Younger clients give thumbs down to face time: Survey

Not interested in taking a meeting — at least, not in person

Dec 7, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

By Liz Skinner

Financial advisers who are serious about attracting young investors may need to revamp their idea of client meetings.

High-net-worth people under 55 want more-frequent interactions with advisers, but not necessarily in person. About 62% of these investors want the option of having video meetings, along with some face time, according to a survey of by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group found.

In fact, about 57% of younger investors would consider moving a portion of their assets to firms that offer video as a way to connect with advisers and other experts, the survey showed. Only about 19% of investors over 55 said they would assets specifically because a firm offered video meetings.

“Video capabilities are going to be important for advisers interested in attracting and retaining those investors who will be the future for their businesses,” said Robert Waitman, director of global financial services for Cisco's Internet group, a unit of Cisco Systems Inc.

It appears that a small number of advisers are hosting client meetings via video technologies. The survey showed that only 6% of investors had used video to communicate with their financial advisers or firms.

Ted Jenkin, cofounder of oXYGen Financial Inc., which caters to clients between 20 and 50, said he meets with clients an average of three times a year and that at least one of those meetings occurs remotely. He expects his firm to increasingly use such technologies to communicate with clients.

“Anything that saves this group time is important,” he said.

Investors' interest in using video and other technologies to manage their holdings seems to be rising, as is the age of people with that interest.

The results of a similar Cisco survey in 2011 suggested that 49 was the cutoff age for significant investor interest in using technology to interact with advisers. This year's survey indicates that 54 is the point of no return.

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