“However, at the end he said he was reluctant to go ahead until we had a face-to-face meeting because he did not know me, hadn’t seen our offices, and he was worried because it was his life savings.”
No mountain high enough
Virtual meetings becoming part of the working norm would also leave advisers less restricted when it came to geographical limits to their business.
Mr Patel said: “The new normal is going to be very different, as advisers can have virtual meetings from the comfort of their own homes.
“It will open up the market as advisers can have appointments without any geographical restrictions, which should open up new opportunities for them.”
Catherine Morgan, financial planner and financial coach at The Money Panel, said a lack of geographical restrictions would also encourage intergenerational wealth conversations as children and other family members were able to “dial in” from their own homes.
She added: “Clients may feel more relaxed being in their own environment and particularly when it comes to talking about money, which is already a highly emotional subject.”
Other advisers were mindful of the potential issues, or changes, which could arise from intermediaries reaching further afield.
Shelley McCarthy, managing director at Informed Choice, said: “A lot of marketing for small firms is based on locality, so now we potentially have the ability to cast the net wide in terms of clients due to technology, will marketing strategies need changing?
“It can definitely mean more efficiencies in the business in terms of travelling to meetings and ‘dead time’, but managing staff remotely can actually take more time in terms of catching up with all team members.”
Although noting the efficiencies could see revenues increase for advisers, Derek Bradley, chief executive of Panacea Adviser, said the result could reduce companies’ need to employ a sizeable group of advisers.
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