Ioana Erhan, Global Co-Head of Financial Services and Director of Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn, talks to Harriet O’Brien about the findings of LinkedIn’s new report on the opportunities in the wealth industry.
The world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn, is shining a spotlight on the wealth industry. Its newly published Wealth Management Report – A Changing Landscape, A Unique Opportunity – explores the implications of the wealth migration currently underway between generations and looks at the routes available to access a savvy new generation of investors.
The moment to capture wealth gen transfer is now
A remarkable opportunity has been created for wealth managers thanks to the combination of the global wealth transfer from Boomers to Gen Z and Millennials (worth USD30 trillion in the US alone, according to Morgan Stanley), the record increase in asset prices (LinkedIn cites BCG’s findings that assets under management rose 12 per cent in 2020) and the recent rapid developments in digital technologies. “This is a great moment for wealth managers to step in,” says Ioana Erhan, Director of Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s report, she explains, taps into the shifting profile of retail investors and highlights the ways in which wealth management companies can appeal to new audiences and create marketing strategies to drive engagement.
LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to research current attitudes to wealth management, reporting a 49 per cent year-on-year increase in content and posts on wealth-related topics such as finance and investment among its 800 million-plus members. More than 2,500 retail investors from across the globe participated in the survey , which took place between July and September 2021.
Among the most prominent themes highlighted in the report are the relationship between adviser and investor, and the opportunities for advisers to capture new clients. “Findings of the survey show that 39 per cent of investors stay with an adviser for three to four years. But 28 per cent of respondents said they actually don’t have an adviser,” says Erhan. Giving more detail in terms of global breakdown, she adds that the relationship with an adviser tends to be longer in the US. About 43 per cent of investors, she says, have had the same adviser for between six and 10 years. And she points out that in the US and EMEA, some investors have more than one adviser: “17 per cent of investors surveyed have more than three advisers,” she adds.
Regular touchpoints are key
A third of the investors in the survey said they may well be looking to change their adviser within the next 12 months – and some respondents gave standard reasons for this, such as high fees and disappointing performance figures. “But,” says Erhan, “it’s important to note that 24 per cent of the investors actually said that a lack of communication from their adviser was the problem.” Regular communication with a client is vital. The survey, she adds, found that one in three investors wants a touchpoint with their adviser at least once a week – “13 per cent even said they want daily contact; very high-net-worth individuals are particularly strong in this category.”
Engagement is a major topic in the report, and how to communicate is a key consideration. Erhan emphasises that communications should not only be about emailing or perhaps calling regularly but also about developing a strategy to keep in touch in a variety of ways, using different technologies. “It’s crucial to have a multimedia approach, with diverse points of contact. Social media is super-important, as is knowing what kind of content resonates: for example, a quarter of respondents said they want on-demand presentations and videos; 28 per cent would like videos and webinars on how to invest, and 18 per cent said they want podcasts.
She adds that there’s great scope for creating mixed marketing plans so as to engage with investors over different areas of interest: “We found that three-quarters of respondents want investment recommendations; 55 per cent said they want market news; 48 per cent want industry updates.
“New trends in investment management are increasingly front-of-mind,” she says. “We know from the report that respondents themselves are looking at the new trends. We also know most of them have ETFs in their portfolios and most of them want to retain or grow their position from that. Currently, 37 per cent of respondents have ESG investments – a figure which is, of course, set to rise.”
Investors seek more financial education
She stresses the importance of financial literacy and education – and the role of wealth advisers in this area. “Advisers have a responsibility to help investors with their decision-making. And more than 20 per cent of respondents said financial education is the most important thing they are looking for from an adviser,” she says. Trust is a big consideration: advisers need to build trust with investors through their toolkit of communications, says Erhan.
What can advisers take away from the report that will help them build and support their businesses? “Communication is crucial,” recaps Erhan, “especially in a range of formats. LinkedIn provides a good environment for that, with its ability to host a variety of marketing formats, such as live videos, audio content and blogs.” With the research showing that over a quarter (26 per cent) of those surveyed said that over the coming years they plan to increase the amount of time they spend on LinkedIn, now is the perfect time to engage clients both new and old with topics and content they want to receive.