Advisers Look to Add Clients, Cut Expenses

Securities America said a survey of its advisers showed they are proactive during these challenging times.

When asked about projected business results for 2009, 57% of the advisers expected revenue to be even with, or higher than, 2008 results, according to a release of the survey results. Broker/dealer Securites America surveyed 200 advisers—one group at a forum in February and the other during a Webcast in April.

Respondents also noted that significant dislocation in the financial services industry has put many clients in play, and advisers plan on capitalizing on this dislocation. Eighty-six percent of respondents have already gained clients from wirehouses or large bank brokers, and 66% said that the clients made the move because they were not receiving the attention or level of service that they expected from the previous adviser.

Cutting Expenses

When queried about how they are improving efficiency in their practices, advisers said they are reducing expenses on all items except those areas that directly impact client acquisition and client service, according to the release. Fifty-one percent said they had reduced their business expenses somewhat. More than half of those responding had reduced both office expenses, such as rent and vendor services, and travel/entertainment.

When asked where they had increased their spending during the past year, 43% responded that they were spending more on marketing/advertising/prospecting, the survey found. In terms of their message and how they are communicating with the marketplace, 80% said that although they have made some alterations, their core message remains the same.