Financial Advice

Rethinking Client/Financial Advisor Relationships

A 2012 Accenture report delved into how changes in client expectations along with a more competitive landscape is forcing wealth management companies to rethink their relationships with clients and their own advisors.

Here’s a summary:

  • 2 Major trends are reshaping the playing field for wealth management: 1) a more competitive marketplace and 2) the changing nature of clients
  1. The market is becoming more crowded with players from adjacent industries entering including those who can leverage significant capabilities and existing relationships (banks) or their brand presence and existing distribution channels (insurance companies) or those that can offer direct product distribution without advice (Non financial firms
  2. The need for advice has never been greater, clients want 24/7 access to advice, diversified sources of advice, and less costly advice. Advice-led distribution will remain a key focus. But those that are successful will find a new ways to deliver & provide more options for delivery including direct access to information, fairly sophisticated planning tools & risk metrics

How can the client-advisor relationship evolve in response to growing consumer demand for customization and the imminent threat of new competitors ? T

he Accenture report suggests firms and advisors work to

  • Be more customer centric.
  • Enable collaboration,
  • Improve process efficiency
  • Support stronger relationships.
  • Leverage technology to reduce risk, improve compliance and make selling simpler.
  • Build deeper relationships with clients/enable advisors to be more productive
  • Integrate mobile and social strategies
  • Enhance client experiences via mobile access to data along with interactive technologies 
  • Add a human element to digital interactions
  • Add analytics, insight driven intelligence and interactive tools for advisors

Accenture reports that firms must integrate the digital experience into the overall advisory experience, to support the advisors’ role. Top advisors at wealth management firms will adapt to changing client expectations and new competitive forces by doing what they already do best and

  • Showclients that they can provide value beyond that of direct channels
  • Provide high-touch, client-focused advice that reinforces their understanding of clients’ financial needs
  • Use tools and systems to increase productivity
  • Collaborate both internally and externally to build solutions that are tailored to their clients’ personal preferences as well as meet their financial goals.

Today’s top-performing advisors have developed personal, successful strategies and tactics. but those at the top, need to work to leverage such practices throughout the broader advisor network. Accenture suggests that Firms should give adequate consideration about how to provide advisors at all levels with the tools and capabilities needed to deliver a branded, valuable and distinctive client experience.

Also, further strategies are required in order for firms to differentiate by building on their current strengths giving appropriate consideration to how they will:

  • Satisfy client expectations for a customized experience,
  • Institutionalize and promote the practices of top performers
  • Address the proposal creation/meeting preparation activities to make way for more highly tailored experiences  while cutting preparation time
  • Increase customer intimacy through branded and customized client experiences, intended to result in higher prospect-to-client conversion and higher lifetime value of relationships
  • Build capabilities to make the advisor a one-stop-shop for a complete set of financial services, including tax, estate and retirement planning
  • Complement face-to-face with self-serve interactions, providing clients with advice when, where, and how they want it

You can read more of Accenture’s Report here   and …

You can learn about how LegacyTracker can help Advisor/Relationships by contacting us