Schroders CEO sets focus on advice

Schroders CEO sets focus on advice

The chief executive of Schroders has said his priority for the firm is the level of advice it provides.

Speaking at the ALFI London Conference today (November 18), Peter Harrison said: “[One of my priorities is] advice, moving up the value chain of disintermediation - we need to be closer to our clients.”

He outlined the average longevity of a mutual fund was three years, and for an institutional client it was seven or eight years. This is compared with the time a financial adviser will retain a client for, which can be 50 plus years.

Schroders already runs a joint advice venture with Lloyds, Schroders Personal Wealth, and owns a controlling stake in advice business Benchmark Capital. 

Harrison said in order to ensure people get better financial outcomes that are also aligned with their values, firms needed to "get closer to them".

“There’s a lot of churn along the way and so you see that [as a result] the average outcome for an investor is 2 or 3 per cent lower than the return in markets.

“People are getting a raw deal because they tend to buy at the top and sell at the bottom,” he said. 

Harrison also said the firm was focussing on developing a strong technology platform.

“We all know the cliche of big vs small, we now know that in our industry it’s about agility and that comes from a technology platform,” he said.

He added the other biggest theme facing the industry was not sustainability but digitisation.

“So whether it’s tokenisation or digital client engagement, you’ve got to get a great tech stack to do that.”

Schroders has also begun to broaden its offering, acquiring River and Mercantile’s fiduciary arm, Solutions, in October.