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Advisers are at the forefront of transformative client experiences, says professional

Advisers are at the forefront of transformative client experiences, says professional

VBP chief executive David Carney believes a significant positive transformation is on the horizon for the advice industry.

Speaking to ifa this week, Mr Carney said that advisers are fundamentally in the business of selling “an experience”.

“We’re in the experience economy,” Mr Carney said.

“The client should be coming in, having their review, really looking forward to it because it challenges them, thinking, they’re goal setting. It’s a structured, well-organised meeting, you’re using some digitals, that’s an experience. And it’s a staged experience, where they [the clients] walk out thinking, ‘Wow, that’s very valuable’.

“That’s the future of advice.”

Mr Carney believes that “majoring in human” is crucial for all financial services professionals.

“It’s intuition, it’s shared learning, it’s experiences,” Mr Carney said.

“I remember in my days of advising, probably the best thing I felt I ever did was I helped this orthopaedic surgeon who was making lots of money but wanted to do a sabbatical and help in Africa. And I gave him the confidence that he could afford to take a bit of time away in his 50s and go and do that.

“I gave him permission and that’s what he did. In my little way, I sort of helped him do something very significant in the world. That’s what I see advice becoming more and more.”

Mr Carney acknowledged that technology will undoubtedly play a role – a role that enables advisers to concentrate on the human aspect of the business. For example, he believes that in the not-too-distant future, bots will be performing repetitive taskwork such as building fee disclosure statements.

“There’s no immediate thinking that a digital worker will be able to do everything in the advice processes. But there’s probably six, eight, 10 areas where you can get that, then all of a sudden, you’re getting the benefit of global best pricing and automation, which can free up time but also significantly improve cashflow and profits.”

Moreover, he emphasised that in charting the course for the future of an advice business, a crucial necessity lies in revolutionising the approach to talent development.

“The biggest thing, if I’m running an advice business, is how do I develop people, and it’s not the old way of you come in, work for a couple of years, do a whole bunch of the backend things. The future is you’ve got to fast track them through the development and know that you’ll lose some along the way. The firms that develop these people and look at ways to shorten the learning curve, they’re going to win because we’ve got a massive shortage of talent,” Mr Carney opined.

“Future advisers will have all those great elements, that ability to engage with people, but they’ll have the co-pilots, the technology, the stuff that sits around them.”

Ultimately, Mr Carney said advisers should brace for change.

“If we’ve had disruption to date, the last five, six years in this industry, we’re going to have the same level of disruption.”

Earlier this month, VBP signalled its continued expansion in the financial advice industry with the acquisition of Elixir Consulting.

“We are significantly expanding our service offering to continue supporting our clients with their growth at a time of continuing change in the financial planning landscape,” Mr Carney said at the time.

He added that the combined business of VBP and Elixir will position the business as the “go-to” growth partner for advice firms looking to innovate and scale.

This article was first published on the official ifa website.

About the Author
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic, Managing Editor, Advice and Distribution
Maja’s career in journalism spans well over a decade across finance, business and politics. Now an experienced editor and reporter across all elements of the financial services sector, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies.

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