As more affluent individuals lose faith in their advisors opportunities arise for strong wealth managers to scoop up new clients.
And WealthEngine, a provider of wealth identification and prospect research tools, can help. Last week the firm released a white paper, which identified ways for financial advisors to build their business and introduced new tools to identify and attract new clients.
WealthEngine has 30 databases with names and data about over eight million high net worth individuals, which allows financial advisors to track and understand individuals’ net worth, investable assets, income, real estate holdings, business and family interests, and political and philanthropic giving.
“Our advisors have been very effective in using WealthEngine's tools to build and refresh their pipelines with new sources of wealth,” Jordan Berlin, a senior managing director at Advanced Equities in New York, said in a press release. “Being able to search in certain geographies and uncover private business owners and their circle of friends has proven lucrative to some of our more innovative advisors.”
These tools are important at a time when studies, such as the 2009 Phoenix Companies study, reveal that 28% of respondents indicated they were either looking for a new advisor or seriously considering switching advisors. In another survey conducted by Briskin Consulting, 58% of respondents indicated that they would consider switching financial advisors if they reached a point where they needed advice, products or services that their current advisor couldn’t provide.
James Dean, a vice president and head of WealthEngine's financial services practice, explained in a phone interview Monday that every firm from Goldman Sachs to Northern Trust is competing for the same pool of 28% of clients who are considering a switch.
“Based on the statistics if one in three or one in four high net worth individuals are looking for a new financial advisor than by asking your clients for four new referrals you should be fairly confident that one of those people you contact are really looking to make a switch,” he said. “That’s not a needle in a haystack.”
Dean emphasizes that it is important for wealth advisors to use technology, like WealthEngine’s, which provides data about their clients so advisors know who their clients are, where they live, what their lifestyles are, and what boards they sit on. By knowing clients well advisors can look for more clients who fit the same demographics. “That is how advisors find a sweet spot,” he said.
Retaining clients is equally as important as recruiting them. What makes an advisor stand out in a crowded space is a firm’s investment performance, the innovative programs they use, how transparent they are and their ability to communicate with their clients. For example, Dean said that some innovative advisors have built a philanthropic practice into their firm to remain competitive since that is what their clients were looking for. But many have not.
“We know our clients are using the vulnerabilities of other large wealth advisors who are sticking to outdated wealth management skills to swipe their clients,” he said.