Last updated: 19:38 / Tuesday, 7 May 2013
BNY Mellon Study

After the Crisis High Net Worth Investors Expect More From Their Advisors

After the Crisis High Net Worth Investors Expect More From Their Advisors
  • Must Exhibit a Heightened Level of Conscientiousness to Win Trust of Skeptical Investors

In the wake of the financial crisis, advisors to either institutional investors or high net worth investors need a drastically different set of skills and personal qualities to succeed, according to a white paper just released by BNY Mellon, the global leader in investment management and investment services.

"The Conscientious AdvisorSM: A New Paradigm in Wealth Management Sales" co-written by Tracy Nickl, Executive Director of Sales for BNY Mellon Wealth Management and Jennie Hollmann, PhD. of Caliper Management, asserts that today's successful advisor must be more methodical and conscientious when dealing with clients and prospects. Furthermore, the paper contends, firms should establish a conscientious platform that helps their advisors succeed and prepares them for career advancement. The result, say Nickl and co-author Hollmann, whose firm is a workplace productivity and talent recruitment and development consultancy, is not only having happier clients but also more satisfied and more successful employees.

"It's clear to us that since 2008 high net worth investors have become more skeptical about our financial system. What these investors want and need in a trusted advisor has changed dramatically. Our paper offers some insights into what Conscientious Advisors—and their companies—must do to better serve these clients," said Nickl.

In addition to retaining and winning new business, companies that adopt the Conscientious Advisor/Conscientious Platform model stand to benefit in other ways.  "BNY Mellon adopted the Conscientious Advisor model in early 2010 and by the end of 2012 our sales force turnover dropped by 50 percent and the average new business revenue for a sales director had jumped by nearly 20 percent," said Nickl.

Nickl contends that a Conscientious Advisor shows:

  • Commitment: Cares about clients and focuses on empathy, listening, over-preparing for every client interaction
  • Collaboration: As part of a team over-prepares for each meeting and offers holistic solutions, not product
  • Credibility: Asks the right questions, exhibits professionalism and transparency that reinforce one's personal brand
  • Consistency: Follows repeatable processes, executes flawlessly, always follows up and always follows through

Just as importantly, Nickl adds, firms must do their part to support their advisors with a conscientious platform that promotes and rewards conscientiousness through:

  • A defined, repeatable sales process
  • A "think tank" model for developing solutions for clients
  • Organizational commitment to advisor success
  • Technology and organizational infrastructure