Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Model FA

Jul 6, 2021

Jonathan Rogers and Nirav Batavia are Co-Managing Partners of Forum Financial Management and Co-Directors of Forum’s Investment Committee. Forum is an organization of partners and advisors with a wealth of experience in portfolio management, insurance analysis, and planning for estate, retirement, and income tax. 


As Co-Managing Partner, Jonathan guides the executive team responsible for various areas, from advisor support to client services, and spearheads the firm’s growth by recruiting new partners and advisors.


In addition to his roles as Co-Managing Partner and Co-Director, Nirav also serves as the firm’s Chief Technology Officer. Nirav is also the CEO of Owl Technologies, a technology service provider that helps clients experience better and more efficient financial advisory services.


Jonathan and Nirav join me today to discuss the role of technology in developing growth strategies for RIAs. They share how Forum has grown over the years and explain why the firm has recently lowered its minimum asset requirements for clients. They describe the tension between profitability and growth — and how firms can overcome it. They also highlight how they use technology for efficiency, how FinTech companies can bridge the gap in financial advisory technology, and how firms should be set up in order to properly incentivize a new generation of advisors.


“Human connection becomes stronger when advisors can spend all their time not on paperwork but on facing clients because they have data at their fingertips.” - Nirav Batavia


“Rainmaking is the core of value creation for financial advisors. It is the ability to get someone to refer a person over to you. It is what builds a business.” - Jonathan Rogers


This week on The Model FA Podcast:


  • What Forum is and how they have grown since 2006
  • The ‘three legs to the stool’ approach and the source of Forum’s growth
  • Why Forum emphasizes holistic financial planning
  • What financial HENRYs are and why Forum wants them
  • The natural tension in business between today’s profitability and the ability to grow in the future
  • Solving for the lack of profitability in the early years
  • The value of working with entrepreneurial advisors
  • Leveraging technology for efficiency with an eye to drive down the cost of working with clients
  • Why the future of RIAs will see a “bionic” advisor and how it’s different from a “robo” advisor
  • What the financial services industry can learn from Silicon Valley
  • Developing proactive automation and how AI technology can build a stronger connection between financial advisors and clients
  • The importance of open APIs, and what technology companies can do to create seamless tech for the financial services industry 
  • Walled gardens and the stumbling blocks to using advisor technology
  • Bridging the distinction between workflow and workflow automation


Resources Mentioned:



Our Favorite Quotes:


  • “When advisors aren’t incentivized for rainmaking, the veterans in the firm get richer but bring in less revenue from a percentage perspective.” - David DeCelle
  • “In many firms, rainmaking is awarded a monetary bonus. That’s where the disconnect in the industry happens, because that simply isn’t rewarding enough.” - Jonathan Rogers
  • “Anything an advisor does repetitively that doesn’t use their financial and planning expertise should be automated.” - Nirav Batavia
  • “If you allow others to outgrow you, it incentivizes you to continue working hard, helping more people, and bringing in more revenue.” - David DeCelle


Connect with Forum Financial Management:



Connect with Jonathan Rogers:



Connect with Nirav Batavia:



About the Model FA Podcast


The Model FA podcast is a show for fiduciary financial advisors. In each episode, our host David DeCelle sits down with industry experts, strategic thinkers, and advisors to explore what it takes  to build a successful practice — and have an abundant life in the process. We believe in continuous learning, tactical advice, and strategies that work — no “gotchas” or BS. Join us to hear stories from successful financial advisors, get actionable ideas from experts, and re-discover your drive to build the practice of your dreams. 


Did you like this conversation? Then leave us a rating and a review in whatever podcast player you use. We would love your feedback, and your ratings help us reach more advisors with ideas for growing their practices, attracting great clients, and achieving a better quality of life. While you are there, feel free to share your ideas about future podcast guests or topics you’d love to see covered. 


Our Team:

President of Model FA, David DeCelle


If you like this podcast, you will love our community! Join the Model FA Community on Facebook to connect with like-minded advisors and share the day-to-day challenges and wins of running a growing financial services firm.