Value Add and Practice Management Support to Advisors - 2017

  • ID: 4196734
  • Report
  • Region: Global
  • 98 Pages
  • Practical Perspectives
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Provides a Deep, Data Driven View That Examines Value Add and Practice Management Support from the Singular Perspective of Financial Advisors

FEATURED COMPANIES

  • American Funds
  • BlackRock
  • Charles Schwab
  • MORE

Value add and practice management support is a core business development activity of asset managers, insurance companies, broker-dealers, custodians, and other firms that rely on financial advisors to distribute their products and services. These programs and tools create awareness and differentiation to help product providers and distributors stand out in a highly competitive marketplace. The types of capabilities offered to advisors are diverse and include economic and capital markets issues, client development and engagement, operations and technology, retirement planning, and professional and skills development.

It is with this context that we examine value add and practice management support from the distinct perspective of financial advisors. This new 98-page report builds on prior studies and offers detailed data driven findings and trends related to the impact of these programs, sources advisors rely on most, characteristics of leading programs, enhancements desired by advisors, and the subjects of most interest to advisors for future support. The report is based on proprietary research completed in January 2017 with over 600 advisors including those affiliated with RIAs, Independent broker-dealers, and wirehouse, national, and regional broker-dealer firms.

Key Topic Areas: Advisors and Key Trends in Portfolio Construction

How Advisors Use Value Add and Practice Management Support:

  • Which key sources do advisors rely on most for support and how satisfied are advisors with available support?
  • How useful are different ways of delivering support to advisors?
  • What factors characterize the most useful value add and practice management support?
  • What changes can improve advisor satisfaction with support?
  • Which firms deliver the most useful value add and practice management support?

Key Support Topics and Advisor Needs:

  • Which aspects of running a practice are most challenging to advisors?
  • For which topic areas are advisors most interested in receiving support?
  • For which investment or economic topics, practice management subjects, business development and client engagement issues, retirement-related areas, and professional or personal skills development have advisors recently received support and which are most important in the next 12 to 24 months?
  • What are advisors most significant unmet needs for value add and practice management support?
  • How prepared are advisors for the planned DOL fiduciary rules and what types of support do they desire?

The Impact of Value Add and Practice Management Support:

  • What impact does support have on advisors and how does it influence advisor perceptions and behaviors related to the firms they rely on for support?
  • How does advisors use of value add and practice management support differ across key channels and what distinguishes advisors who are most heavily reliant on support?

Asset managers, insurance companies, broker-dealers, custodians, and other providers invest heavily each year in value add and practice management support designed to engage and influence advisors. These programs are typically a key element of the sales, marketing, and servicing efforts for firms that distribute their solutions through financial advisors. In providing this support, firms hope to capture the attention of advisors, build awareness, differentiation, and loyalty, and generate incremental business.
 
Our goal in this report is to offer a deep, data driven view that examines value add and practice management support from the singular perspective of financial advisors. This in-depth report combines distinct research insights with practical, consulting oriented analysis. The report is designed and written to provide relevant and actionable information for key constituents including asset managers, insurance companies, broker-dealers, custodians, distribution platforms, and other service firms interested in understanding advisor preferences related to support and ways to increase the effectiveness and differentiation of the resources they offer. The study builds upon prior reports published in 2013, 2014, and 2015 to identify trends or changes in the delivery and use of value add and practice management support.
 
“Value Add and Practice Management Support to Financial Advisors - 2017” examines the programs and tools advisors use currently and the types of support of greatest import going forward. The analysis looks in detail at specific elements of value add and practice management offerings to advisors, including the impact of these solutions, the characteristics associated with the most widely used capabilities, and the topics of most interest for ongoing support. It also provides a detailed look at how advisor behaviors and preferences differ by channel to enable providers to craft and implement more targeted, relevant, and effective support.
 
Among the key questions addressed in this report are:

  • How reliant are advisors on value add and practice management resources?
  • What impact does support have on advisors and their practices?
  • To what extent does support influence key attitudes and behavior?
  • Which sources are advisors turning to most often for support?
  • How satisfied are advisors with capabilities offered by these key sources?
  • How useful are various ways support is provided to advisors?
  • Which factors characterize the support most useful to advisors?
  • What can be done to improve advisor satisfaction with value add and practice management support?
  • Which providers offer the most useful support?
  • What subjects are most important for advisors to receive additional support?
  • Which types of support are advisors using and what are their most significant needs going forward?
  • What are the key differences among advisors in their interest and use of value add and practice management support?
  • How prepared do advisors feel for the planned DOL retirement rules and what forms of support related to this implementation are most desired by advisors?

This report is based on input from a broad cross-section of advisors across key channels including wirehouse, regional, independent, and RIAs. In January 2017, advisors were asked to participate in an on-line survey regarding support they receive in running their practice. Advisors were randomly solicited across all delivery channels. More than 600 advisor responses were used as the basis for this report.

Advisors did not receive any compensation for participation in the survey. Key findings in the report are provided for the complete sample as well as for the largest distribution channels - Full Service (wirehouse, national, and regional), Independent, and RIA. Findings are also compared to prior results as appropriate to reveal trends or shifts in how advisors perceive and use value add support.

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FEATURED COMPANIES

  • American Funds
  • BlackRock
  • Charles Schwab
  • MORE

Section I: Executive Summary

Section II: Introduction and Methodology

Section III: How Advisors Use Value Add and Practice Management Support

  • Which key sources do advisors rely on most for value add and practice management support?
  • How satisfied are advisors with value add and practice management support they receive from key sources?
  • How useful are different ways of delivering value add and practice management support to advisors?
  • What types of value add and practice management support are most useful to advisors?
  • What factors characterize the most useful value add and practice management support?
  • What changes can improve advisor satisfaction with value add and practice management support?
  • Which firms deliver the most useful value add and practice management support?

Section IV: Value Add and Practice Management Support Topics and Needs

  • Which aspects of running a practice are most challenging to advisors?
  • For which topic areas are advisors most interested in receiving additional support?
  • For which investment or economic topics have advisors recently received support and which are most important in the next 12 to 24 months?
  • For which practice management topics have advisors recently received support and which are most important in the next 12 to 24 months?
  • For which business development or client engagement topics have advisors recently received support and which are most important in the next 12 to 24 months?
  • For which retirement topics have advisors recently received support and which are most important in the next 12 to 24 months?
  • For which professional or personal development topics have advisors recently received support and which are most important in the next 12 to 24 months?
  • What are advisors most significant unprompted needs for additional support in the next 12 to 24 months?
  • How prepared are advisors for the DOL retirement rules, what sources are they likely to turn to for support, and which types of value add and practice management support on this topic do advisors desire?

Section V: The Impact of Value Add and Practice Management Support

  • What impact do value add and practice management support have on advisors?
  • To what extent do value add and practice management support influence advisor perceptions and behaviors?
  • To what degree are advisors reliant on value add and practice management support?

Section VI: Profile of Survey Respondents

Section VII: Outlook and Implications

List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1: Reliance on Value Add and Practice Management Support from Key Sources
Exhibit 2: Heavy Reliance on Value Add and Practice Management Support from Key Sources by Channel
Exhibit 3: Use of Value Add and Practice Management Support Based on Current Business Activity with Providers
Exhibit 4: Significant/Moderate Use of Value Add and Practice Management Support Based on Current Business Activity with Providers by Channel
Exhibit 5: Satisfaction with Value Add and Practice Management Support from Key Sources
Exhibit 6: Satisfaction with Value Add and Practice Management Support from Key Sources by Channel
Exhibit 7: Usefulness of Ways for Delivering Value Add and Practice Management Support
Exhibit 8: Usefulness of Ways for Delivering Value Add and Practice Management Support by Channel
Exhibit 9: Most Useful Types of Value Add and Practice Management Support
Exhibit 10: Most Useful Types of Value Add and Practice Management Support by Channel
Exhibit 11: Factors Associated with Most Used Value Add and Practice Management Support
Exhibit 12: Factors Associated with Most Used Value Add and Practice Management Support by Channel
Exhibit 13: Advisor Usage: Client Facing Support vs. Advisor/Staff Support
Exhibit 14: Advisor Usage: Client Facing Support vs. Advisor/Staff Support by Channel
Exhibit 15: Advisor Usage: Educational vs. Action-Oriented Support
Exhibit 16: Advisor Usage: Educational vs. Action-Oriented Support by Channel
Exhibit 17: Changes to Improve Satisfaction with Value Add and Practice Management Support
Exhibit 18: Changes to Improve Satisfaction with Value Add and Practice Management Support by Channel
Exhibit 19: Most Frequently Mentioned Providers of Value Add and Practice Management Support
Exhibit 20: Most Frequently Mentioned Providers of Value Add and Practice Management Support by Channel
Exhibit 21: Key Challenges for Advisors
Exhibit 22: Significant Challenges for Advisors by Channel
Exhibit 23: Most Crucial Area of Additional Support in Next 12 Months
Exhibit 24: Most Crucial Area of Additional Support in Next 12 Months by Channel
Exhibit 25: Investment, Economic or Product Topics for Support in Past 12 Months
Exhibit 26: Investment, Economic or Product Topics for Support in Past 12 Months by Channel
Exhibit 27: Importance of Investment, Economic or Product Topics for Support in Next 12 to 24 Months
Exhibit 28: Importance of Investment, Economic or Product Topics for Support in Next 12 to 24 Months by Channel
Exhibit 29: Practice Management Topics for Support in Past 12 Months
Exhibit 30: Practice Management Topics for Support in Past 12 Months by Channel
Exhibit 31: Importance of Practice Management Support in Next 12 to 24 Months
Exhibit 32: Importance of Practice Management Support in Next 12 to 24 Months by Channel
Exhibit 33: Client Engagement and Business Development Topics for Support in Past 12 Months
Exhibit 34: Client Engagement and Business Development Topics for Support in Past 12 Months by Channel
Exhibit 35: Importance of Client Engagement and Business Development Support in Next 12 to 24 Months
Exhibit 36: Importance of Client Engagement and Business Development Support in Next 12 to 24 Months by Channel
Exhibit 37: Retirement Topics for Support in Past 12 Months
Exhibit 38: Retirement Topics for Support in Past 12 Months by Channel
Exhibit 39: Importance of Retirement Topics for Support in Next 12 to 24 Months
Exhibit 40: Importance of Retirement Topics for Support in Next 12 to 24 Months by Channel
Exhibit 41: Professional or Personal Development Topics for Support in Past 12 Months
Exhibit 42: Professional or Personal Development Topics for Support in Past 12 Months by Channel
Exhibit 43: Importance of Professional or Personal Development Support in Next 12 to 24 Months
Exhibit 44: Importance of Professional or Personal Development Support in Next 12 to 24 Months by Channel
Exhibit 45: Preparedness for Planned DOL Retirement Rules
Exhibit 46: Preparedness for Planned DOL Retirement Rules by Channel
Exhibit 47: Likely Sources for Support for Planned DOL Retirement Rules
Exhibit 48: Likely Sources for Support for Planned DOL Retirement Rules by Channel
Exhibit 49: Importance of Receiving Support for Planned DOL Retirement Rules
Exhibit 50: Importance of Receiving Support for Planned DOL Retirement Rules by Channel
Exhibit 51: Impact of Value Add and Practice Management Support on an Advisors Practice
Exhibit 52: Impact of Value Add and Practice Management Support on Advisors Practice by Channel
Exhibit 53: Impact of Value Add and Practice Management Support on Advisors Behaviors and Attitudes
Exhibit 54: Impact of Value Add Support and Practice Management on Advisors Behaviors and Attitudes by Channel
Exhibit 55: Reliance on Support
Exhibit 56: Reliance on Support by Channel
Exhibit 57: Impact of Support on Attitudes and Behaviors - Heavily Reliant Advisors
Exhibit 58: Advisor Usage: Client Facing Support vs. Advisor/Staff Support - Heavily Reliant Advisors
Exhibit 59: Usefulness of How Support is Provided - Heavily Reliant Advisors
Exhibit 60: Profile of Respondents by Key Characteristics
Exhibit 61: Respondents Reliance on Key Investment Solutions
Exhibit 62: Respondents Significant Reliance on Key Investment Solutions by Channel

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FEATURED COMPANIES

  • American Funds
  • BlackRock
  • Charles Schwab
  • MORE

The significant resources that asset managers, insurance companies, and broker-dealers commit to value add and practice management support have a sustained impact on financial advisor attitudes and behaviors, with programs and tools focused on managing portfolios in an increasingly volatile and uncertain environment and those focused on compliance and regulatory changes of most interest going forward.

The 98-page report “Value Add and Practice Management Support to Financial Advisors - Insights and Opportunities 2017” examines, in detail, how advisors use value add and practice management support provided by product manufacturers and distributors. The analysis reviews the influence these programs have on advisor perceptions and behaviors, the sources and preferred ways of accessing support, the firms providing the most useful tools and capabilities, and the enhancements to support advisors believe are most important. It also identifies the various topics advisors perceive as most important to receive assistance with going forward.

Virtually all advisors use value add and practice management support available from product providers and distributors. Satisfaction with these programs suggests continued room for improvement, with advisors wanting more capabilities that can be used directly with investors and which are implementation focused rather than purely educational.

Value add and practice management capabilities are a crucial part of the offering from product and service providers, and advisors clearly take advantage of these capabilities. Providers use these programs to generate awareness and goodwill among advisors as they look to differentiate their products and services. In the past year, advisors indicate these programs influence key factors such as their overall impression of a provider, the willingness to consider a provider, and loyalty to a provider. The challenge for firms is to further evolve their programs while staying relevant to the changing needs of different types of advisors.

The report is based on input from over 625 financial advisors gathered through an on-line survey conducted in January 2017. Those surveyed include full service brokers, independent brokers, financial planners, and Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs).

Highlights of the report include:

  • Most advisors use value add and practice management support and are reliant on these tools and capabilities in running their practice. Roughly 2 in 3 advisors (67%) are heavily or somewhat reliant on value add support.
  • More than 3 in 4 advisors (76%) perceive value add and practice management programs as having a positive impact on their practice.
  • Advisors are far more likely to leverage value add support from primary providers, defined as those firms which they do the most business currently.
  • American Funds, BlackRock and Charles Schwab are the most frequently listed providers of useful support, although firms identified as offering leading support vary across key channels.
  • The most widely used value add and practice management programs in the past year focus on on Social Security, managing portfolios in a challenging or uncertain environment, and managing shifting compliance or regulatory requirements.
  • Looking ahead, advisors express continued need for support related to a variety of key challenges including developing new sources of referrals and clients, retirement and income planning, improving efficiency in their operations, managing client expectations and concerns, and navigating compliance and regulatory issues, especially the proposed DOL rules.

This offers a unique, in-depth advisor driven view of value add and practice management support and builds off our studies in prior years to view trends in how advisors use these capabilities. There is a huge investment being made by providers and distributors in delivering these capabilities, so it is important to understand how advisors actually use these solutions, what can be done to improve satisfaction and access to these programs, and what support they desire going forward.

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  • American Funds
  • BlackRock
  • Charles Schwab
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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