I was interested to read an article by Malcolm Kerr in a recent edition of Money Marketing in which he looks at how technology is changing the face of financial advice.
His observation that around a third of advisers still fall into the category of ‘product pushers’ is a concern but technology has the capability to transform this segment…if they choose to adapt.
Our feeling is that many of the product-focused advisers fall into the ‘grey-haired men’ category Malcolm also refers to, so it’s likely this group will fade into the distance over the coming years, as they cash in their chips and put their feet up in retirement.
It’s certainly our experience at PortfolioMetrix that fledgling advisers are far more technology focused and are keen to embrace digital systems that allow them to deliver superior service across the board of financial advice in a way that is both effective and cost-efficient.
Start-up firms arguably have it easy – they are starting from scratch and can build their business using smart digital tools from the get-go.
Embracing technology is far more of a challenge for established advisers. As Malcolm highlights, often the time spent on changing to new technology can seem like too much trouble, especially if the business is already ticking along quite nicely.
Fortunately, at PortfolioMetrix we work with both newly established firms plus the more established, who are looking to change the way they deliver their advice to their clients. As it’s generally the more established firms that employ the majority of the next generation, they often have ‘drivers within’ who can help transition to a more digitally-led business format. They also understand the beneficial impact of having smart technology in place on the value of their businesses, preparing the way to hand over the reins to new owners.
With consumer purchasing patterns rapidly evolving, driven by the digital revolution, you have to ask yourself if any advisers can take the risk of resting on their laurels.
Time spent developing a business strategy that embraces the digital challenge and then investing time in putting it into practice isn’t an indulgence, it’s essential for any adviser that sees themselves still in business within the next three to five years.