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Advisers – it’s time to turn your week upside down

30th September 2019
Advisers – it’s time to turn your week upside down
Arnie Selvarajah
Chief Executive Officer
Bell Direct

As the financial advice industry adjusts to the new operating environment, it is no surprise that the way advisers are spending their time has also shifted.

The introduction of more compliance, education and regulatory requirements has eaten into precious time set aside for client engagement and new business – the backbone of an adviser’s purpose and livelihood.   

In the last five years alone, the industry has experienced more change than previous decades combined, resulting in many advisers questioning their future. Forecasts suggest the number of active financial advisers will fall from 21,500 in 2018 to 15,000 in 2024[1], which is an extremely concerning statistic given that almost half of Australian adults currently have unmet financial advice needs[2]. 

Therefore, in order to not only survive but thrive in the new environment, many advisers are seeking out ways to increase efficiencies in their businesses, freeing up time to focus on the things that matter.

How high performing advisers are spending their time

Based off research and conversations with advisers in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia, leading advisers have become savvy with their time allocation, focusing distinct portions of their weeks to various business activities – and it’s working.

Perhaps surprisingly, these advisers spend over half their time on client engagement and new business (55%). Only about 15% is consumed by administration and compliance – a far smaller portion of time than expected, particularly with each market experiencing their own levels of increased education and regulatory requirements.

The remainder of the week is spent on business management and professional development (15%), investment selection and execution (5%) and other business activities (10%).

In the industry, we are all aware of the benefits of spending more time engaging with clients – building relationships, bettering their financial understanding and education, and meeting growing demand for individualised and goal-centric advice is where advisers can really add value.

The advisers who are able to allocate the majority of their time to this, rather than wading through the burden of day-to-day administration, compliance and investment execution, have seen greater levels of client engagement and satisfaction – which in turn brings stronger long-term relationships and higher potential for new referrals.

Making it a reality

From our discussions with these leading advisers, a commonality shared is their use of technology platforms in efficiently running their businesses and managing client relationships.

For the majority, a managed accounts solution has been the technology of choice, reflecting the rising use among the industry. In the Australian market, 35% of advisers indicated they have used or intend to continue using managed accounts[1].

According to Investment Trends research[2], the average adviser can save 12.4 hours per week by using managed accounts. This can be attributed to fewer hours spent on administration and compliance tasks including preparing SOAs, generating client reports and following up signatures, as well as less time selecting and researching investments and communicating portfolio changes to clients – and this saving is reflected in the increased ability of leading advisers to spend more time on client engagement.

Selecting the right provider

While time savings are a compelling benefit of managed accounts, there are of course many more things to consider when deciding on the right platform for your business.

It is worth paying close attention to the feature inclusions to ensure you and your clients are getting value for money. A good managed account provider should also be able to seamlessly integrate with any existing technology your business may have. The benefits should extend to your clients, providing greater transparency and control over investment holdings, and the ability to better manage capital gains and tax implications.

Across the board, however, there is already a clear consensus among advisers using managed accounts of the tangible time savings and business efficiencies on offer. It’s clear the take-up among the advice community will only continue, as more advisers cotton on to the benefits of managed accounts in reallocating their valuable time. 

Contact Desktop Broker for more information.  

[1] Adviser Ratings 2018

[2] Investment Trends, February 2018 Managed Accounts Report

[3] Investment Trends – February 2019 Managed Accounts Report

[4] Investment Trends, February 2018 Managed Accounts Report