NEW YORK -- The average high-net-worth investor is changing and that spells a significant opportunity for advisors.

There is “fierce competition for a small slice of the pie,” Christine Gaze, the director of practice management TD Ameritrade, said at the Women Advisor Forum on Wednesday. According to Cerulli’s research, 316,109 financial advisors are competing for 206,000 investors that have more than $10 million in investable assets.

The good news, according to Gaze, is that the number of advisors is decreasing as more retire, and the number of wealthy and ultra-wealthy investors is growing annually.  

The bad news?  In the wake of the financial crisis, wealthy investors are less confident in their financial providers. As a result, Gaze said high-net-worth individuals have increased the number of financial advisors that they use 31% to an average of 3.21 advisors.

“Wealthy investors are hoping they will find an advisor that will suit their needs,” she said. “I think that this is a terrific opportunity.”

For an advisor to stand out with wealthy investors, they need to offer better communication. According to CapGemini, 84% of wealthy client place a significant importance on frequent and innovative communications.

“Clients want to reengage,” Gaze said. “More clients and advisors are comfortable using technology to communicate.”

BETTER COMMUNICATION

Gaze said it is critical for advisors to tailor their communication. She offered suggestions on how advisors can improve communication:

  • Use your CRM as your bible
  • Encourage documentation of reveals
  • Hold internal client briefings
  • Review your clients’ social media profiles. “But don’t be creepy,” Gaze said. “You don’t want to be perceived as a cyberstalker.”
  • Align like team members with like clients

TIERED SERVICE

To stand out, advisors also need to tier their service. Gaze said advisors need to combine quantitative and qualitative metrics when they build their tiered service models. Too often, advisors only consider metrics, like revenue and assets, but there are other factors to consider.

“Think thoughtfully about clients with future potential, both in terms of assets and for referrals,” she said.