Last month, I was privileged to attend a “Future of the Business” think tank in New York City sponsored by Investment News and Fidelity Investments. This one-day event provided an amazing opportunity to network with up-and-coming leaders in the financial services industry and to discuss important issues facing the wealth management industry.
Each of the roughly 50 attendees were alumni of the Investment News 40 Under 40 classes of 2014 through 2017. (You may recall, I was honored to be part of the Class of 2014.) The idea behind the 40 Under 40 project is to illuminate the future of the financial advice industry by finding the top young talent in the field and sharing their stories with Investment News readers, and the Future of the Business event was designed to allow open dialogue among those future leaders about how we can collectively help set the stage for growth. We focused on two questions during the event:
• Who is the Client of the Future?
• Who is the Advisor of the Future?
The think tank event will culminate with a Special Report Cover Story in Investment News this fall, but I thought I would share some of my key take-aways with you now.
The Client of the Future. There is broad consensus that the client of the future will be greatly impacted by technology. This will enable them to be more connected and better educated on the key issues related to the services and advice we can offer. They are likely to be scrutinizing and will demand transparency and integrity of their advisors. Clients of the future will value the human connection provided by advisors, and it will be important for advisors to be able to articulate value and keep these clients engaged.
The Advisor of the Future. The overwhelming theme regarding the advisor of the future was the human element: empathy, emotional intelligence, adaptability. Advisors will need to play the role of educator, advocate, partner, and will need to connect with their clients on various levels – emotional, social, and technological. The demand for talent will be a growing challenge, and more advisors will implement a team approach and collaborate internally, as well as with clients. Value will be measured well beyond investment return, and advisors must be able to help clients cut through the noise in this fast-paced world. They will need to utilize technology and scale for growth to remain profitable and provide the customized client experience that will set them apart from competitors.
At FJY we truly value the opportunity to be part of conversations such as these. We aim to be leaders in our profession and appreciate insights provided by the collective wisdom of our peers. As we strive to grow our business, we always want to maintain focus on excellent client service and the invaluable relationships we have with our clients. We would appreciate hearing your thoughts on these issues. So, I will end with a question.
What do you think the Client and Advisor of the future will look like?