The ‘killer opportunity’ advisers overlook

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Fail to adapt to the changing market for financial advice and you’ll be left by the wayside. But a new way of thinking could see you thrive.

According to OneVue CEO Connie Mckeage, opt-in provisions have created a “killer opportunity” for planners to roll with the times and improve client relationships.

She believes that, if planners change their mindset from treating financial advice as an “all or nothing” proposition to a long-term relationship that isn’t based around holistic advice, then opt-in regulations become a lot less threatening.

“At the moment, people are seeing it as ‘I give you comprehensive advice or you don’t want me at all’,” Mckeage told Wealth Professional.

“We see it as ‘you want to maintain a relationship with me, can you please opt into maintaining a relationship with me where over a period of time you may choose to pay additionally for advice’”.

“And I think the killer opportunity in the market is to change it from ‘all or nothing’ to acting in the best interests of the client over a long period of time where there is the opportunity sometimes to just maintain a communication relationship, sometimes to help them with an event-based situation and sometimes to maintain comprehensive advice. And I think that that is perfectly doable even with these regulations.”

Besides, she added, looking at opt-in as a case of losing clients because you’re not providing comprehensive advice is “pretty traumatic”.

What this all means, Mckeage believes, is that advisers will need to change their mindsets and business models in order to adapt to the changing environment.

“Why should advisers be protected from changing their mindset? The whole global industry, right across aboard – whether it’s newspapers or financial services or pharmaceutical communications – it’s changing globally because of the demographic shift and the changes in technology.

“So it’s not like somebody’s picking on them, they’re just part of the change. Unfortunately I think our government is probably going a little bit too far in terms of the big brother attitude – but it’s there and we may as well deal with it, and it’s not the end of the world. And a lot of industries are having to change and rethink their business models.

“It’s not unique to financial services – just ask any of the newspapers – and it’s certainly not unique to planners.”

There will still be a role for Holistic advice, she added, but specialist advice will be the new growth area – with generalists losing ground to “deep domain experts”.

“And again, it’s this whole customisation trend that’s occurring on a global basis. People don’t want general anything really – they want very customised advice, tools and communication.”

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