This month, Investment Advisor magazine included the results of a six month study performed by Investment Advisor Group and ActiFi Inc. on advisor practice management. The goal of the research was to assess the current state of practice management, identify best practices among advisors and their partners, and discover advisors’ key unmet needs as well as their future challenges and opportunities. The findings showed that practice management is viewed as a key part of the value proposition that advisors are looking for from the financial institutions that service them. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64.2) of respondents rated practice management services as either critical or very critical to their relationship with their partners. In this regard, broker-dealers emerged as the clear leader in not only providing services to advisors but in creating value.
In addition, respondents of the survey listed sales and marketing as the most important practice management solutions offered. In particular, enhancing prospecting and client acquisition skills, improving client communications and improving asset gathering skills were at the top of the list. When it came to receiving practice management services, most advisors responded that they want advice and best practices tailored to their needs and wanted someone to assist them in implementing improvements. Finally, when it came to how and where to devote resources, advisors said that going forward, they would devote significant new investment dollars to sales and marketing, while advisor time spent would be most weighted towards client service.
This study was the first in a three-report series. The second and third installations will appear in July and August issues of Investment Advisor magazine.