#FA Success Ep 282: From Executive Assistant To COO Scaling A $4B Advisory Firm, With Allison Felix

#FA Success Ep 282: From Executive Assistant To COO Scaling A $4B Advisory Firm, With Allison Felix

Welcome back to the 282nd episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Allison Felix. Allison is a managing partner and COO for Cassaday & Company, a hybrid advisory firm based in McLean, Virginia, that oversees more than $4 billion in assets for nearly 2,500 client households.

What’s unique about Allison, though, is how she built and then leveraged her extensive knowledge of her firm and its operations to make the journey from an executive assistant all the way to COO, helping the firm scale to 3X its size over the past decade alone, from 25 employees to 75 and on its path to over $4 billion in AUM.

In this episode, we talk in-depth about how losing a key player in the firm’s succession plan led to a restructuring and Allison being chosen as the firm’s first COO, how Cassaday & Company developed its unique compensation structure that combines a low base salary with a percentage of the firm’s top-line revenue for every employee to motivate all of them to reinvest in the success of the firm, and how Allison’s firm has propelled its growth with almost weekly seminars that were honed by hiring coaches to give constructive criticism and even recording the seminars to have all team members give critical feedback for improvement.

We also talk about how Allison applies the knowledge she gained through her years as an executive assistant (where she was not only responsible for bringing the CEO coffee but more importantly learned to wear multiple hats from HR and operations to billing) to better herself as a COO, why Allison’s firm has been expanding its service offerings to include estate planning, tax planning, and a life coach, to create a higher-touch service for the firm’s clients, and why and how last year Cassaday & Company ultimately decided to partner with Focus Financial to facilitate their firm’s succession plan (after the firm became too big for internal successors to buy it out) while still allowing all the key team members to continue in their current roles serving clients.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Allison shares how even though she has worked hard to scale and grow her firm, she is still surprised at its rapid growth despite challenges in recent years due to COVID, why Allison believes it’s important for future generations (especially young women) to understand the wealth of opportunities in financial planning as there is more to the industry than just talking numbers with clients, and why Allison feels stepping into the role of COO was pivotal, not only to help reinforce the confidence she had in herself, but to create representation for women at her firm and in the financial industry.

So whether you’re interested in learning about how Allison leveraged her years of operations experience in her transition into her firm’s COO, how Allison developed and outlined Cassaday & Company’s unique compensation structure, or why Allison felt it was important to partner with Focus Financial to ensure the future of her firm is secure, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Allison Felix.

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