Practice - Technology
What Clients, Advisors Want
by: John McCormick
Monday, February 11, 2013
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MIAMI - What are the top needs of advisors and their top clients?

Derek Bruton, a managing director and national sales manager, independent advisor services, at LPL, said at the Technology Tools for Today conference that there are a number of challenges facing the investment market – from shaken consumer confidence, the still-struggling housing market, higher taxes and low interest rates.

LPL received feedback from 12,000 advisors. It has has approximately 4.2 million accounts at its custodian and broker/dealer.

Bruton said that there are “tremendous opportunities” for advisors today. There are $1.6 trillion in investible assets.  Plus, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day. They might now be retired now, he said, but they are moving toward retirement and looking for advice. “There is a real bull market [for investment advice],” he said.

But what do these clients want from their advisors? And what do advisors need from their partners to grow?

In many respects, Bruton said, pretty much the same thing” “great service and integrated technology.”

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Bruton said clients are looking for:

  • Safety in assets.
  • Unbiased holistic advice. Investors want to get all their financial advice from a single source. “They want to go to one advisor,” he said.
  • They want transparency. They want to know how their advisor is doing business.
  • They want an advisor who is responsive.  Not being able to reach your advisor, to get a call return, he said, “is the number one reason clients leave their advisor.”
  • They want someone they can trust.

And advisors are looking for partners that:

  • Will help them drive organic growth – new business from new clients.
  • Will help manage the growing complexities of running a practice.
  • Can minimize the growing hassles and cost of compliance. “Next to human capital,”  Bruton said, “compliance is the fastest growing cost [advisors] have”
  • Are responsive.
  • Are transparent and fair. Advisors, he said, “want to see what they’re paying for.”
  • Are trustworthy.
  • Are profitable. “They want a partner that will be around,” he said.

And today, whether it’s a partner servicing a client or an advisor serving an investor, you need to provide superior service to succeed. “You can’t be like everyone else,” he said.

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