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The use of technology during lockdown

Our latest Akademia video discusses how advisers can use technology to develop their businesses and the two big trends which started to emerge across the industry.

Man looking at computer screen video conferencing

by
John Porteous

in Features

02.12.2020

In our latest Akademia video, John Porteous, Group Head of Distribution joins Nick Eatock, Chief Executive Officer at Intelliflo and Rob Tedder, Knowledge & Success Manager at i4C to discuss how advisers can use technology to develop their businesses. We’re seeing two big trends starting to emerge across the industry. 

Trend one: Content-led 

Many of us are starting to suffer from digital fatigue, finding ourselves in seemingly constant online meetings. As such, there’s a big focus now on content. It’s the content that has to draw you in and make you want to engage with either individuals or corporates. Advisers, wealth managers and other professional service firms are starting to appreciate the power of content, but the challenge is making sure that you can be authentic. How can technology convey an authentic 
personality to draw you in?

Trend two: Interactivity

We’ve seen robo-advice, and we’ve seen many manifestations of the hybrid model, which is part computerised algorithm-driven and part human, and we’re starting to see that splice into the financial planning community.

There has been a huge increase in the ways clients and advisers have engaged using technology in the past six months. The use of client portals is up four to fivefold the use of ‘DocuSign’d’ e-signatures has also risen tenfold.

As an industry, we are starting to recognise that these online interactions really work – and that customers actually really like it. It does not mean that face-to-face interactions will become a thing of the past – it will give your clients more choice in the way they are able to engage with you. 

Is this going to be short term or long term?

Businesses that have rapidly-adopted new technology, noticeably enhancing their services to clients, have proved to be more successful at navigating the difficult backdrop resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The figures

The e-adviser index analyses how well individual advisers adopt new technology and then measures the impact in terms of new business and the average size of a client. It is clear that the advisers that adopt client-facing technology such as client portals have more clients with more assets under advice than those who don’t use the technology.

Those advisers are bringing on people who have less to invest, but because they can use the technology to reduce the cost to advise those clients, it works. Ultimately that’s a pretty good social outcome for all.

The future of ‘the office’ 

One major, long-term impact of the pandemic is its likely influence on demand for office space. It has become apparent  that there’s an enormous amount 
of productive work that staff can do remotely.

Technology has shown us that we have many options – and we don’t always need to do things all the same way. Many people will return to the office, but the pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we will work in the future. Staff who previously spent five days a week in the office, may in future spend fewer days commuting to a central location. Everyone will find their own working pattern that suits themselves and their employer  – be it three days a week in the office or as little as once a fortnight. It will be different for every individual role.

Watch the Akademia video featuring Charles Stanley and claim CPD.

Nothing on this website should be construed as personal advice based on your circumstances. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal.

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