IFA  

More advisers working out of hours

More advisers working out of hours

More than half of independent financial advisers saw an increase in their out of hours contact with clients in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic this year, research has shown.

The trend in advisers working outside of conventional hours emerged as many reported clients requiring a "significant" level of detail on their investment performance amid economic uncertainty this year. 

According to a survey of more than 200 IFAs, commissioned by Charles Stanley at the end of last month, 52 per cent saw a "marked increase" in out of hours contact with clients as attitudes towards personal finances shifted.

The wealth manager branded 2020 as a "pivotal year" which had "fundamentally altered" the client conversation, with 55 per cent of advisers reporting estate planning and generational wealth transfer had been pushed higher up their clients’ priority list. 

This summer FTAdviser's own survey signalled a permanent shift in industry practises, with a quarter of advisers predicting remote contact with clients would continue to account for a significant number of meetings once coronavirus restrictions were lifted. 

John Porteous, group head of distribution at Charles Stanley, said: "It’s been a difficult year for many, with financial plans and investments thrown off course by the market turbulence and the economic impacts of Covid.

"It’s at times like this that financial advice really pays dividends and our survey suggests this is translating into a surge in demand among advisers."

Mr Porteous said this year had seen advisers quick to adapt to "the new normal" by pivoting face to face business models to serve a more diverse client set remotely. 

It is a narrative which has been echoed by many in the industry in recent months, including Personal Finance Society boss Keith Richards who earlier this year hailed advisers for adapting "remarkably well" to the challenges thrown up by the pandemic. 

Mr Porteous added: "Whilst this has undoubtedly placed a lot of pressure on them, it’s also arguably left them better equipped for the new adviser conversation which is fast emerging. 

"As we go into 2021, finding new ways to serve an engaged, intergenerational audience will be a priority to meet their differing attitudes and requirements."

Earlier this year advisers were urged to embrace digitalisation and plug the generational client gap that could emerge on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.

The call for action came following an April survey of 1,000 adults, carried out by advice giant Quilter, which found 86 per cent of young adults had sought help and information about the financial impact of the pandemic.

The data showed an overwhelming demand for advice in the younger generation, with only 14 per cent of 18 to 30-year-olds reporting they were not looking for any extra help regarding their finances in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

rachel.mortimer@ft.com

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