What are the challenges facing financial advisers in 2018?

By Ryan Smith on September 14, 2018

A research report reveals some of the key challenges that financial advisers are facing this year.

Being a financial adviser in the post-2008 crisis era means that you must deal with an ever-changing set of new challenges. These encompass getting to grips with new technologies, keeping up with revised regulations and understanding evolving customer expectations.

Of course, the perceived cost of financial advice is another ongoing challenge for professionals eager to generate new leads and convert them into clients.

New study

According to the findings of Digitalisation of Wealth Management 2018, a new Thomson Reuters report compiled in partnership with Forbes Insights, specific issues include artificial intelligence in investment decision making and new approaches to the client service process.

The research surveyed 200 wealth managers from Europe, North America and Asia Pacific in an effort to understand how they are adapting to changing client expectations.

Key points

The report revealed some key points:

  • 68% of respondents said that keeping up with new tech is their top challenge
  • 69% are worried about remaining relevant for a younger generation
  • 41% said that advanced cognitive and analytics technologies will have a significant impact over the next three years

Further insights showed that only 27% of those who took part in the study are currently happy with their mobile platforms. This is in light of them thinking that digital capability is the factor that clients value most.

Time and tasks

Generating leads and new business is the lifeblood of any successful financial adviser. The study’s revelation that only 65% of the respondents spend the majority of their time on client onboarding and acquisition might surprise some on both the inside and outside of the industry.

The respondents also cited offering financial guidance, helping achieve client objectives and risk tolerance in regard to the issue of time management priorities.


The researchers found that many of those surveyed believe that technology can help improve efficiency in all areas, with 72% thinking that artificial intelligence applications present great opportunities.

David Akellian, Managing Director and Global Head of Wealth Management at Thomson Reuters, said:

“There is no doubt that wealth management firms and their advisers are now at a turning point and have a great opportunity to reinvent themselves in order to both deliver an exceptional digital experience for the digital natives as well as to define a new generation of high-touch services.”

Changing roles

It is not just client expectations and the tools of the trade that might evolve. According to the report, your role as a financial adviser itself could change beyond recognition over the next few years.

The question of how to be a good financial planner will revolve around clients’ expectation of better use of tools of engagement. Also, your workload is likely to change, with more clients receiving services and fees being set lower.

Advisers’ needs

Although much of the recent change in the UK financial services sector has focused on the aim of giving consumers better access to advice, as an adviser, you will also have changing needs.

Clear access to client information, the ability to use tech to provide meaningful, personalised advice and the automation of certain tasks to enable more time spent with clients are all developments that will most certainly meet these challenges and reform the sector.

Our markets

High-quality financial advice leads, pension and retirement advice leads, equity release leads and private medical insurance leads.

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