Yield of Dreams

FAs: Face-to-Face is Overrated; Pick up the Phone!

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phoneIn-person meetings with asset managers are so last year. In a survey by kasina and Horsesmouth’s FA Vision service, the telephone was the communication of choice for advisors when working with asset managers, ranking an average of 8.3 out of 10 for importance. Meanwhile, in-person meetings were less important, ranking fourth at an average of 6 out of 10.

According to last year’s survey, 23.5 percent said they prefer telephone communications over in-person or online support, while 10.2 percent preferred in-person visits and 14.7 percent preferred online communication. The rest had no preference.

Why the partiality to phone calls? They’re likely getting tired of the constant contact from asset managers trying to sell them products, and I don’t blame them. I was walking around the exhibit hall at the Pershing conference earlier this month with an IBD advisor, and I noticed he was very selective in which asset management firms he talked to. He would only approach booths he was genuinely interested in, and rarely took leaflets.

According to a 2010 Cogent survey, reported on by the Financial Times:

Advisers said they receive, on average, 112 “touches” from financial services providers each month, up from 103 last year. But the most effective companies use between six and eight touches each month. When asked what form of communication they found most effective, 49 per cent of advisers said they prefer e-mail, while 37 per cent like in-person visits. Zero percent chose social media. The results also show that advisers appreciate well-crafted and executed webinars, but could do with less printed materials, White notes.

I believe asset managers are doing more creative things to communicate and reach out to advisors, pushing more to digital and offering more “thought leadership”-type of content, rather than peddling products. They could take a note from what advisors are saying in these surveys…

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Casting a gimlet-eye on asset management issues.

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