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Let Go And Prosper: Avoiding Three Common Pitfalls In The Path To Breakout Growth

The owners of Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC were pleased to see their Chicago-area RIA more than doubled assets to $2 billion between 2005 and 2012, but running the day-to-day operations while also serving as the public face of the firm left the partners stretched. The partners hired Susan Korin as chief operating officer in 2011 and since then the firm has grown even faster, adding $500 million of assets in the past year.

BDF Principal Heather Locus says she witnessed this division of labor paying off when on her way out to meet prospects she walked by Korin leading an internal meeting, without any the firm’s owners present. “It was such an ‘aha!’ moment because this was exactly what should be happening: they’re sitting in an internal meeting and I’m out getting us new business for the firm,” she said.

Don’t fight yesterday’s war

Firms also can hurt themselves if they hire people who may be capable of running the business that exists today, but don’t have the skills and leadership qualities needed in a bigger, more complex enterprise. Hiring the dedicated manager is instrumental in leading the firm to breakout growth and avoiding frustration.

Armond Dinverno, a cofounder of BDF, noted his firm made several hiring missteps before it found the person they wanted in Korin. “Over the past eight years, we’ve hired three individuals for the same role. But each time we had hired what we thought we needed at the time, rather than for where we were headed in the future,” he said.

Click here to download our new whitepaper, Breakout Growth: Adding Key Positions to Unlock Growth Potential. To learn more about this program, contact your strategic relationship manager or call 800-934-6124.

Advisors have not received remuneration for participation in providing these testimonials. Advisor testimonials may not represent the experience of all advisors using TD Ameritrade brokerage services. The advisors mentioned are independent and not affiliated with TD Ameritrade Institutional. More information about the advisors is available on the SEC website (

TD Ameritrade, Inc., is separate from and not affiliated with Colony Group, SignatureFD, and Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC, and is not responsible their policies, services or products.

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