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When Your Advisors Niche is Everything

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Most advisors are specialists, experts in narrow niches, and perfect for taking on discrete responsibilities. Companies often expand by outsourcing to them: graphic designers for the marketing team, accountants for the finance team, etc. Then there’s the rare breed of advisor – the strategist with experience executing, and managing, on many fronts.

These strategists, sometimes called “executive advisors,” can expertly advise your CEO, and department directors, and even act as an interim director while training a lateral hire. Their experience makes them utility players, and better, a great manager for any project. And some strategists have significant breadth and depth of experience. In short, their niche is everything. 

An Uncommon Value

A great example is Structured Consulting. Its founder, Jeremy Babener, is experienced in advising clients on issues of law, marketing, capital raising, and forming partnerships. He’s managed clients’ internal teams in these areas and often focuses on improving company-wide project management. His partner, Jason Moungey, has worked as a fintech fund’s chief financial officer and built a lead generation company’s intelligence, software, and design teams, bringing in several million site visitors every month.

Together, Mr. Babener and Mr. Moungey advise client companies on growth, often designing, implementing, and overseeing new strategies and systems in the personal services, law, and finance sectors. Their success says a lot about the benefits of working with outside executives. Rather than focusing on a particular niche, their breadth of experience allows them to plan and implement on large-scale projects.  

Niche Advisors

Consultants and outsourced operators generally focus on discrete services and subjects. In most cases, the advisor’s responsibility, and ability, is limited. Often, outsourcing to an external operator is great to grow a company’s bandwidth or improve a particular aspect of company performance.

But, niche advisors are inherently limited. They don’t know much about other company activities or goals. And if they do, they don’t have the experience to integrate their work with the work of others.

Typically, good planning then requires that a company project manager strategizes with “everyone in the room.” Since each operator has a limited perspective, that’s a lot of folks. Large team meetings rarely happen, and certainly not regularly – they’re too inefficient. That leaves project managers handling strategy even when they don’t have enough information to succeed.

Expertise on Multiple Fronts

A key value of an executive advisor is their ability to run points on an entire project, from concept to launch, exercising good judgment and management planning. Often, they’ll run clients’ internal and outsourced teams. And they’re particularly valuable when they have expertise in performing the roles of everyone needed for the project.

Jeremy Babener has served in multiple organizations, including the U.S. Treasury, one of the largest law firms in the Northwest, and an investment firm. He has worked as a marketing director, sales director, tax director, and outside and in-house counsel; he now serves on legal committees of three national financial advisory associations. Mr. Babener has written articles for Bloomberg and Forbes and led presentations for the Federal Bar and other associations, often doing so with client companies to help market their expertise.

With help from affiliate Structured Software and its founder Jason Moungey, Structured Consulting has launched and overseen numerous successful projects. Mr. Moungey built and managed design, business intelligence, and software teams for the online learning portal Study.com, which attracts several million visitors every month. Jason began his career in the R&D department at HP (Hewlett Packard) before founding Macetech, a electronics & lighting company that serves world-renowned bands, Hollywood movie studios, and general customers.

Together, Jeremy Babener and Jason Moungey have leveraged their experience and expertise for clients in several industries. They managed the development and marketing of a tax-saving arrangement for a Virginia trust company, document search software for a Louisiana business solutions provider, and a path to minimize legal malpractice avoidance for a financial advisory in Oregon. For their clients, they have also found and implemented multiple partnerships and co-marketing plans.

According to client Joe Tombs, Partner at Amicus Financial Advisors, “SC improves everything it touches, and on so many fronts. Everything from strategy, to marketing, to forming partnerships.”

Client Success and Partnerships

Says Jeremy Babener, Structured Consulting’s success has been the result of creativity, organization, and a dedication to continued improvement. They love what they do and their fee structure gives them every reason to push for client success.

Unlike most firms, they typically charge no upfront fee, opting instead for a small share of the growth they build with clients. “It’s a perfect way for us to grow,” says Joe Di Gangi, President of Elana Financial. Ned Armand, President of Eastern Point Trust Company, says the compensation structure makes more and larger projects possible.

Because Everything Relates to Everything

The benefit of an executive advisor is their expertise and experience on enough fronts that client companies can trust their judgment to act with minimal oversight. That doesn’t mean the client greenlights anything without seeing it. But it does mean that clients can largely “disappear” from a project between the initial and final review stages.

Whether the advisor incorporates a partnership compensation model like Structured Consulting, or something more traditional, every CEO knows the value of making progress on a project without investing time. Delegating the discretion necessary to make that happens takes trust. This is why you look for an advisor you know will hit the mark.

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