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The Dynamic Duo of Trusted Advisors – Bankers and Lawyers

by Karlie Watts | Aug 20, 2019
The Dynamic Duo of Trusted Advisors – Bankers and Lawyers

As a bank that provides financial counsel to clients both big and small, we believe there is a foundational principle on which the legal community and the banking community collaborate – forming the dual core of a trusted advisor team.

Together, the banker and the attorney provide the guidance and counsel that is imperative for clients to succeed and thrive. Further, each member of the team is a connector that can provide referrals to the other professionals that business leaders may need.

This collaborative relationship is especially important when a leader is facing a major financial milestone such as purchasing a business, expanding their current operation or preparing for retirement.

So when a business professional is preparing for a big life change, his or her trusted advisors move into action:

  • Attorneys are obviously critical for matters such as lease negotiations, employment contracts and buy/sell agreements. For the client, finding an attorney who specializes in working with their industry can speed up the process and also identify potential problems or concerns that are specific to their area of focus. It can also make a business purchase or sale run more smoothly as they know the specific issues to address.
  • A good banker can offer critical assistance to the attorney’s client such as financing solutions to buy or expand a business, as well as provide ongoing operational assistance. In addition, they may have programs to assist with the purchase of equipment, lines of credit and the real estate that houses the business. A banker with a key understanding of the dental industry should offer insight on how financial decisions a practitioner makes today will impact his/her practice in the future.

The true nexus exists in the relationship between banker and lawyer in terms of each partner’s working knowledge of the other’s world. For example, a banker who is working with a client to acquire a new storefront is going to know that the client must contact an attorney specializing in leasing contracts and purchase agreements. Similarly, an attorney who understands banking and is in the process of setting up a trust for their client will make the connection to a banker who can develop the right financial instrument. Moreover, bankers and lawyers who know each other well will be able to match their clients to the right legal or banking specialist and ensure a better overall experience.

Of course, this gets down to the mutual benefit of the relationship between the pair for the client. For example, at Columbia Bank we are often a referral source for our clients who need to find their CPA and/or attorney. And many of the inroads we’ve made with attorneys have come from the partnerships we formed with them while partnering on behalf of another client in a similar industry.

Further, there is the transferal of experience and expertise between trusted advisors. The knowledge and skill we’ve honed in serving clients has made us an even stronger partner for attorneys and firms. As part of the consultative and collaborative team, there is often a very healthy amount of knowledge sharing and counsel that provides mutual benefit among all parties.

At the end of the day, the dynamic duo of trusted advisors exists on one level to allow professionals to concentrate on what they do best – serving customers – while on another level, providing collaboration and benefit among each party.

 

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