Missed opportunities: When colleagues retire

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As advisers hit retirement, many neglect to arrange on-going support for their clients. That’s bad for the cleint and equally bad for the firm. Being proactive on succession planning can reap big rewards.

According to Geoff Rimmer, head of private wealth services at Equity Trustees, clients tend to choose planners who are the same age or a little older than them, so they will often retire around the same time.

“It would appear that when advisers are planning their own retirement there may not be an in-depth program in place within their firm to help manage the transition of clients to a new adviser or team,” says Geoff Rimmer, head of private wealth services at Equity Trustees.

He suggested that when advisers take over a retired colleague’s client list, they don’t always have the same loyalty or empathy towards the client as someone who has developed a relationship over time. To make things worse, given the fact that clients usually choose an adviser of similar age to themselves, when the adviser retires often coincides with the time when clients are in the early phases of retirement. At this point, advisers need to establish or reinforce relationships with the next generation of the client’s family. If this process is handled well, advice during retirement can add a new generation of clients through enhanced family relationships.

“Clients will need different help and advice during the two key phases of their retirement –early or active retirement, and care-focused, elderly, retirement – and financial advisers are well-positioned to help manage these needs,” says Rimmer.

The phases differ from focused estate planning, adjusting income and capital preservation in the early years, to helping with aged-care facility selection and arranging bonds for elderly retirees. Advisers need a broad-based understanding of what the retirement lifestyle encompasses so they can help clients, Rimmer says.

You might need to access specialist knowledge to complement your own service offering for retirees.

“Finding a satisfactory service approach to help clients in retirement, as well as the impact of their own retirement on their business, will create long-lasting opportunities for financial planners at a time when its traditional way of doing business is undergoing fundamental change.”

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