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Quality of DFM staff is top priority for advisers

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A survey by Defaqto, an independent financial product information business which helps people make better informed financial decisions, has revealed that advisers value the quality of staff they deal with at DFMs above all else.

The survey asked UK financial advisers which aspects of DFM service is most important to them and then asked them to rate their satisfaction with their preferred DFM providers. Of the fourteen disciplines analysed, quality of staff – investment (1st), service (2nd) and quality of staff – administration (3rd) come out top of the pile in terms of importance to the adviser.

This annual survey covers 14 satisfaction disciplines in total. Overall, advisers' expectations are being met or exceeded in 9 out of the 14 disciplines. However, of the five disciplines that failed to meet expectations, three of these were in the top seven in terms of importance (quality of staff – administration, existing business administration and Investment flexibility – range of options), and only one discipline in the top seven exceeds expectations (investment flexibility – range of assets).

It is also noticeable that client on boarding, ranked 9 out of 14 in terms of importance and exceeds adviser expectations; whereas existing business administration ranking sixth, does not. It is a common result in these surveys that firms score well when taking on new business, but fall short once the client is on board. With regular reviews being encouraged, performance and service could come under scrutiny; drops in existing client satisfaction may be an early indication that a change may be considered.

Fraser Donaldson, Insight Analyst (Funds and DFM) at Defaqto, says: “In an era of online tools, technologically enhanced efficiencies and evolving robo-facilities, it is important for providers not to lose sight of the importance of the standard of personal engagement and the value that is placed on it by advisers and their clients. Not everything can be automated to the satisfaction of customers. Advisers predominantly still deal with clients on a one to one basis and their success will depend on their expertise and professionalism. It should be no surprise that advisers will expect to be dealt with by DFMs in that same personal, professional way."

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