Looking Ahead - The evolution of financial planning – session 2

Financial Advisory

23 November 2023

Advisory DistributorsClientFinancial AdvisoryOrganic GrowthRegulationRetentionTechnology

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


  1. Organic growth strategies - Referrals, corporate employee benefits portals, and social media were all mentioned as ways to grow organically. But conversion rates and lead quality are also critical to make strategies successful. This industry still relies heavily on client transitions from retiring advisers.
  2. Client engagement and retention - Digital portals, apps and channels help engagement but human relationships are still key. Advisers are not fully embracing digital in some cases and need to bring clients 'on the journey' earlier through the use of technology.
  3. Leveraging technology – Back-end systems are being used more for compliance and reporting currently. There is interest in front end applications like robo-advice and automated suitability but adoption is still limited. There is also a risk of disengaging advisers.
  4. Role of younger advisers - Younger advisers are more comfortable with apps and digital channels. But the industry is not promoting itself well to younger talent. More training and education are needed.
  5. Regulatory considerations – Uncertainty exists around regulatory interpretation, which limits use of emerging technologies like AI. Firms are cautious to innovate despite the potential benefits.
  6. Social media challenges - Channels like TikTok allow unqualified people to give financial advice. The industry needs to have qualified advisers engaging through these platforms.

The discussion covered various topics related to the evolution of financial planning, including organic growth strategies, client engagement and retention, use of technology, and the role of younger advisers.

Organic growth remains a priority but can be challenging - strategies include referral networks, social media, corporate employee benefits portals. Conversion rates and quality of leads are critical.

Client engagement and retention is helped by use of portals, apps and digital channels but human relationships remain key. Advisers are not always fully embracing digital. 

Technology is being used more in the back end currently e.g. file checking and reporting. Interest in front end applications like robo-advice and automated suitability reports is there, but we are not seeing widespread adoption yet.

Younger advisers are more receptive to the use of apps and digital channels. But regulatory interpretation creates uncertainty for use of newer technologies like AI. Firms are still cautious about being more innovative.

Consumer Duty regulatory focus will drive digitisation as a way of evidencing process and oversight.

Social media channels like TikTok pose challenges around unqualified 'advisers'. Qualified individuals tapping into these channels are needed.

Key takeaways:

  • Research digital tools that can be implemented to improve organic growth strategies, focusing on options that optimise conversion rates and lead quality
  • Survey existing client base to identify opportunities for adding value through enhanced use of apps, portals and digital channels
  • Explore front end technology solutions and robo-advising capabilities and evaluate potential impact on client and adviser engagement
  • Develop training programmes to promote the industry to new talent, highlighting the benefits of a career in financial planning
  • Schedule regulatory update sessions to clarify interpretation of rules around use of emerging technologies
  • Identify potential spokespeople who can represent the company appropriately on social media platforms like TikTok