When was the last time you thought about the value you provide to your clients? Have you considered that your value proposition should keep pace with market dynamics? What may have held a high value in 2013 may not be as important to your clients today. Knowing how market trends influence how you go to market and how your serve as a trusted advisor as viewed by your clients is important to your success.

Market Trends and the Advisor’s Role

The financial services industry is undergoing a major transformation. Investors are seeking advice and products tailored to their specific needs and goals. Heightened regulations are demanding advisors adhere to higher standards of transparency. Technology in the form of robo-advisors, mobile and online access, and other fin-tech applications are introducing a new set of competitive factors which also are creating new fee-related pressures. Alternative investments such as crypto currencies are dominating financial news and capturing the attention of investors. Add to these trends demographic influences, specifically how different generations have different expectations and it easy to see why advisors might be struggling to form a clear client value proposition. Doing so demands they tie their value proposition to what the industry’s top priorities are today and for the foreseeable future.

Business Priorities Tied to Market Trends

Your client value proposition must reflect your business priorities which, in turn, must address the top market trends. For example, Millennials expect their advisors to be tech-savvy and to offer them 24/7 access to portfolio information and new product recommendations. Therefore, having well-developed digital channels – a user-friendly website and mobile apps – is important. Since clients are now seeking a more personalized service, advisors must assess their current customer service processes (from discovery, portfolio design and access to new investments, to client communications, digital channels and in-person meetings, etc.) and make sure they reflect a true personalized, one-on-one advisory service.

Back-office processes also must be adapted to accommodate new regulations such as MIFID II to ensure full compliance which is designed to serve the clients’ best interests. If your client base is global, and/or consists of expatriates, it is also important that your firm has offices or representatives conveniently located near them. Further, as part of this global service, your firm must be fully informed and compliant with each nation’s regulations, as well as the investment opportunities within each market. Ultimately, business priorities such as these and others relating to fees, marketing and sales processes, will direct your client value proposition.

Sophisticated Clients Demand Sophisticated Advisors

Today’s high net worth consumers are not content to receive their wealth management and investment advice from a firm that has not kept up with current market conditions. They read the financial news which helps influence their expectations. If they are reading about exciting new investments and you are not introducing these products to them, their view of you is diminished. If your ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) client reads an article discussing a new strategy relating to a tax-optimized solution for UHNW individuals, and you have not brought this strategy to his attention, then your value proposition does not reflect one of a tailored, personalized approach. Similarly, if Millennials are a major client segment for your firm and your digital presence has not been updated to current standards, you are not demonstrating to these digital natives that their way of communicating and accessing information matters to you.

 It’s not easy bringing internal processes and infrastructure in step with current market trends and new regulations. It takes a well-conceived plan of implementation. Once this is achieved, integrating your updated processes to a new and improved value proposition, and communicating this enhanced client value proposition, will be the key to gaining and retaining a competitive edge.

Comments to: Financial Advisors: Create a New Client Value Proposition

Your email address will not be published.