For us at Centrepoint Alliance, it’s not about product, it’s not about market share and it’s not about profitability. It’s about the client’s experience, their sense of financial security and their overall wellbeing.
Financial advisers provide their clients with peace of mind, that positive sense of wellbeing knowing they are financially secure. But we are seeing rapid disruption occurring across all industries, driven by the consumerisation of everything. Whether this be cheaper pricing, faster, simpler services or more engaging user experiences, today’s clients are ‘uberised’. And no matter the service you are providing them, they now have a certain level of expectation they will receive the same experience in every other aspect of their life.
The revolution of the client experience in financial advice has been slower than in some other areas. But, focus your business activities on the following areas, and your practice will develop a compelling advice proposition for the future.
1. Improve and grow your brand as a professional adviser
Financial security is at the heart of our clients’ wellbeing. But to give them security, they must first have security in financial advisers as trusted professionals.
Clients want to set and achieve their goals, realise their dreams and be empowered with financial acumen. How can you give your clients confidence that you can coach and support them through a rapidly changing, complex world? How can you give them a positive sense of wellbeing across their financial affairs?
2. Put your clients at the centre of your business operations
Financial advisers hold a unique and privileged position in their clients’ lives.
It is a trusted relationship that is developed over many years, and one in which the adviser will often know more about that individual than any of their other professional relationships.
By intimately knowing your clients and understanding their needs and what drives them, you’ll develop a rapport and trusted bond that no technology can replicate. Through the planning process you will give them that sense of confidence of having a solid financial plan, a sense of achievement in meeting their goals and ultimately a sense of financial security that comes with feeling in control.
3. Leverage technology to manage increasing regulatory change and compliance obligations
As the industry continues to professionalise, compliance obligations will increase. However, the integration of technology and outsourcing to specialists of non-client facing activities will alleviate this burden somewhat.
Much of this technology and many outsourced service providers are available today - but is it seamless and integrated yet? No, but that’s certainly the future and that’s the future for which we’re driving.
4. Invest in technology and partner with providers who are doing the same
We’re investing heavily – it’s a core part of our future and the future of our advisers’ firms.
We’re working with IT service providers and tech companies to integrate solutions today and in the future that provide a more seamless experience to simplify the lives of our advisers and their clients.
By partnering with the leading outsourced service providers in the industry, we’re ensuring our firms are able to outsource their non-core activities and become as efficient and profitable as they can be. Our scale means we’re able to deliver this at a lower cost than many others.
How can we enable advisers of the future?
While the industry has been through a lot of turmoil, we know the need for quality advice is greater than ever.
Clients need and demand advice that is focused on them and their goals. Advisers need support that is focused on helping them deliver to their clients and grow their business rather than simply acting as the sales and distribution arm of an institution.
We need to step up and find ways to empower and partner with advisers to grow and develop their business the way they want to. We’re actively pursuing ways to enable and support the best-salaried advisers to take the next step towards building their own strong, prosperous businesses.
Because, at the end of the day, that’s what clients need. They need not just advice, they need trusted quality advice. Non-conflicted, well informed advice that puts their interests first, not those of a large organisation.
John de Zwart, managing director, Centrepoint Alliance
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