Friday Highlight  

What 2020 taught us about the adviser-client relationship

It is not only during uncertain times that this applies; when significant positive events happen, such as unexpected cash windfalls, clients still expect agility and adaptability.

Being able to recognise these moments and act accordingly is something that clients now expect from their advisers.

The flexibility and adaptability required by a tumultuous 2020 are vital skills that advisers should prioritise into the new year. This new model of an agile and transparent client-adviser relationship will likely be the new standard in 2021.

While there are many examples of evolving client demands, such as transparency and flexibility of fees, one critical area that clients are looking to their advisers for is a single, central, overarching relationship that can help navigate all of their life planning needs.

The use of a single adviser relationship to help plan across their retirement, insurance, estate, education and philanthropic giving, to name just a few, is becoming a common demand from clients at all levels of wealth. 

Behind a number of these trends is a more significant driving force: consumers looking to streamline their lives and make an impact on society.

It is key that the complex pressure points 2021 is set to bring, including ethical investment and regulation, are duly integrated into holistic adviser offerings.

As complexity escalates, advisers that build personalised relationships that offer flexibility, simplicity and adaptability should flourish. This will especially ring true as we look into the new year where clients will have an increasing amount of choice in financial advice options. 

Russell Andrews is head of solutions & marketing UK, Europe and Asia – asset management distribution at SEI