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Financial Advisors Speed Up Shift to Holistic Financial Planning

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Fifty-one percent of financial advisors in a new survey said they were increasing focus within their practices on providing clients holistic financial planning, Broadridge Financial Solutions reported Monday.

Survey participants younger than 40 were four times likelier than advisors over 55 to believe that holistic financial planning was the main value they provided to clients.

As investors increasingly demand financial planning, survey respondents also expected to move toward a team structure rather than work in solo practices. Eight in 10 advisors said they would be part of a team in three years.

The survey also found that the number of advisors with 75% or more fee-based assets under management would increase from 51% to 67% over the next three years.

“While we surveyed advisors prior to widespread quarantining, our perspective is that the current global environment has intensified pre-existing trends,” Matthew Schiffman, principal of distribution insight at Broadridge Financial Solutions, said in a statement.

“As advisors accelerate the move to holistic planning in part due to this, they need two things: a digital-first mindset and broad support from asset managers.”

Schiffman said the burden was on asset managers to address advisor and ultimately investor concerns — particularly ones that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

As for a digital mindset, “there is simply no longer a choice,” he said. “The industry has been inching toward digital distribution of content and communication for some time, and overnight, we stopped inching and took the full leap.”

The survey was conducted by 8 Acre Perspective from Feb. 21 to March 1 among 300 financial advisors across wirehouse, regional, IBD and RIA channels.

Building Stronger Relationships 

Eighty percent of advisors surveyed said they were looking for asset managers to help them optimize their businesses, with 78% of these wanting support on portfolio construction and risk management.

However, only 25% of advisors indicated that they were actively seeking out new relationships with asset managers.

Advisors continue to need help on digital transformation efforts. Fifty-seven percent said they were looking for support from asset managers on building a tech stack — e.g., customer relationship management, financial planning software and data analytics — and 41% on strategies for outsourcing.

The survey also uncovered an opportunity for managers to provide support around generational and demographic shifts in investing.

Fifty-nine percent of advisor respondents expressed interest in receiving content on how to market to women and minorities. Similarly, 71% showed interest in acquiring new millennial investor clients.

Advisors cited wholesalers, white papers (or other thought leadership) and websites as the main ways they liked to receive content and support from asset managers.


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