Looking Ahead - The evolution of financial planning – session 1

Financial Advisory

23 November 2023

AdviceAdvisory DistributorsBusiness ModelFinancial AdvisoryIntergenerationalTechnologyTraining

Expert: Melinda Lovell, Enterprise Development Director, Dynamic Planner Facilitator: John Chapman, Director, Catalyst Partners


  1. Sales skills training needed, particularly for younger advisors - Many advisers lack sales skills training compared to the past. Younger, more academically qualified advisers tend to have less sales orientation. Effective communication and sales abilities remain important.
  2. Technology key to driving efficiency, scale and productivity - Technology allows advisers to serve more clients effectively. Productivity is enabled by efficiency. AI can supplement advice but human relationships are still highly valued.
  3. Consider new business models like subscription fees - With margins pressured, some firms are shifting to monthly subscription fees rather than % of assets, changing client expectations.
  4. Better engagement needed with younger clients - There is a gap in engaging younger emerging wealth clients via the digital channels they prefer.
  5. Develop intergenerational client relationships - Building family-based advice across generations helps reduce attrition risks.
  6. Advice models require change to focus on long-term value - Delivering demonstrable value over a long client relationship will be key, rather than one-off transactions.

The group discussed the challenges and opportunities around growth and evolution of financial planning 

Key themes included the need for more sales skills training, particularly for younger advisers, the role of technology in driving efficiency and scale, exploring new business models like subscription fees, and better engaging younger clients through social media and digital channels.

There was debate around whether organic growth is a challenge, with some seeing referral networks as the key source of new clients. Developing intergenerational relationships was seen as important to reduce client attrition. The group reflected on changes required to advice models, focused on delivering consistent value over a long-term relationship rather than one-off transactions.

Key takeaways:

  • Develop sales skills training programmes, case studies and resources to help advisers, particularly younger entrants, improve communication abilities
  • Explore use of digital channels, social media, multimedia content and workplace financial education to better engage younger and next gen clients
  • Consider alternative fee structures like monthly retainers to align value demonstration with regulatory requirements
  • Build intergenerational advice capabilities and identify client families to pilot family office type engagement
  • Emphasise long-term cashflow based financial planning to anchor value demonstrations over full client lifecycle