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How should investment advisors communicate and add value?

David Barks Senior Director 07/04/2022

Millionaire investors in the US want regular contact with advisors. But they don’t need it to be face to face. Modern technologies mean that video calls can replace many meetings.

Presuming that a HNW client will want an annual face to face meeting and the odd phone call is out of date. Brokers need to be flexible with their contact strategies.

We recently asked millionaires about the contact they would like to have with their investment advisors on our MillionaireVue omnibus (Q1 2022). High Net Worths (HNWs) opened their eyes to the variety and availability of contact methods available to them in the digital world through the COVID-19 pandemic.

What may be most startling to wealth managers is that only 9% want an annual face-to-face meeting. Having been starved of regular meetings during the pandemic, many want these more often, with almost 2 in 3 (64%) wanting a monthly or quarterly sit-down -meeting with their advisor. However, at the opposite end, 1 in 4 (27%) wish to only have face-to-face meetings as and when they need to. This suggests that alternative channels are acceptable to many.

The pandemic restrictions have taught the wealthy that quality contact is available through these newer channels. For example, monthly or quarterly discussions video calls are even more popular than face-to-face (76%). While only 17% say video calls should be as and when needed.

Millionaires over 55 are the most reticent towards video calls. However, even then, only 20% say they want them only as and when needed and 53% would be happy to have them quarterly. This compares to 61% of under 35-year-old HNWs who would like to check in via video call at least monthly. This essentially makes video and phone calls interchangeable with almost exactly the same proportions of HNWs wishing to have calls quarterly, whether by video or audio-only.

Wealth managers, brokers, and their front office staff must be adaptable and not presume that the old ways are best or that just because one client looks like another, they will want the same level of contact in the same way. Taking advantage of video calls to replace some face-to-face contact is acceptable and even preferred by many, especially younger millionaires.

Data in this article uses Savanta’s MillionaireVue Omnibus, a representative survey of n=300 US millionaires conducted in February 2022.

Savanta’s MillionaireVue is a quarterly omnibus with c. 500 HNWI’s in each of UK, US, and China. For more information, please click here.

To find out more about the work our wealth & luxury team do, or to speak to one of our wealth specialists, please click here.

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