The role of the financial advisor has transformed entirely. Shifting geopolitical contexts, new client expectations and demographics, and technological capabilities have changed how investment advisors build and maintain wealth management relationships.
The wealth management sector is evolving
While a small group of people once dominated the wealth management sector, traditional clients now share the space with a new breed of mainstream investors with new financial plans. This is due to the rise of EMoney advisor services, tech-driven financial planning firms, and innovative products or business models, which has drawn interest and provided access to broader demographic subsets.
The great wealth transfer
Newcomers, however, don’t represent the only demographic changes. The great wealth transfer, where the majority of the global wealth is passing from Boomers to millennials, is taking place – with around $60 trillion moving to younger generations by 2060. This shift is accompanied by a whole new set of ongoing service expectations, defined by increased interest in ethics-driven investments, crypto markets, and changing service preferences, to name a few.
Aging advisor workforce
Compounding these changes in client demographics and preferences is a parallel shift in who will be offering advisory services. In an interview with Wealth Dynamics, carried out by Unblu, a representative said, “the average age of advisors remains high, with firms overexposed to the retirement of the current cohort of relationship managers and the ‘war on talent’ making hiring challenging.”
It’s safe to say that the financial life of clients and financial professionals in wealth management is undergoing complete transformation.
Simplifying complexity for better client conversations
Given this complex context, wealth management firms need to offer extended services in the most accessible manner possible. This is essential to deliver consistent value and attract prospective clients, particularly at younger life stages.
Whether it’s a matter of upskilling current staff or developing a more innovative product offering, the role of the financial advisor must embrace digital tools that deliver top client experiences. As Wealth Dynamics say, “having modern tool sets to enable a younger generation of advisors will allow them to service more clients on a ‘hybrid basis’.”
Importantly, the tools sets that Wealth Dynamics are referring to are specifically related to client meetings and general communication. All the new products and financial asset management services that are available in the space mean nothing if clients aren’t able to ask questions or receive advice in the way they expect to achieve long-term goals.
EY found that “personalized engagement plays the most important role in client satisfaction” and, by extension, client retention. This is particularly true when it comes to the level of service in ongoing relationships. The report goes on to explore the shift in expectations regarding virtual client engagement and financial planning tools when receiving investment advice.
Whereas in 2021, only 12% considered virtual consultations to be their preferred method of getting financial advice, the most recent report found that 46% of busy professionals now prefer it. Beyond the client touchpoint channel itself, they also appreciate high levels of advisor accessibility, a wide range of products, and responsiveness with frequent interactions beyond what an EMoney advisor can offer. In general, these are the same trends that we’re seeing in commercial banks, suggesting that expectations have shifted across the entire financial services industry.
Secure Messenger for financial advisor success
When it comes to achieving ongoing financial goals, one of the primary tools for two-way communication is Secure Messenger. A secure messaging app replicates the way that clients communicate on mobile devices in everyday life, without putting their data at risk.
With Secure Messenger, the interactions can take place either instantly or asynchronously, exactly as they would with popular messaging applications like WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. This ensures a more personalized experience for clients that fits into their normal working or personal lives. The client and advisor can talk about their financial plans or investment opportunities in a secure location, whenever they wish, and in an easy, natural way.
From the advisory firm’s perspective, it also ensures that compliance requirements surrounding conversation recording are adhered to – along with any of the institution’s security procedures – even in client portals.
Real case: What effect can Secure Messaging have in private wealth?
We’ve spoken before about Secure Messaging and how it can be used to supplement online meetings and enhance the client-advisor relationship. However, to understand the real-world impact secure messages can have in private banking client relationship management, we can look at an Unblu customer story.
To keep up with advisor trends, a private bank based in Spain was looking to grow their client base, modernize the client relationship, and provide their services to a broader geographical region.
Human and digital client relationship management
Addressing each of these challenges required offering digital tools that simplified complex product inquiries and helped maintain secure, ongoing relations – even across multiple regions.
The bank implemented Unblu’s Conversational Engagement Platform, which empowers the advisors to communicate more effectively with clients. As the platform is integrated into the website, e-banking app, and CRM, the advisors are able to get increased insights into individual clients, helping boost personalization.
With these insights, they were also better able to connect with the clients, whether using Co-Browsing for product demonstrations or initial meetings, Live Chat for instant support, or building ongoing relationships with Secure Messenger.
What’s more, with Secure Messenger, the client can share any relevant documentation with their financial advisor, fully confident that it will be securely stored. Since Unblu’s implementation, the bank has reported a stronger reception from clients, prospects, and advisors on the public website.
Unblu Secure Messenger statistics
From advisor perspectives, Unblu Secure Messenger has improved the advice process in a number of ways. Our customers are able to reduce advisor’s back-office tasks by 40%, as well as cutting down on BAU client request steps by 50% when compared to email. Furthermore, the ability to provide higher quality on-demand advisory has led to an increase of 15-30% in client-advisor interactions. Not only does this improve the client engagement process and appeal to unengaged clients, but it helps drive long-term goal achievements.
Promote financial advisor client engagement with Unblu
The advisor role, like the financial services industry as a whole, will always experience a wide range of changes – and offering a robust and modern advice journey is a critical issue for organizations. With new advisor fintech services having become the norm, traditional banks in the wealth space need to offer integrated services and enhanced advice for managing real-world assets.
To ensure client retention and boost advisor productivity, the ongoing service advice must be tailored to clients and available on the channel of their choice. It’s true that convenience is the service perquisite for success, but it cannot come at the expense of safety, whether regarding clients’ data or digital assets.
Secure Messenger offers the financial industry the ability for clients to intertwine their financial lives or business activity with their personal lives, contacting their investment advisor in the way they normally communicate. By doing this, client and advisor can maintain stronger, ongoing relationships that help ensure client assets and investments are properly cared for – alongside proactively offering investment advice.
If you’d like to find out more about how Secure Messenger can improve the advice process, enhance client relationship management, and drive long-term relationships, reach out to us today.