them out, even if they are one of your star players. Fresh new talent is on the way who can bring ever-evolving ideas and energy to build your team’s next great achievement.

    A proactive approach to recruitment, patiently waiting for the right fit and not just filling a gap, is essential for long-term success. Championship teams are built on cultures that welcome and seek excellence. Encourage an environment where talent thrives on the challenge and growth brought by equally talented peers.

  4. Curate Your Future: It is paramount to understand and share a clear vision of what success looks like for your organization. It’s about crafting an outstanding client experience and embodying excellence daily, with every action taken toward winning that metaphorical trophy.

Success includes moments of achievement, but the path to fulfillment includes moments of failure, too. Would Dawn Staley be the exceptional coach she is today if she’d made the game-winning shot in 1991?

Maybe, but I bet it wouldn’t taste quite as sweet.

The lessons from this year’s March Madness testify to the power of unselfish teamwork, strategic foresight, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. As we move toward our offseason, let’s focus on building cultures that our teams and clients deserve.

Here’s to winning with your championship team.

On the Pod

Episode 038: In this episode of The Connected Advisor, Kyle Van Pelt is joined by John Barrows, Founder and CEO of JB Sales. John has a wealth of experience in business and sales, from making 400 dials a week to leading a self-funded team from startup through acquisition, starting his own business, and now working with some of the world's fastest-growing and most dynamic companies. He believes that, when done right, sales is one of the greatest professions in the world, but when done wrong, it's one of the worst. 

John talks with Kyle about bringing rainmakers back to the financial services industry. They delve into the challenges sales professionals face and the need for a strong work ethic to succeed. John emphasizes the value of having a plan, working hard, and consistently adding value to clients. He also shares practical tips on how to cut through the noise, build a personal brand, and leverage AI in sales and marketing.

Full episode is available now 👇

OpenAI Upgrades its GPT4 with GPT 4 Turbo with Vision

Today’s most commonly used and influential AI engine has received a new coat of paint as we iterate toward GPT 5, Skynet and the Rise of the Machines.

Seriously though, this update packs a punch.

GPT-4 Turbo with Vision represents a significant advancement in AI capabilities, particularly beneficial for small businesses looking to leverage technology for more effective operations.

  1. Enhanced Customer Interactions: Companies are integrating GPT-4 Turbo with Vision to improve customer service and engagement. For instance, Instacart has upgraded its service to convert handwritten shopping lists into digital, shoppable lists directly within its app, streamlining the shopping process significantly.

  2. Advanced Content Analysis: Businesses use the model to analyze and optimize content, especially in advertising. For example, Satalia, a WPP company, uses GPT-4 Turbo with Vision to enhance the analysis and optimization of video content, thereby boosting the effectiveness of advertisements and social media posts.

  3. Multimodal Integration: The model's ability to process both text and images—or even video inputs—enables businesses to develop more integrated and interactive applications. This includes using Azure AI Services for object detection, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and privacy-focused processing, which blurs faces to prevent identification.

  4. Business Process Improvements: GPT-4 Turbo with Vision aids in transforming various business processes by providing tools that can automatically interpret and respond to complex data sets, including images and video, which can dramatically improve the speed and quality of business workflows.

These capabilities not only enhance customer experiences but also streamline internal processes, making operations more efficient and data-driven.

As McKinsey analysts state, RIAs will get smaller, serve clients more deeply, and better embrace tools like this to find scale. Technology like this will be a catalyst to making this a reality.

Milemarker on the Road

Catch our team on the road at the following events or cities:

  1. April 24 - Charlotte, NC

  2. April 25 - Charleston, SC

  3. April 30 - Atlanta, GA

If you’re in any of those cities and want to arrange a meeting time, reply to this email, and we’ll get something on the calendar.

Jud Mackrill