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How incumbent financial advisers are acquiring customers

By Daniel Lanyon on 31st October 2017

Robo-advice, and a broader digitisation of wealth management, has added to the competition for customer acquisition but incumbents have a seam of clients.



Advisers are increasingly counting on referrals from accountants and lawyers to attract new clients, according to research from Prudential.


More than half of advisers surveyed by Prudential expect referrals from accountants and solicitors to grow. Nonetheless, they say recommendations from existing clients remain the biggest source for creating new advice opportunities, according to


Advisers expect referrals from accountants and lawyers will become a bigger source of new business over the next 12 months.


According to around two out of five advisers (37 per cent) referrals from existing clients are by far the biggest source of attracting new clients – but referrals from lawyers and accountants are firmly established as the second best source.


More than half (52 per cent) of advisers believe the number of referrals they receive from other professionals will rise in the year ahead boosting new business levels. The study found 15 per cent of advisers say accountant and lawyer referrals are their biggest source of new business – slightly up from 11 per cent in a similar study2 last year.


Part of the reason for this expected growth in referrals may be an increasing willingness by advisers to outsource specialised and complex advice. Nearly half of advisers (47 per cent) say they outsource to specialists while another 25 per cent indicated a willingness to outsource in the future. Just 23 per cent say they will never outsource to another profession.


Another reason may be the growing need for advice on protection from inheritance tax bills with around 58 per cent of advisers saying that they’ve seen a rise in inheritance tax advice enquiries in the past year. Looking to the future, IHT planning was identified by 37 per cent of advisers as the second most significant source of opportunities to provide advice over the next three years, just behind the 40 per cent who said advice on taxation of retirement income.


Other sources for attracting new clients to advisers include their or their network’s website, with 11 per cent of advisers saying this is their best source of new clients, while nearly one in 10 (nine per cent) say their direct marketing including social media generates the most leads


John Gaskell, Head of Personal Financial Planning, at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said: “It’s encouraging to see that advisers expect professional connections to become a greater source of new clients.”


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