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The value of advice and how it’s changing

The world of advice is changing and adapting to these changes is integral to the survival and growth of our businesses.

Virtual Meeting

by
Sean Osborne

23.06.2020

The world of advice is changing and adapting to these changes is integral to the survival and growth of our businesses.

Watch the latest Akademia video, joined by Charles Stanley's Group Head of Distribution, John Porteous and Investment Manager, Tsitsi Mutiti, along with the Co-Founder & Managing Director of Octo Members, Lee Robertson, as they discuss:

  • Understanding how client behaviours and advice is changing
  • How these changes are affecting intergenerational wealth planning
  • How advisers might need to adapt to demonstrate value.

Although we’ve seen increased adoption of technology over the last few years, the coronavirus crisis has brought forward the necessity of engaging our clients digitally. This experience has shown us that the older generation are not necessarily the technophobes some may have expected but are embracing technology, and indeed a great many were already face-timing their families prior to lockdown.

We are no longer able to sit down face-to-face with our clients to have our regular conversations. These more intimate and difficult conversations, such as discussing issues like intergenerational wealth, are now taking place virtually. Where some have worried in the past that an increased reliance on technology could be a threat to the services we provide our clients, we have come to understand that technology provides an opportunity for advisers to interact with their clients through different mechanisms and finding what method suits your client could be vital to your success.

We try to encourage clients to involve family members and key stakeholders in our meetings and conversations. Understanding the full family dynamic and their needs allows you to better adapt to their changing situation over time and firmly positions you as the family’s core trusted adviser.

However, this alone comes with a logistical challenge; bringing together a family and their key stakeholders into one room can be difficult, with multiple diaries and travel considerations to take into account.

One of the positives about being at home and using technology means that a meeting that was going to take place 4-5 weeks away, could happen sooner. We have seen clients embrace this, as they are used to their virtual family quizzes and catching up with friends online – this has become the new normal.

It is clear, however, that the transition to digital communication is easier with existing clients as you've already established a strong relationship first through in-person connection. We understand the discovery stage with a new client is much harder to do virtually because of the sheer complexity of the affairs for some people, as such the value of meeting in-person is unlikely to diminish.

At Charles Stanley, we find the earlier you can start building that relationship the better and that often starts with asking the right questions and spending time getting to know your clients. Building a solid foundation of trust is crucial in enabling you to understand their needs and the needs of their family, in order to create a long-term strategy that can be flexible in uncertain times such as these.

Clients value being treated as an individual and being able to educate them on the strategy you have put in place for them, ensures they have peace of mind over their finances. We may be measured by our performance and fees, but our clients value the trust that they have put in us much more and being able to effectively communicate the strategy and how this is being impacted is key. Which is why I think the adoption of technology to deliver our communications and have that interaction is so important, now more than ever.

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