Nearly half (48%) of all financial advisers report an increase in client numbers in the last year, according to Intelliflo’s Advisory Business Impact Poll 2021.
The 206 advisers polled reported a 48% increase in client numbers as their most significant business change in 2020.
Some 53% of advisers believe there will be more new clients seeking advice in the coming year compared to just 3% who think there will be less.
Surprisingly, 70% of advisers think their clients’ personal finances have improved during the pandemic compared to just 4% who believe they’ve worsened.
More than a third (38%) of respondents said technology had enabled them to work better with clients in different locations over the last year.
The majority of advisers said that they had seen better adoption of technology within their firms and by clients last year.
Intelliflo said its online Personal Finance Portal users increased by 85% and the number of documents sent via DocuSign rose ten-fold.
The poll was carried out by Intelliflo a year on from the fist Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
Compared to the previous year’s poll there was a big rise in advisers adopting technology, the poll found. Last April, one in four (42%) had adopted technologies that they planned to implement permanently and this is now almost one in seven (67%).
Last year, Intelliflo’s Advisory Business Impact poll 2020 revealed advisers’ top concerns for the year ahead were maintaining relationships with clients (42%), reduced level of business (40%), and navigating market uncertainty (37%). Intelliflo’s 2021 poll shows that while 40% of advisers were concerned about a reduced level of business in April 2020, today only 9% report this as a challenge.
Advisers said their greatest challenges now include staying abreast of changing rules and regulation (35%) and time management (32%).
Nick Eatock, CEO of intelliflo, said: “These findings bring some much-welcomed positive news for the advice profession, following a highly uncertain period. When we spoke to advisers last year, they were understandably cautious and nervous of what lay ahead but, a year on, advisers have proved themselves to be resilient and quick at adapting to fit their customers’ needs.
“Clearly, technology has made the last year easier, with businesses being able to quickly move to the virtual world. In doing so, advisers are finding greater efficiencies and new uses of technology that are helping their business grow.”