What do clients value from their financial adviser? Many articles have covered this and usually reach the same conclusion that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.

    Value is assessed by the client, is subjective, and based on a variety of expectations and perhaps influenced by how value was positioned with them at the outset.

    However, a new survey from Cerulli Associates perhaps offers a different insight. They asked clients what the key factors were when selecting a financial adviser. The top three responses were:

    1. Transparency in interactions
    2. Taking time to understand their needs, goals and risk tolerance
    3. Monitoring portfolios and letting them know about any problems and opportunities

    The first two points are probably no surprise and make perfect sense

    Clients want clarity and honesty in their interactions and understanding needs, goals and risk tolerance is at the heart of any financial planning relationship. Last year gave us the perfect example of all this working in practice. Hypothetical questions about risk tolerance and capacity for loss for many became a reality while understanding needs and goals, ensuring that financial plans actually stayed on track, were viewed as critical.

    However, let’s explore the third factor in more detail.

    Last year was like no other in terms of volatility

    After over 10 years of a bull market, many clients experienced the pain of significant losses in their portfolio. This came at a time when real financial stress was being felt in other areas of their lives, such as job security and the impact on their regular income. Mortgage holidays, disinvesting from pension pots or ceasing contributions and other strategies were deployed.

    While market recovery has helped some clients’ financial position, it has also shone a light on the requirement for financial advisers to closely monitor clients’ investment portfolios and stay in touch.

    That requires two activities: advisers maintaining client contact and investment managers delivering appropriate information and support. This needs to be relevant, delivered in ‘client friendly language’ and supported by people who are available to respond to any enquiries.

    However, the research dug deeper on this point and asked about expertise in managing portfolios. Only 29% of clients felt that their adviser had the highest level of expertise to run their portfolio and identified that ‘a team approach’ actively benefits them.

    So what’s the solution?

    We firmly believe that working with financial advisers and delivering a range of investment solutions that can support a broad range of client outcomes contributes to teamwork.

    That’s why we provide a wide choice of solutions packaged as funds or model portfolios, across different risk profiles and styles - active, blended and of course sustainable - all at a competitive cost.

    But that’s only half of the story. The other half is that this should all be supported by a communication and service proposition delivering client reporting, market commentary and thought leadership content.

    Working with advisers to create customer value is a team approach and our message is quite simply ‘combining your strengths and ours’.

    For more information on our investment solutions range, simply visit www.schroders.com/investment-solutions.

    Important information

    Marketing material for professional clients only.

    The material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. This information is a marketing communication. Past Performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of investments to fall as well as rise.

    The views and opinions contained herein are those of the individuals to whom they are attributed and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds. Insofar as liability under relevant laws cannot be excluded, no Schroders entity accepts any liability for any error or omission in this material or for any resulting loss or damage (whether direct, indirect, consequential or otherwise).

    Issued in April 2021 by Schroder Investment Management Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Registration No. 1893220 England. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. UK002562.

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