New Research from Money Management Institute and Aon Finds Strong Link Between Client Perception of Advisors as Digital Leaders and High Satisfaction

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

NEW YORK, NY, July 28, 2020 – New joint research from the Money Management Institute (MMI) and Aon finds that there is a strong relationship between highly satisfied clients and the perception that the financial advisory firm they are working with is a digital leader. The study also finds that both end investors and advisors often fail to take full advantage of the digital tools made available to them by their wealth management firms.

The findings are from the third release in a four-part MMI-Aon research series, Advisory Solutions: Expectations and Experiences, that examines surprising gaps between investor perceptions and firm delivery that continue to challenge the wealth management industry and inhibit client value, focusing on disconnects between client and advisor perceptions and the amplifying effects of COVID-19.

“Wealth management firms spend a lot of time and money on digital tools for both their end clients as well as their advisors, but continue to be challenged by adoption rates,” says Craig Pfeiffer, President and CEO of MMI. “With the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic driving virtual solutions, increasing digital engagement among advisors is critical, both as users of the technology themselves and as advocates of the tools with their clients.”

Peter Keuls, Global Head of Wealth Management for Aon’s Human Capital Solutions, adds, “While there are the expected differences in digital preference leaning toward the younger client demographic, there is a clear relationship among all age groups between digital satisfaction and client retention – particularly with respect to tools that enable effective communication with their advisor.                       

Among the key findings of the third report in the series, entitled From Innovation to Adoption: Embedding Technology at the Heart of Wealth Management:

  • Wealth management firms make numerous investment and planning tools available to investors, yet over half of clients are unaware of many of them. This is despite the high levels of importance they ascribe to such tools. 
  • A digital mindset is not just a nice to have for advisors; it’s a revenue generator. Clients who describe their wealth management firm as a technology leader are significantly more satisfied with the overall client experience than those who do not. Critically, high satisfaction is associated with an improved share of wallet for the firm.
  • Firms that are technology leaders are also able to enhance their long-term asset gathering potential, with younger clients more likely to come into the fold. Two thirds of investors under age 45 agree that they have chosen to partner with organizations they perceive to offer best-in-class digital capabilities.
  • Tools that enable communication with the advisor are of the highest importance. However, less than half of clients indicate that they are aware of the availability of such tools from their firm.
  • The most successful advisors – those with the largest books of client assets – are most likely to use CRM systems provided by their firm. In contrast, less than half of less successful advisors indicate using CRM systems. 

About Advisory Solutions: Expectations and Experiences: Expectations and Experiences is a four-part series based on a proprietary research program produced by the Money Management Institute (MMI) in association with Aon. The series explores the gaps that have emerged between client expectations of advisory solutions and firm delivery, and why these gaps are undermining client satisfaction as well as business performance. 

About the Money Management Institute (MMI): Established in 1997, the Money Management Institute (MMI) is the industry association representing financial services firms that provide financial advice and investment advisory solutions to investors. Through conferences, educational resources, and thought leadership, MMI facilitates peer-to-peer connections, fosters industry knowledge and professionalism, and supports the development of the next generation of industry leadership. MMI member firms are dedicated to helping individual and institutional investors, at every level of assets, plan for and fulfill their financial goals. For more information, visit www.MMInst.org.

About Aon: Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

Contacts:  
Kelly Caporale, Money Management Institute, kcaporale@mminst.org, (646) 868-8514
Robert Elfinger, Aon, robert.elfinger@aon.com, (312) 381-0071
Matthew Conroy, Peppercomm, mconroy@peppercomm.com, (212) 931-6133