Client retention and service are top priorities of advisors

Eight in ten advisors spend most of their time on client management, communication and service. Eight in ten advisors spend most of their time on client management, communication and service.

A large majority of financial advisors spend most of their time on client management, communication and service, according to new research.

ByAllAccounts, Woburn, Mass., discloses this finding in a new survey, “Traits of Highly Successful Financial Advisors.” Based on responses from 390-plus financial service professionals, the report explores advisors’ views on defining success, personal strengths and values, top priorities, areas of focus and how they spend their time.

The survey shows that 8 in 10 (80.6 percent) advisors spend most of their time on client management, communication and service. Fewer than one in five (18.3 percent) devote most of their time to back-office operations and reporting.

The report adds that client retention (65.6 percent) and client service (60.9 percent) are the top priorities of successful advisors. The third highest priority is assets under management, pegged at 59.4 percent.

When asked to identify the most important measure of business success, nearly all of the advisors polled (96.9 percent) identified client satisfaction. Less frequently cited measures include:

Assets under management (41.5 percent)

● Revenue (35.4 percent)

● Investment performance (33.8 percent)

● Employee satisfaction (20 percent)

● New clients (20 percent)

● Expenses (0 percent).

Nearly all (96.8 percent) of the fastest growing advisors flagged “understand the needs of clients” as their top personal strength.

The top 30 percent of firms surveyed indicate they grew assets under management by 16 percent or more during the past two years. The largest proportion (23.9 percent) pegs AUG growth over the two-year period at between 6 and 10 percent.

Four in ten advisors (40.6 percent) say the majority of their clients fall within the high net worth range, defined as $1 million to $4.9 million. Fewer advisors flag other income levels. Among them:

● Mass affluent ($500,001-$999,000): 28.1 percent

● Middle income ($0-$500,000): 23.4 percent

● Ultra high net worth ($5 million-plus): 3.1 percent

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of advisors (66 percent) say they target clients by characteristics, such as investable income, occupation, age, etc. Most (85 percent) point to investable income as the main benchmark for qualifying prospects.

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