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Vanguard adviser survey reveals greater use of technology

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Vanguard has published the Vanguard 2018 Adviser-Client Survey, a comprehensive study of the condition and perceptions of UK advice at a time of growing investor demand and fundamental industry change. 

The research is based on an independent survey by Opinium involving 300 UK Advisers and 1000 advised clients, generating approximately 230,000 data points for Vanguard’s researchers to examine.

Vanguard writes that the Survey underlines the extent to which ‘traditional’ adviser businesses are using technology to become more efficient and more competitive. With investment services such as investment reporting, rebalancing and asset allocation being automated, the adviser-client relationship is set to become increasingly important, the firm says.  

Neil Cowell (pictured), Head of Retail Sales, UK, says: “At least in the near-term, the competitive risk for advisers is not going to be from the trendy, digital only start-up. It’s going to be the adviser across the street that has been using automation to reduce costs, become more efficient, and free their time to focus on the relationships they have with their clients and prospects.”

Currently, one third of advised clients reported having both high-trust and high-satisfaction with their advisers. These clients were three times more likely than those reporting medium-trust and medium-satisfaction to invest all of their assets with a single, preferred adviser, far less likely to switch advisers, and more likely to refer their adviser unprompted.

Garrett Harbron, Head of Wealth Management Research, UK, says: “An unexpected finding in the survey was that for financial advisers the relationship between trust and satisfaction is not linear but exponential. Investors place a significant premium on advice they consider ‘great’.”

Vanguard writes that an example is the percentage of clients putting all their investible assets with one adviser. For clients rating their adviser relationship as medium-trust and medium-satisfaction the figure is 21 per cent. For those scoring high-trust and medium-satisfaction, it was 31 per cent. But for those with high-trust and high-satisfaction, it was 58 per cent.

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