Today’s wealthy clients want their advisors to deeply understand and holistically manage their financial lives, but more than anything, they want to be able to trust their advisors, according to research released Tuesday by SEI.
“High-net-worth clients expect exceptional client experiences in all facets of their lives,” John Anderson, head of practice management solutions at Independent Advisor Solutions by SEI, said in a statement.
Luxury hospitality and retail brands often deliver a superior, personal experience that helps set the service standard in their respective industries, Anderson said.
“While technology and investment performance contribute to overall client satisfaction, our research shows that fostering trust and personalizing the investor experience can help advisors consistently meet, or exceed, clients’ expectations. The advisory industry lacks an existing standard, and we have an opportunity to create one.”
SEI conducted an online advisor survey in July, generating 375 responses, and partnered with Phoenix Marketing International to poll 957 affluent U.S. households. For the white paper, SEI focused exclusively on the responses from 347 households with $1 million to $4,999,999 in investable assets. It also qualified “true” high-net-worth advisors as those with client bases 70% of which had $1 million or more in investable assets.
SEI’s survey found that 85% of wealthy investors were either very satisfied or satisfied with their primary financial advisor relationship. Their top three reasons for their levels of satisfaction were the overall relationship, trustworthiness and honesty, and investment performance.
However, only 26% of high-net-worth respondents said they were getting enough information from their advisor to accept their recommendation, and just 44% said they trusted their advisors enough to take their guidance at face value.
Meanwhile, 91% of advisors in the survey said that wealthy clients would rank trustworthiness and dependability as important characteristics.
SEI noted that these findings showed that trust, rooted in tailored, highly personalized service, could be the currency of success for advisors serving the high-net-worth market segment.