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Evolving social behaviours are reshaping the client-adviser relationship, says new survey

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Evolving social behaviours and technology innovations are reshaping investor preferences and rewriting the relationship roadmap for financial advisers, according to a new survey from Broadridge Financial Solutions. 

As investors across generations become more accustomed to highly individualised user experiences and client-centric customization in other aspects of their lives, financial advisers must adapt as they compete for clients, their attention and assets.

A majority of Millennial (89 per cent) and Gen X (59 per cent) respondents are open to their financial adviser following them on one or more social media platforms. The survey shows that Facebook is the most preferred social media network for adviser-client engagement, with 61 per cent of Millennials, 38 per cent of Gen X and 19 per cent of Boomers open to an adviser following them on the platform. advisers have the ability and invitation from their clients to be informed and a part of their lives like never before.
  
Fifty-three per cent of those surveyed indicated there was some level of customisation in their investor communications by calling them “personally relevant.” However, when asked to further describe those communications, fewer than four-in10 respondents said they were “engaging” and fewer than three-in10 reported them as “actionable.” There is an opportunity for advisers to reconsider the content they distribute to clients in order to strengthen relationships.
 
“As a result of technology transforming the customer experience, investors have come to expect a certain type and level of service no matter the industry or consumer relationship,” says Chris Perry, head of Global Client Solutions at Broadridge Financial Solutions at the SIFMA Private Client conference. “It’s clear investors want to interact with their advisers on social channels and want high-quality, engaging and actionable financial advice. This presents a real opportunity for advisers to provide more personalized communication and experiences.”
 
More than one-third of Millennials (38 per cent) use their smartphone as a primary device when reading adviser communications, compared to a quarter of Gen X (21 per cent) and 7 per cent of Boomers. When it comes to paper as their preference however, just 37 per cent of Boomers, 22 per cent of Gen X and 10 per cent of Millennials prefer to read investment communications on that medium.
 
Breaking with the long-held industry belief that clients will overwhelmingly follow an adviser if they leave their firm, the survey revealed that nearly half of Gen X clients (47 per cent) said they would remain with their current firm regardless of whether their adviser made a move. Thirty-nine per cent of Boomers and one third of Millennials would do the same.
 
In today’s world, brand and customer experience matter. The survey found that 47 per cent of Gen X and 42 per cent of Millennial respondents stated that the reputation of an advisory firm was more influential in their decision to work with a financial adviser than the advisers themselves.

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