52% of IFAs report increase in out of hours client contact

More than half (52%) of IFAs have seen a marked increase in out of hours contact with clients in the wake of COVID-19, according to new research from Charles Stanley.

The wealth manager suggested that 47% also confirmed that clients required a significant level of detail on their investments and performance.

The research, carried out among a UK representative sample of 203 IFAs, found that 2020 has been a pivotal year fundamentally altering the adviser conversation – pushing estate planning and the transfer of wealth to the next generation higher up their clients’ priority list, according to 55% of advisers.

Similarly, a Charles Stanley survey among 2,128 UK adults found that 34% of consumers said making plans to pass on their money to their families and inheritance is the main reason they would seek financial advice.

The research showed that another seven in 10 (70%) advisers say they’ve seen an increase in concern from clients over funding later life, while almost two-thirds (63%) have seen an increase in concerns around income generation, and early retirement (61%). Other areas of concern included pension drawdown (64%) and will writing (57%).

“It’s been a difficult year for many, with financial plans and investments thrown off course by the market turbulence and the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Charles Stanley group head of distribution, John Porteous. “It’s at times like this that financial advice really pays dividends and our survey suggests this is translating into a surge in demand among advisers.

“During 2020, advisers have been quick to adapt to ‘the new normal’ pivoting high touch face to face business models to be able to serve a more diverse client set remotely. While this has undoubtedly placed a lot of pressure on them, it’s also arguably left them better equipped for the new adviser conversation which is fast emerging.

“As we go into 2021, finding new ways to serve an engaged, intergenerational audience will be a priority to meet their differing attitudes and requirements.”

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