Engagement key to retaining clients

Investment Trends research director for wealth management Recep Peker.


By Sarah Kendell

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Australians’ use of financial planners has declined over the past year, making engaging regularly with clients and demonstrating value for money essential for advisers to retain existing revenue levels, according to Investment Trends.

Speaking in a recent webinar hosted by netwealth, Investment Trends research director for wealth management Recep Peker said a survey conducted by the firm in June this year indicated 100,000 fewer consumers were using a financial planner compared to the same time last year.

The company put this down largely to a lack of communication between advisers and clients, with 500,000 of the 2.3 million Australians who use a financial planner having not heard from their adviser during the previous 12 months.

Additionally, 36 per cent of those who had stopped using a financial planner in the past year said it was because they no longer saw value for money in their service.

Peker said demonstrating value was key for planners to consider, as it didn’t necessarily equate with charging lower fees but was more about making clients feel they were achieving better results.

“The top satisfaction driver among advice clients is value for money, but once someone is a loyal client they are happy to pay fees, even at an increased level,” said Peker.

“Value is actually more about communication – they want the adviser to demonstrate their progress toward their goals, and be able to explain investment concepts in a way they can understand.”

With increasing compliance requirements making it difficult for advisers to have time to regularly engage with a large pool of clients, Peker suggested making better use of technology was a good way for advisers to make their clients feel more involved in the advice process.

“If an adviser’s platform has mobile access for clients they tend to be a lot more engaged - wealthier clients want more online access to their finances but they also don’t have the time to sit behind a desktop device, so they are more likely to use mobile to look at how their situation is evolving,” said Peker.

“Technology providers are increasingly recognising this need and building platforms that are mobile friendly, which means the client can then feel engaged without the adviser being active personally.”

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