Best clients put meaningful guidance and exceptional service at top of adviser must-haves

Investments & Wealth Institute finds client satisfaction, loyalty insufficient to set advisers apart

May 17, 2019 @ 12:26 pm

By InvestmentNews

Being able to provide expert guidance and outstanding service are two key deliverables that the most sought-after wealthy investors demand most from advisers, according to research from the Investments & Wealth Institute.

(More:High-net-worth investors not impressed by mobile wealth management apps)

The group, formerly known as IMCA, conducted the study to find out how advisers can stand out from the crowd when competing for the business of high-net-worth investors.

It found that while 91% of the wealthy clients surveyed were somewhat or very satisfied with their adviser and 89% were somewhat or extremely likely to continue to work with that person, "engaged clients" — those who are highly satisfied and regularly refer people to their adviser — rate four factors significantly higher than other clients: providing meaningful guidance, delivering exceptional service, demonstrating advanced capabilities and taking a personalized approach.

Not surprisingly, all clients wanted their adviser to be trustworthy (87% gave that measure a 5 out of 5 ranking in importance), have high ethical standards (80%), always act in their best interests (80%) and be knowledgeable (77%).

(More: Majority of high-net-worth advisers plan more direct investments, Cerulli says)

When asked to rank four services in order of importance, investment management topped the list (38% ranked it most important), followed by financial planning (29%), wealth management (21%) and retirement solutions (12%).

However, two-thirds of investors said that investment performance is just one of the things for which they pay their adviser. The top three things HNW investors say they pay their advisers for are on-going guidance/advice to help reach their goals (90%), help in avoiding costly financial and investment mistakes (84%) and on-going monitoring of their goals (81%).

(More: When markets fall, will your clients remain calm or panic?)

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