With lockdown giving savers more time to get their finances in shape and Zoom calls becoming the nrom, St James's Place adviser Richard Jones has been able to get his clients' children involved in the advice process.
Jones, director of Oundle Wealth Management - a partner practice of St. James’s Place - said one of the biggest benefits he has noticed as a result of Covid-19 is that a lot of his clients' children were now getting engaged in advice.
He said this was partly because they were at home more so there was more time to focus on finances.
Speaking to FTAdviser, Jones said: “In fact one of the next calls I have is with one of my clients’ daughters who is looking at getting on the housing ladder and just needs to chat it through with someone.
“I am having lots of conversations like this, where I didn't before.”
He explained that where meetings can now take place over a 30-minute zoom call, clients seem to be more likely to pass on their adviser’s details as they do not feel they are wasting their time as much as if the adviser had to travel to meet with their child.
Jones said: “Cost is part of accessibility and clients are a bit conscious of the value of our time.”
But Jones did not need Covid to prove to him how useful video conferencing systems can be when advising clients.
In fact, he has used Zoom with a small number of clients for several years now.
“I have a client who introduced me to [Zoom] years ago because he lives 100 miles away,” Jones said.
“It was very much the view that it was a waste of our time to travel to each other.
“We also have half a dozen clients who moved away to Cornwall or Scotland so we are use it to contact them as well.”
However, he admitted that face-to-face advice could not be replaced when it comes to more complicated affairs.
“Getting on board complex businesses with unusual set ups is difficult remotely,” Jones said.
"I am yet to find a way of doing this easily.”
Jones set up his own firm in 2012, having qualified as a financial adviser in 2004.
He specialises in providing advice primarily to business owners and high net worth private clients, with most of his client base being farmers.
Jones has found the remoteness of advice at the moment has been difficult for these clients at times, due to them living in remote areas with little broadband.
When it comes to attracting new clients, Jones said he is conscious not to take on too many at one time as to not let down the clients he already has.
Jones said: “We try to take on two clients a month as a general flow. It’s more some months and less in others but as a general rule if we get to about mid twenty clients throughout the year that’s good.