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Younger client segment still underserved by advisers

She pointed out that technology has already helped increase efficiency for advisers with ‘face-to-face’ virtual meetings, allowing advisers to meet more clients in a day, which in turn increases the accessibility of financial advice to a wider range of clients and helps to bridge the advice gap.

“Hybrid advice is not just a trend, but is rather an advice model that arguably should have been used for a long time prior to the pandemic," Cassidy said.

"It is important that firms embrace this exciting new world of hybrid advice as it continues to evolve as it could be crucial to helping those with less wealth unlock the value of financial advice."

She explained that a hybrid model has benefits for advisers too.

“It is likely that they will continue to embrace digital advice and will mix in person meetings with digital," she added.

"Not only may this be favoured by clients, but hybrid advice allows advisers to reclaim multiple hours of their working day that previously would have been spent travelling to meetings. These hours may now be used far more efficiently and should support a better work/life balance as well as enable advisers to see more clients.

"We see hybrid advice having a significant positive impact on the advice community, as well as on clients as they can continue to receive advice in a way that suits them."

She added: "While ‘in person’ advice will still continue to be key, it will be increasingly important that advisers develop the skills needed to build the same level of trust with new clients in a remote or hybrid environment.”

The report also noted the increase in younger generations being more keen to learn more about financial planning and the need for a social media presence from advisers.

It stated that for younger people, the first touch point for financial advice, or any subject of interest, is usually the internet and advisers need to understand the ability of social media to influence views and opinions that will feed into a person’s decision making process. 

Tax efficiency and intergenerational wealth transfers were also identified in the report as subjects that are key for clients, but less so for advisers, with the research finding that advisers tend to underestimate how much clients value maximising tax efficiencies.