SOURCE: Halbert Hargrove

FiComm Partners

May 11, 2015 12:00 ET

Halbert Hargrove Pilots Financial Client Discovery Process Based on Proven Healthcare Model Developed by Dr. Jeff Belkora

LONG BEACH, CA--(Marketwired - May 11, 2015) -

  • Halbert Hargrove is first RIA Firm to test SLCT Client Discovery Process
  • SLCT (pronounced "select") is an interview protocol first used to stimulate patient disclosure in health care practices
  • With initial results based on a client sample group, the amount of client input during discussion increased from 57% to 68%, as the rate at which advisors asked questions as part of their dialogue with clients increased from 52% to 67%

Halbert Hargrove, an independent registered investment advisory firm, has partnered with Dr. Jeff Belkora, faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, to pilot his SLCT discovery process with a subset of its clients. SLCT (pronounced "select") stands for the four steps in Dr. Belkora's interview protocol: Scribing, Laddering, Checking and Triaging. Rigorous research in the health care setting, including randomized controlled trials, showed that SLCT has been associated with increases in patient question-asking, self-efficacy (confidence), and satisfaction; and reductions in anxiety, distress, and regret.

Designed to improve patient outcomes in health care, the process includes:

  • Scribing: Writing down what a client says is at the top of their mind
  • Laddering: Asking clients to elaborate on their top-of-mind concerns
  • Checking: Administering a prompt sheet to stimulate additional client disclosure of goals, concerns, interests, priorities and questions
  • Triaging: Creating a succinct document, edited for clarity and brevity, that summarizes the client agenda

"Whenever we are able to improve the way we address client service, it's an easy decision to get involved; when Russell Investments presented us with this opportunity, we were compelled to learn more," said president and chief operating officer, JC Abusaid. "First and foremost, our priority is staying true to our fiduciary commitment. We decided to test the process and, as early indicators show, SLCT can help us better understand our clients, their interests and how we can most effectively address their needs."

The study compared the advisors' client discovery sessions before and after training six Halbert Hargrove advisors to use SLCT. Dr. Belkora's quantitative and qualitative analyses found that the SLCT method appears to be easy for the advisors to use, and the interview protocol garnered positive results. The rate at which advisors asked questions as part of their dialogue with clients increased from 52% to 67%; the amount of client disclosure increased from 57% to 68%; and the client's rating of interviews on a 10-item survey rose from 61% to 85%. SLCT was also associated with improved client ratings of discovery interviews; and improved advisor documentation.

"Financial advisors are like doctors except they focus on financial health rather than physical health. Their clients are the same people who benefit from SLCT as patients. It makes sense that techniques used for patient discovery should work well for the investor discovery process as well," said Dr. Belkora.

Halbert Hargrove foresees that the SLCT method has potential to play a larger role in connecting advisor practices to client outcomes, such as client acquisition, satisfaction and retention.

"Our firm is excited about the potential to expand the use of Dr. Belkora's methods," said Cecilia Williams, Halbert Hargrove's chief compliance officer. "Based on early results, we are very hopeful that the long term effects will be positive all-around both for our clients and our advisors."

Global asset manager Russell Investments identified a connection between the similarities in medical patient care and work with financial services clients. The firm partnered with Dr. Belkora on some initial exploratory research, and ultimately introduced Halbert Hargrove to Dr. Belkora.

Added Kevin Hoffberg, managing director, marketing for Russell Investments' U.S. advisor-focused business, "Halbert Hargrove's implementation of Dr. Belkora's groundbreaking work underscores the parallels between patient care and client service and how a strong focus on building a solid foundation of trust can have a positive impact on communication, decision-making and the effectiveness of the overall advisor/client relationship."

Halbert Hargrove is proud to adhere to fiduciary standards of client care and is continuously seeking to improve the ways in which it operates. This past year was the fifth in a row that the firm reached CEFEX certification, a standard for accountability and fiduciary excellence.

To learn more about the study and Dr. Belkora's full report, read Evaluating Client Discovery Interviews at a Financial Advisory Firm.

For more information about Halbert Hargrove, visit

For more information about Russell Investments, visit

For more on Dr. Jeff Belkora and his research, please visit

To schedule an interview with any of the spokespeople quoted in this press release, including from Halbert Hargrove, Russell Investments or Dr. Belkora, please e-mail

About Halbert Hargrove
Halbert Hargrove Global Advisors, LLC, is a fiduciary investment management and wealth advisory firm that provides investment management, wealth advisory, financial planning, and consulting services to individuals, families, charitable organizations, and trusts. Founded in 1933, Halbert Hargrove is headquartered in Long Beach, CA, and has $4.08B assets under management. For more information on Halbert Hargrove, including important disclosures relating to the 2014 rankings, please visit

About Dr. Jeff Belkora
Jeff Belkora, PhD, is a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He runs a patient support program at the UCSF Medical Center, helping people weigh the risks and benefits of their treatment options as they make life and death decisions. Dr. Belkora also advises other organizations implementing consumer engagement programs. Most recently, he is working with financial advisors to apply his consumer engagement methods in the domain of financial services.

About Russell Investments
Russell Investments is a global asset manager and one of only a few firms that offers actively managed multi-asset portfolios and services that include advice, investments and implementation. Russell Investments' retail products are made available to individuals working with financial advisors such as Halbert Hargrove. Russell Investments has more than $272 billion in assets under management (as of 12/31/2014) and works with over 2,500 institutional clients, independent distribution partners and individual investors globally. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Russell Investments is wholly owned by London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and operates globally. For more information about how Russell Investments helps to improve financial security for people, visit or follow @RussellNews.

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