​Wealthy clients have multiple advisers

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Are you sure you are your clients' only adviser? Don't be, if a new study is any indication.

The wealthiest investors in the United States have far more than just one adviser when it comes to money. In fact, high-net-worth clients have on average four "provider relationships", according to Cerulli Associates, a research firm specialising in the financial services industry.

"Wealth provides many investors with the privilege of benefiting from institutional products and prices across asset managers," Cerulli associate director Donnie Ethier said.

"It also grants them the ability to leverage their status among providers and advisors… High-net-worth investors continue to steadily diversify their advice providers."

Cerulli found the trend accelerated during and immediately after the recession, which seemed to suggest the interest in multiple advisers was a direct result of the market meltdown. The research showed in 2008, investors with more than $5 million in assets averaged 3.3 provider relationships, but by 2013, that had grown to 4.4.

Ethier said one reason for the increase was while these investors add new advisers, they do not sever ties with their existing planners.

"Overall, high-net-worth investors appear reluctant to terminate existing relationships.”

Despite this, the research also showed these clients were reluctant to shift assets over to the new advisers.

"Nearly one-quarter of high-net-worth households report their primary provider controls at least 90% of their investable assets," Ethier said.

Cerulli believes the trend will continue.


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