The vast majority of financial advisors believe better technology would greatly improve their chances of gaining new clients, says a new joint study released by Broadridge Financial Solutions and the Financial Services Institute.
The study, released Jan. 31, 2022, polled more than 400 U.S. financial advisors about the wealth management industry. Over half (58%) of respondents describe their business as a “solo” practice. Of the advisors who said they had a “team” practice (42%), the average team size was four.
Although 92% of advisors were satisfied overall with their technology, 83% believe improved tech tools would greatly help client acquisition. Nearly a third, 32%, said they want to use such tools to prospect for new clients outside their current geographic location.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic caused an enormous shift among U.S. office workers from primarily in-person work interactions to virtual ones. Not surprisingly, advisors are getting more comfortable with video conferencing. The survey found that 21% currently use video conferencing, but 39% say they will use it over the next 12 months. Most (88%) also plan to increase or maintain in-person formal client meetings.
The study also found that advisors are moving toward holistic planning. Most advisors (60%) are equally focused on financial planning and investment management, the study said. Advisors under 45 said client-facing tools are the no. 1 area where they want tech improvements as they increasingly focus on holistic financial planning.
Advisors also want to increase their connections with clients’ family members. The study found 89% have connected or want to engage with children and grandchildren. Also, nine in 10 advisors say it’s important to maintain a strong relationship with both spouses. On average, 68% of formal client meetings include both spouses, advisors said.
In addition, the research found 64% of advisors have seen an increased interest in cryptocurrency from clients. Also, 33% of advisors said more clients are interested in ESG investments.
Broadridge Financial Solutions is a global fintech leader with $5 billion in revenues. FSI advocates on behalf of independent broker-dealer firms and financial advisors.