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Demand for advice set to 'grow exponentially' this year

Demand for advice set to 'grow exponentially' this year

The demand for financial advice is set to boom this year, according to support services firm The SimplyBiz Group, which is readying itself for an "incredibly exciting year". 

A number of advice firms reported pursuing a hiring spree last year to meet "unprecedented" client demand, with a notable increase in the number of younger consumers approaching advisers. 

According to Ken Davy, chairman at The SimplyBiz Group, this upward trajectory is likely to continue into this year too. 

Mr Davy said: "Whilst in many ways 2020 has been a year to forget, the hard lessons we have learned over the past nine months are going to make 2021 an incredibly exciting year.

"Indeed, for financial advisers it promises to be one where the demand for your services will grow exponentially."

The prediction rings true with data collected by advice giant Quilter last year, which found 86 per cent of young adults had sought help and information about the financial impact of the pandemic.

As a result, advisers have been urged to embrace digitalisation in a bid to plug any advice gap which may threaten to emerge on the other side of the crisis.

Mr Davy said: "Traditionally, an adviser has considered that serving perhaps a 100 to 200 clients was all they could reasonably manage.

"Now however, by using technology, this number can comfortably increase by 50 per cent and I would argue, perhaps double or more."

The Simplybiz boss predicted the impact of the "massive leap forward" in communication which occurred in 2020 was set to continue.

He said: "Which means the adviser who still expects clients to drive miles to their office, with all the hassles that have to be endured or, of course, vice versa, is going to be left behind.

"Taking two or three hours to meet for a review, which could have been done in less than an hour on a video call, will be as old hat as using a quill pen.

Last summer a survey of 179 advisers conducted by FTAdviser found a quarter of advisers believed remote contact with clients would account for a significant number of meetings once the pandemic ended. 

In total, more than half of the advisers polled (52 per cent) said at least a quarter of their meetings would shift to remote working even after social distancing measures were fully lifted.

Mr Davy added: "It’s great to think that very soon those all-important initial meetings will once again be able to go ahead, but for shrewd advisers, the servicing of clients will mostly continue to be done remotely.

"The fantastic benefit of this for your clients is that you are going to be able to care for lots more clients and by doing so be more successful."