Overcoming the top issues for financial advisers NOW, and their focus for 2022

man walks tightrope between mountains

By AdviceBridge

As the UK finally eases out of the last pandemic restrictions, we take a closer look at Owen James’ WealthTech Matters survey results to see what financial advisers, wealth managers, and financial business owners are concerned about.

Owen James run events for the financial services industry. Earlier this year, they invited financial services business leaders to share their views on tech solutions that improve client engagement and experience.

The last 18 months have pushed us all towards embracing technology in our business and, as we have commented before, has sped up tech adoption throughout the industry.

The financial services industry is feeling bullish as they anticipate a year of transition

Despite increasing costs, most firms have enjoyed rising assets under management (AUM). They have also seen an increase in client numbers and taken on more front-office staff.

When asked how bullish they were feeling, respondents averaged 7.2 out of 10 on the bullish rating. Larger advisers and asset managers scored slightly higher with 8.2.

Strength in the ability to adapt and be agile

Respondents cited the following as their greatest strengths:

  • Ability to adapt and be agile
  • Staff management and culture
  • Loyalty and depth of client relationships.

Operational resilience was also highlighted, including the efficiency of business processes and robust investment propositions. However, while some considered these areas of strength, others admitted to struggling.

Weaknesses included poor infrastructure and processes

Many said they have found it hard to digitise, and this has made it difficult to attract new clients.

Ageing client bases and not knowing what clients will want in the new normal both make this problem more difficult to solve.

New opportunities centre around growth

Despite the challenges of attracting new clients, some have seen success from tapping into new digital marketing techniques.

Many have seen organic growth and have launched new services.

There have also been opportunities to attract new talent. In particular, hiring employees who are looking for greater flexibility.

Beware of the threats

Advisers raised concern about four main threats:

  1. Uncertainty, which is making investors nervous, and conditions for advisers is difficult due to increased costs and uncertainty around regulation
  2. The advice gap
  3. Increased competition, especially from disruptors
  4. Wealth decumulation as older clients fund their children’s lifestyle.

The main challenges keeping you up at night

The main issues which might concern you, in priority order, are:

  • Sourcing new clients
  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • Practicing good ESG
  • Driving productivity.

Regulation and cyberattacks are bottom of your list of business concerns.

Day-to-day challenges remain unchanged

Operational day-to-day challenges have remained unchanged over the last six months.

The top four operational challenges you continue to face are:

  1. Digitising in a changing regulatory landscape
  2. How to make your onboarding and advisory process more efficient
  3. Improving client engagement
  4. Reducing costs and time for advice.

There was also a marked increase in concerns surrounding the number of systems you use and how to minimise integration costs.

Tech innovation priorities

When asked to prioritise the tech innovations that had the greatest potential to drive change in your business, the top five priorities were:

  1. Use of digital signatures
  2. Client lifestyle management tools
  3. Plugging into the cloud
  4. Goals-based financial systems
  5. Collaborating with ecosystems of technology partners.

While the group of financial advisers who took part in this survey were seeking practical solutions, CEOs were more interested in newer solutions, keen to explore AI blockchain, virtual reality, and biometrics.

The bottom line

As the financial services industry continues to evolve and thrive, advisers remain cautiously optimistic about the future.

The full survey findings are available to watch on Vimeo.

Overcoming the challenges and focusing on the priorities with AdviceBridge

The AdviceBridge system has been specifically developed to overcome many of these challenges. It can help:

  • Make your onboarding and advisory process more efficient
  • Digitise your processes
  • Reduce costs and time for advice
  • Reduce the number of systems you use
  • Source new clients
  • Improve client engagement

AdviceBridge automates the processes, research, and analysis to generate a personal financial plan that you can quickly and easily review before presenting it to your client.

The platform replaces manual procedures, digitising many time-consuming processes, and helps increase client engagement through its simple and meaningful interface. This leaves you more time to focus on client relationships instead of admin, research, or reports.

AdviceBridge makes you more productive

Using AdviceBridge cuts the time spent on new clients down from the typical 35 to 45 hours to under 5 hours (including meetings) saving 75% to 85% of the time, increasing the level of profitability substantially with smaller clients.

AdviceBridge is easy to implement within your business

AdviceBridge integrates with existing software and significantly improves your business. You and your clients get your own separate dashboard along with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface for loading or updating information.

It is designed to save you time and help increase client engagement.

Get in touch

If you want to find out how AdviceBridge can help you grow your business, please get in touch. Email hello@advicebridge.com or call us on 020 3925 3850.