Building a More AGILE Advice Business

By Russell Investments | More Articles by Russell Investments

by Bronwyn Yates

 

If there was one thing we have learned from 2020, we can change our habits and behaviours more than we previously believed. Change can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. But change can also yield better ways of doing things. It can be the push we need to take a leap and embrace new technologies, new solutions and new approaches to clients and our businesses. 

Driving efficiencies through technology

Let’s look at digital signatures. According to the Netwealth Adviser Tech report in 2020, digital signature tools were used by 32% of advisers and a further 50% of advisers intended to adopt in coming months. However, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic saw advisers adopting digital signatures much quicker than planned, along with many platforms, insurers and administrators accelerating their digital capabilities. 

It was only 12 months ago that many advice businesses were asking clients to print, sign and return documents via mail in order to process their requests. This often resulted in an administrative burden on advisers, not to mention a clunky and cumbersome experience for the client. However, for advisers who’ve adopted electronic signatures in their operations, they’ve been able to action requests efficiently and enhanced the overall client experience while maintaining (or even enhancing) compliance standards. A win win for all!

We can take this lesson and look to improve other parts of an advice business, such as the construction and management of a traditional paper-based model portfolio. A model portfolio is a way to manage your clients’ money. But it often comes with the additional commitment of investment committees, portfolio research and monitoring, client implementation and reporting challenges. Any part of this process that is underdone is also potentially adding risk to your business. So, while you may be comfortable with a traditional model portfolio today – there may be a better way for you and your clients. It just might be the change you didn’t know you were looking for.

Like electronic signatures, Managed Account can help your business save time, reduce friction, improve governance and deliver better outcomes for clients in a more consistent and fairer manner. It enables you to evolve from a rigid model portfolio process to a more AGILE advice business.

Why Managed Accounts?
  • Aligned with your client needs. Your clients’ needs are at the centre of any recommendation, delivering a costeffective portfolio solution, managed by investment professionals. An absolute non-negotiable.
  • Benefit from institutional quality governance. Our Managed Accountsleverage our global investment process and are imbedded in the same governance process as our largest institutional clients locally and globally.  We take care of the portfolio research, construction, governance, and implementation so you can focus on what matters most – your clients.
  • Implement portfolios efficiently. Our Managed Accounts have a dynamic core that enables a real time dynamic component of the portfolio managed from our global trading desk allowing reduced trading at the platform level, which means lower transaction costs and tax efficiencies for your clients.
  • Leverage the same investment process consistently across all clients.An advantage of Managed Accounts that is often underrated compared to traditional paper model portfolios is the ability to leverage a solution / portfolio across your client base. Not only does it reduce implementation time, but more importantly it ensures that all your clients are treated equitably. You are not forced to trade one client’s portfolio before another client – which gives rise to potential conflicts. It also reduces the complexity in your business for clients having slightly different portfolios based on portfolio changes implemented and documented. 
  • Execute with expertise and skill. Finally, you are recommending your client a solution that leverages the skills, expertise and insight of a team of global specialists. Advisers can often spread themselves too thin. The best advisers we see focus on their strengths. Such as focusing on technical advice strategies and client engagement skills to partner with clients to improve their financial security and confidence. In order to achieve this focus, an adviser partners with other experts to deliver solutions across portfolios, platforms and insurers to implement their strategic advice.

 

A  Align with your client needs

  • Provides professional investment management
  • Cost effective and transparent holdings
G  Good Governance

  • Benefit from global investment governance process
  • Ease the burden on your investment process and investment committee requirements
I  Implementation efficiency

  • Real time dynamic management in your portfolio
L  Leverageable across your client base

  • Fair and equitable client portfolio changes
  • No ROAs / operational requirements for portfolio updates
  • Other users have found time saving on average of 12 hrs/week1
E  Expertise and insights

  • Leverage skills
  • FASEA Code Of Ethics requires Advisers to act With Competence and to undertake “professional judgement of when to augment your knowledge, skills and experience with assistance from other professionals”

 

Bottom Line

In 2020, we learned to be more agile and find opportunities to enhance and evolve our businesses. Let’s maintain this mindset to continue to explore better ways of delivering quality advice to your clients. Adopting Managed Accounts can improve the quality and consistency of your investment process, deliver on client outcomes and flexibility to deliver any personalisation that may be required.

 

ENDPOINTS

[1] Investment Trends February 2018 Managed Accounts Report, based on a survey of 841 financial planners

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About Russell Investments

The Russell Investments High Dividend Australian Shares ETF (the 'Fund') seeks to track the Russell Australia High Dividend Index ('the Index'), which comprises Australian blue-chip companies with a bias towards those that have a high expected dividend yield but also meet other characteristics including: a history of paying dividends; dividend growth and consistent earnings. The Fund invests in a diversified portfolio of Australian shares and trusts listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), with the aim of delivering income, through higher dividends and franking credits, as well as capital growth to investors.

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