It’s a question that’s troubled many advisers. Is it targeting high net worth, is it specialising in a particular field or connecting with the multitude of clients you’ve acquired through auto enrolment? Of course all these are plausible solutions, but may involve significant marketing spends, further training or a lot of digging to find a few diamonds in the rough.
Perhaps the answer lies closer to home, with your own client bank, or more specifically their spouses and children. This isn’t automatic though. Evidence from the US suggests 70% of women considered dismissing their financial adviser after the death of their husband1
Perhaps this reflects the adviser’s failure to engage with both parties of the marriage. This can especially be the case where one party is more financially confident, or simply has traditionally fulfilled that role in the relationship.
Further evidence suggests 18% of advisers have never met their clients' children2, meaning their children don’t know you, they don’t have a level of trust built up with you, and if they have their own adviser, they’ll probably want them to deal with the assets in the future. Remember, people buy from people.
There are plenty of steps you can take to prevent these issues arising, such as:
Involving the children in meetings may even uncover surprising plans for an inheritance. The children may intend to pass any unused drawdown funds to their own children. This may mean your client altering the expression of wish on their pension to include their grandchildren. This way, the grandchildren have the option to receive income rather than being limited to a lump sum or annuity. This needs to be done while your client is still alive.
Prospecting for new clients may have taken a back seat since pension freedoms, as business has been buoyant for many advisers. However clients age and pass away, with their wealth generally cascading to the next generation.
To protect the longevity of your business, and ultimately its value, organic growth via existing clients may be the answer.
1 Wealth Transfer: Is your firm's share walking out the door, Accenture consulting, 2018
2 Wealth Transfer: Is your firm's share walking out the door, Accenture consulting, 2018
Senior Business Development Manager
Justin Corliss is a Senior Business Development Manager with Royal London. Justin’s career in financial services began in his native Australia in 1997, where he worked for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in client facing mortgage roles. Since moving to Scotland in 2002 he has held positions as a broker consultant for both Scottish Widows and Scottish Life dealing predominately with pensions. Before assuming his current role he worked as an Employee Benefits Consultant with a private firm. Justin holds the Chartered Institute of Insurance Advanced Diploma in Financial Services including AF3 & AF7.