Innovator

Deborah Fox

CEO and Founder, Fox Financial Planning Network

Continually evolving is a way to be your best self, said Deborah Fox, CEO and founder of Fox Financial Planning Network (soon to be rebranded as AdvisorTouch), an extensive workflow system and resource center for advisers.

In college, motivated by wanting to save the world, she studied aquatic biology. After a short post-graduation stint in fish farming, she realized she was a people person. When a friend suggested the field of financial advising, Ms. Fox found her calling and started her own practice soon after, in 1987. By 2004, she had started coaching other advisers.

“I was one of the few who documented processes,” she said. “When 2008 happened, some [advisers] asked me to share my documentation. It gave them workflow templates to get the chaos under control.”

The response was so enthusiastic that she decided to create a business to train more advisers in planning and documenting work processes.

The AdvisorTouch system allows users to improve and systematize four important facets of their businesses: systems and operations, technology, practice management, and human capital.

Documenting processes can be transformative, Ms. Fox said, because it thoroughly organizes day-to-day activities, enables better coverage during employee absences, and links silos of activity. This in turn leads to higher efficiencies and fewer errors and allows advisers to see more clients while using less staff, resulting in greater profitability.

“Workflows are the foundation of any business. Having a detailed blueprint allows a firm to deliver exceptional consistent services according to their design,” she said.

— Deborah Nason