Clients don’t care very much about their financial advisor’s digital technology

digital technology

It appears clients care much less about their financial advisor’s digital technology than advisors do.

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The financial services industry spends a lot of time talking about technology and there are thousands of companies around the world and tens of billions of dollars being invested in financial technology or FinTech companies to enhance the digital offering. Yet, when you ask clients of financial advisors how important all this technology is, you get a surprising answer.

Steve Sanduski
Steve Sanduski: Technology does not replace the need to have human to human contact on complex, emotionally-charged issues that are often at the heart of financial planning.

In today’s show, I discuss a number of digital technology issues including:

  • Recent research which suggests a financial advisor’s digital capabilities rank low in terms of the value the client gets from their advisor.
  • The strategy behind offering, or not offering, robo advisor technology.
  • The surprising result of my proprietary research on how many clients one advisor can work with and the real secret behind how to increase that number.
  • The implications of all this emphasis on digital technology and what it means for client satisfaction and referrals.

Listen to Steve Sanduski Discuss Digital Technology  

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Some of the data from today’s show comes from a recent PwC survey. Here are a few quotes I found interesting.

Leaders of established wealth management firms acknowledge the importance of digital as a means to improve efficiency and engage more broadly with clients. But they also tend to see digital as an operational tool to facilitate their firm’s existing activities rather than a means to transform their proposition. Again, this is largely driven by a fundamental perception that wealth management is – and needs to remain – a human-led business, and technology is only an adjunct to this.

At the end of the day we are still humans and humans need other humans. Technology is here to help us, to make us quicker and better at what we do.

In all cases, the perceived value of a wealth management firm is driven by a combination of personal relationship and investment results. Where a strong personal relationship exists, investment results tend to be less of a focus. Conversely, where the client-wealth manager relationship is weak, value is reliant on strong investment performance.

Among HNW clients, the rapport with their advisor is cited as the second-most valued aspect of a wealth management service after investment performance. Without question, any future wealth management model needs to retain this human aspect.

Consulting

I am available to consult with your firm on the issues raised in this podcast and other strategic issues facing your firm. To learn more, click here to send me an email inquiry.

Resources

PwC Strategy& Global Wealth Management Survey 2016

Ric Edelman Podcast

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Steve is the founder of Belay Advisor and a NYT bestselling author, podcast host, speaker, and financial advisor coach.

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