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Adviser high technology use to continue

3 May 2021

The use of technology among advisers soared during Covid-19, with many expecting virtual communication to become a permanent fixture as we emerge from the pandemic, new research has shown.  

According to Vitality, the pandemic prompted more than half (54%) of advisers to reassess their firm’s technological capabilities, with nine in ten (89%) of advisers now using a new form of technology as a result of the pandemic.

Going forwards, nearly three quarters (74%) of advisers expect video conferencing to continue, while more than a quarter (28%) still expect to host and attend virtual events. In addition, 23% of advisers surveyed said they expect to use email in ways they hadn’t done so before.

According to Vitality, the pace of digitalisation across firms has also prompted advisers to consider how it can be used to improve their business models. More than half (56%) believe cashflow modelling tools would help to improve their ability to manage customer outcomes, while better integration of back office tech (40%) and better and faster onboarding (28%) would enable them to generate greater efficiencies.

Advisers also said the use of online portals to interact with providers and clients had brought with it the benefit of going paperless, improving service and security.

Commenting on the findings, Justin Taurog, managing director of VitalityInvest said: “It’s clearly been an extraordinary year where every business has had to adapt and accelerate their use of technology as never before. Financial advisers are no exception, and while traditionally conversations would be rarely anything but face to face, IFAs now tell us they are increasingly moving to communicating with their clients online on a more permanent basis. What’s more, taking a digital approach to managing their clients’ money is becoming more common and they welcome the ability to interact with providers on digital platforms.”

Chris Green, managing director of SG Financial Services, said: “The pandemic has forced many advisers to reassess their technological capabilities, and for us, the changes we’ve made have become central to our business model.

“Clients are now expecting more in terms of technology, and the integration of digital tools such as Vitality’s Adviser Hub, has allowed us to efficiently and effectively manage our clients’ money and provide them with a fantastic service – which is absolutely integral to what we do.”

Meanwhile, Ross Laurie, CEO at Visible Capital, said that advisers increasingly want data collation automated so they can get their customers onboarded and suitability assessed, which then enables them to utilise their skills building relationships, developing products and strategies and growing portfolios.

Laurie said: “Covid-19 may well be seen to have had a significant impact in accelerating the digital transformation across our industry, but it’s advisers and their clients who are leading the transformation by identifying how technology can enhance the day to day aspects of delivering exceptional wealth management services. And it’s this partnership between advisers, clients and technology that is really going to shape both the way we think and the way we do business.”

Professional Paraplanner