Advisers Say Financial Crisis Good for Practices

In light of the economic downturn, advisers have tightened the relationships with their clients, according to a new survey.

In fact, two-thirds of advisers responding to the MetLife Lessons Learned Advisor Poll believe that the financial crisis has had a positive impact on their relationships with their clients and their practice, and 66% say they spend more time proactively contacting their clients to talk about their personal financial needs and goals. More than half (55%) say they spend more time talking to their clients in-person.

Although all types of adviser practices experienced a pick-up in client contact as the crisis unfolded, there were some differences among industry segments, MetLife reported. Independent broker/dealers report the greatest increase in calls/requests for advice from current clients (67% compared to 61% for independent wealth managers). As for new clients and prospects, independent wealth managers report the greatest increase in the number of new clients secured, with 62% reporting that they’ve seen an increase in new clients over the past 12 months. Half (50%) of wirehouse advisers and 43% of insurance agents say they’ve seen the same.

When it came to products, increases in requests for guaranteed products increased among both wirehouse advisers (71%) and insurance agents (73%), compared to just 45% of independent wealth managers.