Don’t Fight It – How to Embrace and Benefit from the Changes in Our Industry

If you think Financial Services is heavily regulated, think again. The football league has the SGSA which sounds like a police unit. The Sports Grounds Safety Authority has regulated grounds since the awful disasters in the 1980s, and rightfully so. Recently they've been criticising clubs for allowing fans to stand at their seats but try to stop thousands of fans from standing at Old Trafford is nigh on impossible. I know, I've sat at the Stretford End on a few occasions and you can't sit down. It's perilous.

Rather than fighting against it, the clubs and the regulators have created safe standing rails and installed them at their grounds over the summer. Thus fans can occupy the same space as a sitting fan whilst standing and leaning on a railing.

An innovative example of working with a change rather than fighting against it.

Our industry is littered with situations where we try and fight to maintain the status quo. In contrast, we would be better off looking for ways of working with the change – flowing with it, not against it. Here are some examples:

  • It’s estimated that £372 Billion is about to be inherited in the next decade from the Baby Boomer generation and passed down to younger generations. They'll need advice on where to invest the money. So IFAs and Wealth Advisers are gearing up to supply this in how their parents received it. This generation may not want advice sitting in an office with a Chesterfield Sofa in reception. Gen X are notoriously sceptical and have grown adept at researching their own solutions and would instead do it themselves. They may prefer using an app with Artificial Intelligence gathering information from the social media data and recommending passive funds to invest in, at a fraction of the cost of platforms and active annual ongoing advice charges.
  • Instead of defending your ongoing advice charges, adjust your business model to embrace online apps and AI to complement your personal attention.
  • Mortgage advisers insist on seeing people face to face because this is the only way to build trust and a client relationship. This may be the way you want to operate because you've known no other way, and lockdown zoom calls were excruciating for you. Your potential clients may not like this. They may prefer an app to handle their mortgage, delivered by phone, with little human involvement. Embrace this by using apps as part of your advice proposition to cut down the time they need to spend with you. A simple portal to collect data might suffice, or a full-blown AI-enabled app to start the advice process. Flow with the need rather than fight against it.
  • Tiktok has been criticised recently for having influencers advising people how to invest their money. The #investing has been tagged 3.3 billion times on TikTok. Some influencers are racking up thousands of followers embracing their investment advice in Crypto. IFAs and Wealth Managers (and myself) have been caught on camera deriding these "advisers" and Crypto as a risky asset.
  • Maybe they both are – the influencers and the Crypto – but young people are flocking to them in their droves and think nothing of following an online influencer for advice. Why can't these same IFAs and Wealth Managers welcome the influencer model and maybe become influencers themselves? It's a hard trend – it won't go away. Fight them if you want, but you won't change it. Maybe pick up some of their mannerisms – guru advice, teachers, mentors, coaches – an IFA guru. Even the word IFA is ancient for many young people – it was created in the 1980s. Money Guru, mortgage mentor – these are all better words for the influencer generation.

The Premiership Football this year may well have standing before the champions are decided. Still, Liverpool FC is doing the right thing before the Kop is transformed. Inviting the Hillsborough families to review the new rail seats is a sign of genius, and they are all mainly behind the new standing. A fitting tribute.

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