said. Clients also will get emails fromadvisors to notify them that Overviewwas sent to them.
Wealth Overview is part of the MLOne 2.0 “multi-year strategy,” he said,noting ML One is the platform thatfinancial advisors use to enroll and manage clients in the advisory program. Aspart of the 2.0 initiative, the company is“simplifying, modernizing and advancing” the advisory program, he explained.
THE TARGET AUDIENCE
The company expects that younger
clients will likely, at least initially, be
the ones who find the Digital Wealth
Overview tool the most appealing.
“Video has become more of thenormal way in which individualslike to consume data, especially theyounger demographic,” according toTim Paul, client experience and collaboration executive at Merrill LynchWealth Management.
Based on feedback from surveying
Merrill clients, Digital Wealth Overview
was seen favorably because, even among
some older clients, it “gives them the
ability to go through and consume the
information at their own pace,” he said.
Merrill expects the tool to be “embraced
by a pretty wide” percentage of the
client base, although likely more so by
younger clients, he said.
The company will continue to getfeedback from clients to make improvements as needed, add new features, andgauge who is reacting positively, theexecutives said.
Although Digital Wealth Overviewis “absolutely a differentiating service,” Swanson stressed: “We do notexpect a narrated video that’s interactive to replace what our financial advisors do for their clients…. We envisionthis as a tool to complement all of theways advisors are currently engagingwith clients.”
Are the Benefits of Switching
Firms Worth the Costs?
Three in four advisors say the abil- ity to build financial value is a topreason for changing firms, and two inthree say the main reasons are a desirefor greater independence and unhappiness with senior management, according to researchreleased in late March byCerulli Associates.
But they also cite the riskof losing client assets, as wellas challenges related to practice management, in theirdecision to move.
Cerulli found that advisors lose 19% of clientassets, on average, whenthey change firm affiliations, on top of planned attrition.
Those who move from one independent firm to another report the biggestamount of planned attrition of assetsunder management.
“Unplanned client attrition is a
significant concern among advisors,
particularly those who consider break-
ing away to an independent channel,”
Cerulli Associate Director Michael
Rosesaid in a statement, noting, too,
that rates of client attrition can vary
considerably from one advisor practice
“It is critical that advisors perform an honest self-assessment of thestrength of their client relationships,and the share of their client base thatcould be at risk as a result of breakingaway,” he said.
Besides client attrition, 77% of advi-
sors switching firms identify operation-
al matters, 75% learning new technology
systems and 71% lost revenue during the
transition period as the top challenges
Cerulli said given that operational challenges, such as opening newaccounts and processing accounttransfers, are the ones most cited bybreakaway advisors, firms that investin related technology and operationalpersonnel are likely to havea major competitive advantage in advisor recruitmentand retention.
“Many large firms areoften better positioned tospread large investments intechnology across a widernumber of advisors and provide greater financial incentives,” Rose said.
Moreover, the pandemiccould have long-term implications for streamlined account transitioning for newly recruited advisors,according to Cerulli. Over the pastyear, firms have been forced to deploydigital onboarding processes andrelated technologies.
Jeff Berman is staff reporter for InvestmentAdvisor Group. Reach him a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides client attrition, 77% of
advisors switching firms identify
operational matters, 75%
learning new technology systems
and 71% lost revenue during
the transition period as the top
challenges they experienced.