Client Service is the subject of a lot of discussion amongst financial advisors.
As an industry, we recognise the importance of helping clients to understand their opportunities and take decisions on how and when to act; or not to act.
Most advisors have long appreciated, too, that maintaining ongoing dialogue with clients is fundamental to building trust. It’s this trust that secures a client for the long term, and encourages a healthy appetite for investment.
Naturally, this isn’t only in the interest of investors. It’s very much in our interest, too, with ongoinhg fees derived from assets under management or triggered in many situations by investment into new products.
In spite of this, however, many advisors are guilty of allowing client service to subside over the lifetime of the relationship.
Why that approach doesn’t work with Modern Expat investors.
As financial advisors with a strong presence in the Middle East, almost all of our clients are what we think of as ‘Modern Expats’. Modern Expats tend to be well educated, high earning, mid-career and highly mobile, relocating freely for work, relationships and to experience more of the world.
As well-educated professionals in finance, technology, real estate and other tech or asset-related fields, they are generally both financially literate, and inclined towards the use of cloud based tools.
For investors with this kind of fast-changing lifestyle, flexibility and the ability to review and change plans and investments on a relatively regular basis, should be must-haves in selecting a financial advisor.
The significant factor, however, is that reviewing and helping adapt investments, or keeping plans in line with changes in job, location, remuneration or family obligations, requires an ongoing commitment on behalf of the advisor.
The relationship needs to be proactively maintained, rather than allowed to decrease in its frequency with the onus left to clients to initiate conversation.
Taking a long term view.
At PWS, we are committed to maintaining our dialogue with clients continuously, and to deepening the engagement touchpoints we offer, as central planks in furthering the quality of our service.
“It would be both commercially short sighted and a dereliction of our duty to clients to cosset them during the early days of our relationship, but then later simply leave it to them to call us as and when they felt they needed help,” explains our Head of Client Servicing, Edward King.
“The clients we have at PWS are savvy, and interested in ensuring their investment plans keep up both with their changing circumstances and with new opportunities in the marketplace.
To play a meaningful role in strategizing and planning their investments for them over many years – as we hope to do – means investing the time of our advisors, and making constant capital investment in refining the tools we offer clients.”
Outstanding advisors and a flexible service offer.
Expert and helpful advisors, with a remit to build high-value working relationships with each client are the cornerstone of a good investment advisory service.
“I like to be a client’s confidant”, says our Senior Private Client Adviser Max Gonella. “I believe exceptional client service is about going beyond what is expected of you. It is about surprising and often delighting people, turning them into lifelong clients who stick with you not only because you do great work at a fair price, but because the value you bring to them goes far beyond just looking after their investments!”
Flexibility of service offer is also a must in building a high-value relationship. So rather than saddle clients with a ‘fixed’ service package which may effectively charge for facilities they will not use, our offer is ‘menu-based’, optimising the cost to clients.
Great tools. The last component of exceptional client service.
With clients distributed around the world wishing to deal with their investments 24/7 across time zones, powerful web-hosted tools add greatly to the quality of service a client experiences, too.
PWS currently provides an Online Financial Valuations Tool, which collates real time valuation data from across a client’s portfolio of insurance policies and investment products, under a single login.
We also provide clients with access to our Financial Fund Planning Platform, which gives online visibility of their wealth from anywhere in the world, twenty-four-seven, with access to thousands of mutual funds from all major fund houses, at discounted rates.
If you’re already a client, please talk to your adviser if there’s any way in which you feel we could improve our service to you.
If you’re not currently a client but would like to discuss your pension arrangements, or any other aspect of your financial planning, with an independent financial advisor that believes in building a close relationship for the long term, do get in touch.