The Most Successful Advisers Are Tech Innovators

They are also harnessing the competitive edge of AI.

The most successful registered investment advisers (RIAs) and fee-based advisers have many traits in common, according to the Advisor Authority Study, commissioned by Nationwide Advisory Solutions.

“The most successful RIAs and fee-based advisers, who earn more and manage more AUM [assets under management], are already a step ahead by putting clients first with a fiduciary standard and more holistic planning, and they further differentiate themselves by harnessing prevailing trends—from artificial intelligence to demographic shifts to industry consolidation—to create their own competitive advantage,” says Craig Hawley, head of Nationwide Advisory Solutions. “To keep pace, all advisers must adapt, or be left behind.”

Nationwide defines the most successful advisers as those earning $500,000 or more or who have AUM of $250 million or more. The company found a series of similar traits distinguish these advisers. Notably, they are tech innovators. These advisers rate technology as the second most important factor for driving profitability over the next 12 months.

They are harnessing the competitive advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) to transform every aspect of the customer experience, including offering a new universe of products. They align with their clients’ best interest, thereby deepening their relationships with them and attracting more assets. Successful advisers also define their ideal client and what their top concerns are in order to customize their practice to meet these needs.

Finally, they are marketing innovators. This year, successful advisers say increased use of mobile technology is their top solution to attract the next generation of investors (33%), followed by increased use of social media (30%) and working with clients’ families and children (28%).

The Harris Poll conducted the online survey for Nationwide Advisory Solutions among 972 advisers and 827 investors this past January and February.