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Advisers told to get more involved in clients' lives

Advisers told to get more involved in clients' lives

Advisers need to think of themselves as coaches when they draw up a client’s objectives in their financial plans, Warren Shute has said.

Speaking to the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments financial planning conference in Newport, the managing director of Lexington Wealth Management said he sees his role as looking after a client’s wider objectives, not just the financial ones.

He said: “They like the accountability part of our role as a coach, making sure we move our clients towards the lifestyle they want.

“Their objectives might be financial, that they can retire comfortably with a certain amount of income but it might also be healthwise, it might also be relationshipwise."

He gave the example of a client who kept saying she wanted a partner but spent all her time buying houses.

“I said to that client that I would not see her again unless she stopped buying houses and started dating.

“The objectives can be financial or they can be personal and we find that builds a really top level of trust with our clients.”

Mr Shute added that addressing a client’s personal objectives could also help with their financial ones, such as in retirement where clients choose to leave work completely.

He said: “I have noticed that the clients who do a complete retirement do tend to age quicker, particularly if they don’t have any activities they want to do during retirement.

“One of the things we do with our clients is we spend a lot of time trying to get them to put a retirement plan in place.

“We are very keen for them to engage in some kind of activity, be it some kind of charitable work or some kind of hobby.”

One of the issues Mr Shute highlighted was that clients often come to him with the expectation of retiring at 65.

He said it was the job of the financial adviser to challenge this assumption and ask whether the client needed or wanted to retire at this age.

Eamon Keelan, a chartered financial planner with Kingsley Financial Management, said: “The first conversations I have with the client have got nothing to do with money, other than an emergency fund.

“The first thing for just about any client is that they have a will in place and they have a lasting power of attorney. A lot of clients don’t realise there is no such thing as next of kin until you die.”

damian.fantato@ft.com

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