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NEWSLETTER | 30 Jul 2020  
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Keep calm and carry on video conferencing


It’s all about the pandemic this week, and specifically the effects of the coronavirus crisis on the wealth management sector. 

First up, a survey by investment management fintech DIAMAN Partners which suggests that UK views on investment advice have been altered by Covid-19-induced market volatility, with almost three-quarters of investors now placing more importance on the human ‘touch’. DIAMAN is predicting an increase in demand for a ‘hybrid approach to investment advice’ incorporating both traditional and robo advice. “The global pandemic is acting as a catalyst for the wealth management industry to re-evaluate current advisory services and structures,” says CEO Daniele Bernardi.

Even with the lifting of lockdown restrictions though, financial advisers are keen to retain the ability to provide remote advice to clients via video technology, according to a survey of around 300 of Quilter’s advisers. Over 75 per cent say they have gained clients while using video conferencing and the tech could help them to service more clients. 

Client contact is also the subject of a survey by Broadridge Financial Solutions which finds that as well as being happy to communicate via video technology, the vast majority of Millennials and Gen Zers are also open to receiving adviser communications via social media. And they are keen to develop this new style client-adviser relationship. “Investors don't want a return to the past,” says Michael Alexander, President of Wealth Management at Broadridge. “They largely prefer this new normal.”

TD Ameritrade Institutional strikes a pretty upbeat tone when assessing how well prepared the industry is to deal with the challenges posed by the pandemic saying that advisory firms reported record levels of productivity and asset growth in 2019 and that ‘strong operational foundations should serve firms well as they navigate new challenges.’

Standard Life’s latest research paints a pretty positive picture too, suggesting that almost all financial advisers (96 per cent) are optimistic about their firm’s prospects in the year ahead while 95 per cent are positive about their own individual job security.

That's somewhat at odds with the latest research from independent analysts AKG, which says that advisers are expecting a raft of firm closures, sales and adviser retirements as a result of the crisis. And if Covid-19 wasn’t enough to deal with, the study, sponsored by Canada Life, Charles Stanley, Fidelity FundsNetwork and Intelliflo, says advisers have other major concerns too, including the rising cost of Professional Indemnity Insurance (71 per cent), risk and compliance (51 per cent) and MiFID II/PROD (45 per cent).

Wealth Adviser



 
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