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Omnichannel advice: what do Millionaire investors want from advisers?

David Barks Senior Director 03/31/2022

Millionaire investors want contact with advisers that suits them as and when they need it. The set model of annual face to face meetings and phone contact when needed has to adapt to a more demanding client base, aware of the wider options.

“Presuming that a HNW client will want an annual face to face meeting and the odd phone call is out of date.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

There is no one size fits all. The future of contact between wealth managers and their clients needs to develop to best suit the needs and preferences of clients.

We recently posted questions about how advised millionaire clients would like to have contact with their investment advisers on our MillionaireVue omnibus (Q1 2022). And the results were surprising in their lack of consistency. High Net Worths (HNWs) have had their eyes opened 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 12% want an annual face to face meeting. Having been starved of regular meetings during the pandemic, many want these more frequently, with almost 50% desiring a sit-down meeting monthly or quarterly with their adviser. At the opposite end, just 16% wish to only have face to face meetings as and when they need to.

However, this shouldn’t be taken as the only channel investors are willing to engage with their advisers through. The pandemic restrictions have also taught the wealthy that there is quality contact available through other channels, and it seems that many are happy with phone and video calls too. For example, 10% say video calls should only be as and when needed, whilst monthly or quarterly discussions via this channel are even more popular than face to face (two in three agree).

Millionaires over 55 are the most reticent towards video calls. However, even then, only 15% say they’re desired only as and when needed and 25% would be happy to have them monthly. This compares to 42% of under 35-year-old HNWs who would like to have a monthly check in via video call.

As for face-to-face meetings, retired HNWs are most likely to say annual (19%) or as and when needed (31%) are preferred, suggesting a relaxed approach to demands on their adviser’s time. This is also the same with phone calls too, with almost 1 in 3 saying it’s only as and when required.

What’s clear though is that there are very few tendencies or neat buckets in which to place the wealthy and their contact preferences. Wealth managers 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.

Data in this article uses Savanta’s MillionaireVue Omnibus, a representative survey UK’s millionaire population of n=491 conducted in the UK in February 2022.

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