Trends on the Advisor Landscape

Author: NICSA

Asset managers gained valuable insight on how to capture advisors’ attention and leave a lasting impression during a recent #WebinarWednesday presentation on the topic.

Meredith Lloyd Rice, Vice President at Cogent Reports, Market Strategies International, moderated the session. “I’ll be sharing highlights from two of our syndicated research products: our Advisor Brandscape® and our Advisor Touchpoints® reports,” she said. “This way, attendees can gain an understanding of not only the challenges faced by asset manager today, but also opportunities to engage with advisors.”

Data from both reports were derived from 2018 surveys of registered advisors. From a broad perspective, Rice said advisors have shifted further toward increased reliance on fee-based compensation, and RIAs continue to make up the vast majority of that compensation through asset-based fees.

The research pointed to consolidation in terms of the number of relationships advisors are maintaining with mutual fund providers, underscoring the importance of building an optimal communication strategy.

“Advisors receive a lot of information from financial services providers,” Rice said. “When we asked advisors to think about the communications they receive in a typical month, they report an average of 96 touches across all financial services providers, with emails representing over half of those communications.”

While email remains advisors’ No. 1 preferred communication method, webinars and social media are gaining traction in terms of overall importance.

“Another thing we want to point out is that advisor preferences vary based on distribution channel, meaning that providers can better target advisor engagement and outreach efforts by aligning their communications to the unique preferences of each channel,” Rice said.

For example, the survey results indicated that RIAs are among the most digitally-savvy producers and thus likely to respond well to webinars and other digital forms of communication, while producers in national and regional channels are more likely to prefer external wholesaler visits. That said, Rice noted that wholesaler interactions were shown to spark the greatest life in brand consideration.

Overall, survey results indicated that successful wholesalers often make an effort provide content that is customized to advisors’ unique business needs. “We see the best wholesalers are described as being consultative, sharing value-add and best practices, and they’re striving to recommend investments that complement advisors’ current books of business,” Rice said.

“In order to attract RIA interest, firms should seek to strengthen engagement,” Rice said. Asset managers identified as drawing the most RIA interest have very strong digital engagement platforms.

NICSA thanks Cogent Wealth Reports for sponsoring this webinar. To view the archived webinar for additional insight, click here and be sure to share your thoughts with us.

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