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Advisers must be more creative in attracting new clients for future survival

New research paper reveals that the most enduring and profitable advised opportunity is linked to the various retirement life stages.

Businessmen standing and giving advice with arrow pathway choice.

Charles Stanley

in Features


The Future of Advice – Beneath and Beyond, a new paper from independent analysts AKG which Charles Stanley co-sponsored*. The paper reveals that the most enduring and profitable advised opportunity is linked to the various retirement life stages of baby boomers and propositions must be developed to ride the wave of those in and approaching retirement.

Download research paper

Nearly one in five (19%) of advisers are concerned about their ageing client base and one in eight (12%) are worried about marketing costs and how they will attract new clients.  Subsequently, more creative new business generation strategies need to be developed in the longer-term and over the short to mid-term advisers need to work harder at tapping into intergenerational and multi-generational advice opportunities by further extending existing client relationships.  


According to John Porteous, our Group Head of Distribution, "Given the degree of uncertainty and disruption that society has faced so far in 2020, the value of structured and professionally thought through financial planning is significant. Equally, against a backdrop of market volatility and economic disruption, the value offered must be explicit and communicated in a fashion that resonates with clients (eye of the beholder). Increasingly, a positive value exchange cannot just be assumed – it should be agreed."

Major life events or circumstances such as buying a house or retirement are the triggers that would make over a third (35%) of people more likely to seek financial advice.  One in eight people (12%) say they always consult a financial adviser when making major decisions and nearly one in 10 (9%) have regretted not seeking financial advice on such decisions.  One-size doesn’t fit all, and different advice service models within the same organisation or separate but complementary types of adviser business can be developed, such as segmenting varying requirements by age or other characteristics or groupings.

These measures are critical as only 24% of adults surveyed have seen a financial adviser to discuss financial planning in the past five years and 17% have done so in conjunction with their partner/spouse. 

However, the Coronavirus has created an immediate window of opportunity as it has made people think about their financial situation.  40% of those surveyed have discussed their financial planning with their partner/spouse/friends within the past year and 29% have done so within the past month because of the coronavirus crisis.  Just under one-fifth (17%) said they will have a need for advice due to Covid-19 and a further 27% are undecided.


Advisers are more optimistic and see a positive outlook for engagement, with 52% believing Covid-19 will increase demand for financial advice from existing customers, and 48% are of the view it will increase demand from new customers.

The paper highlights that the big question for the industry is how to convert this interest and these discussions with friends and family into meaningful engagement with financial advisers where these relationships are not in place. 

John Porteous further notes "The subject of intergenerational wealth transfer has historically been uncomfortable to broach – some even describing it as 'taboo'. The lockdown of 2020 has made clients revisit what is really important to them (with the emphasis on health and happiness in a wider context of wealth) - in particular the importance of personal relationships and family. This has led barriers to be broken around emotive conversations. As we emerge into a ‘new normal’ it is highly likely that a redefined connection between multiple generations will be at the top of the planning agenda."

About the research

AKG carried out three separate but complementary market research exercises, with both adviser and consumer audiences, to underpin the delivery of this research paper which can be downloaded free of charge at https://www.akg.co.uk/downloads.  It surveyed:

  • 100 advisers during March/April 2020
  • 1041 consumers on 15/16 April 2020
  • 20 qualitative interviews with intermediary firms


*The Future of Advice – Beneath and Beyond research paper was sponsored by Canada Life, Charles Stanley, Fidelity FundsNetwork and Intelliflo.

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