Advisers must become ‘lifestyle coaches’: Zurich

Financial advisers must rethink their role and shift towards being a ‘financial lifestyle coach’, according to a new Zurich white paper.

Advisers will need to widen the scope of their offering in order to cater for the growing clientele of Millennials who will make up 50 per cent of the working population by 2020, according to Zurich’s white paper BusinessFIT: Navigating toward the advice practice of tomorrow.

The financial white paper, launched today, was the result of a one-day workshop facilitated by futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson and six other members of the financial services/adviser industry, such as BT Financial Group head of licensee development Jessica Brady and Netwealth joint managing director Matt Heine.

Speaking in Sydney today, Zurich Financial Services Australia head of marketing and communications Richard Dunkerley said financial advice professionals lagged behind other sectors in adopting technology.


“They’re needing to find more ways to broaden their offering and to redefine their value proposition,” Mr Dunkerley said.

“What can they do that customers are prepared to pay for?”

Advisers would need to move away from being a ‘technical specialist’ towards “a more holistic ‘financial lifestyle coach’” that grasped the nuances of their client’s lifestyles and goals, the paper said.

“Clients want to be excited about their financial future,” Crosbie Wealth Management director Tim Deamer said in the paper.

“The sale of a product is irrelevant to them.

“Having tools that they can engage with are important, so when they interact with their adviser, they feel as though they are being supported on their journey.” 

The paper also pointed to a global Ernst & Young survey that revealed four out of five Australian customers don’t trust their banking institution to provide unbiased advice, and said trust was increasingly being facilitated through word of mouth, such as on social media platforms.

As a result, financial advisers would need to find new methods of engagement with this demographic and raise financial literacy by encouraging the use of technological tools and apps.

“Once clients become comfortable with managing their own finances (albeit on an elementary level) and familiar with an adviser’s ‘automated’ products, they will likely be more trusting of financial advice as a service and willing to reach out to an adviser for more personalised guidance because they can’t get the most out of their money without first knowing what purpose the money is to serve,” the paper said.

“The focus for an adviser at this point is showing their value as a ‘financial lifestyle coach’, spending time – especially during the first interview with a client – listening to the client’s desires, dreams, goals, objectives and passions so that recommendations are on target with those things.”

Advisers must become ‘lifestyle coaches’: Zurich
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