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While big technology investments aimed at communicating with clients were the big focus during the peak years of the pandemic, advisors are changing gears when it comes to 2024.
Many are now focusing their practices on enhancing client offerings by providing value-added health and wellness services, more tailored estate and succession planning, as well as guidance around philanthropy. They’re also rolling out financial literacy initiatives, turning to younger advisors and social media to best communicate their message – and get critical buy-in from a new generation of clients.
Globe Advisor spoke with three top-performing advisors about their New Year’s resolutions for 2024.
Arming the next generation with financial information
Sophie Paquet, senior wealth advisor and portfolio manager with Brunet Gilbert Paquet Financial Group at National Bank Financial Wealth Management in Quebec City, has added young advisors to her team to connect better with her high-net-worth (HNW) clients’ children and grandchildren.
The team, which was already offering wealth management seminars aimed at simplifying the world of investing, has plans to adapt its “communication style [in 2024[ by developing more social media content such as YouTube videos to connect with younger clients,” she says.
Jeanette Power, senior wealth advisor with The Power Investment Team at CIBC Wood Gundy in Mississauga, says her practice will also continue to increase its financial literacy services in 2024 by adding workshops on financial basics such as saving, budgeting, banking, borrowing and investing.
“It’s a big gap,” she says, adding that younger and older clients will benefit from the educational programs.
Ensuring the future is friendly
For Sean Rourke, senior portfolio manager and senior investment advisor with McCrady Rourke Advisory at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. in Edmonton, the hot topic of 2024 will likely be estate and tax planning.
Mr. Rourke, who advises HNW families, successful business owners and professionals, has spent much of 2023 working on succession planning strategies among his clients, ensuring that the passing of the reins to the younger generation continues to go smoothly.
Many of his clients are well into their retirement years.
“I want to ensure clients are happy with their wills because, in many cases, they have wills that have not been looked at since they had grandchildren,” he says.
That means a review of beneficiaries, a discussion around trusts, and a review of executors, who are aging, ailing or may have passed away.
Putting philanthropy front and centre
Philanthropy is a big focal point for clients and “many are looking for ways to continue that,” Mr. Rourke says. As a result, he plans on working with them to set up their foundations without the administrative headaches that usually accompany these arrangements.
That will be achieved via a donor-advised fund (DAF), which is operated by a public foundation or charitable organization.
“Charities are seeing a lot less money coming in,” Mr. Rourke says. “With these funds, our clients can create them with as little as $25,000.”
Ms. Paquet says her practice also plans to heighten awareness around these types of funds, as National Bank Financial Wealth Management recently began offering DAF services through the Philantra Foundation.
“In 2024, we plan to deepen our practice to help clients have a positive impact on their community and guide them in their philanthropic endeavours,” she says.
Carrying on the holistic approach
Holistic client offerings have been the mainstay for many years, and that’s set to continue. For Ms. Power, that means providing a robust number of client services from portfolio reviews and financial planning to advice around philanthropy through as many communication channels as possible.
Mr. Rourke will also continue to focus on delivering value-added services.
“It’s providing the things that are in addition to the investment return,” he says.
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