New Year resolutions advisers plan to keep

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A survey of 800 financial advisers has yielded a top five list of New Year’s resolutions, all set to grow business in 2014 assuming, of course, you keep them.

The findings come courtesy of the SEI Advisor Network, an asset and practice management provider in the US, and capture the strategic thinking of hundreds of advisers plying their trade in an increasingly competitive environment.

Their resolutions for 2014 reflect collective priorities. Without further ado, your Top Five Resolutions for 2014:

5.    Developing better adviser-client relationships is a top priority for those answering the survey. Where relationships are simply too strained to be productive and compromise trust, advisers are looking to cut ties with those clients rather than continue on.

4.    Some 59% of respondents identified a strong need to reach out to the investor pool outside their traditional client base as a key resolution for 2014. But more specifically, they plan to court other professionals currently servicing those groups to win referrals. Estate-planning lawyers and chartered accountants across the country may soon be deluged with adviser calls. (Sorry guys.)

3.    Using technology to meet clients where they live is a growing concern for advisers and a top resolution for 2014. Look for advisers to evaluate and possibly change their client relationship management systems in the new year, an effort to better manage contacts, e-mail systems and the myriad daily tasks all industry professionals perform.

2.   The back office of many firms will also be put under the microscope in 2014 as advisers look to gain efficiencies through the better management of resources. “Most of the knowledge around client relationships and key processes are in the heads of one or two people, and not documented,” said SEI practice management expert John Anderson. “How can you expect your office to run smoothly and clients to remain satisfied if you are the only one that can do it?”

1.    No surprise here, but most advisers are absolutely resolved to win more referrals from their existing clients, what experts consider the single best way to grow business in 2014 or any year. SEI offered some advice to help you meet that goal. “It’s best for advisers to define their ideal ‘five-star client’ and provide the description to their clients. That way, clients will better understand what their advisers are looking for and will be more engaged in the process.”
 

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