Evolving The Advisor-Client Relationship

Mar. 01, 2019 7:17 AM ET


  • The whole issue of client engagement can go so much deeper than the current industry standard and is spawning new advisor business models and redefining their roles.
  • Some advisors are exploring and deliberately evolving their client interactions and service delivery to be a more meaningful, visceral, and personal experience.
  • One advisor creatively restructured his business and own personal "retirement" into his clients' retirement providing an ongoing financial service quite unique in the industry.

[Maybe the most important and interesting area of financial services business innovation we cover is in the evolving nature of an advisor’s client and community engagement strategies. It is here where advisors are redefining their roles, re-assessing capabilities, building new skill sets, re-jiggering their business models and fully exploring who they truly are and what they could represent for their clients and for their communities. The realization, for some advisors, is that the whole issue of client engagement can go so much deeper than the current industry standard and mandate of “Know Your Customer” and it could become an even more meaningful, visceral, personal experience than just providing investment product access, portfolio management and mathematical returns.

Where are these questions leading modern advisors: What truly is a financial advisor? How engaging, encompassing, essential can the business model and, especially, the advisor delivering that model be? A key direction seen by those probing these questions is to strategically expand their traditional service offering to be more “holistic”. This entails delving into the deeply personal and offering a more comprehensive mix of services that goes into the lifestyle, psychological, health and overall well-being of the client. This requires asking questions we previously didn’t dare to ask, and building an ongoing dialogue charting the goals, aspirations and dreams of the client as they unfold. The deeper questions being asked, and experiments being developed, will truly force the evolution and a much needed beneficial public perception of the profession.

One person who thoroughly saw this need for deeper connection and has been fully committed (for decades) in redefining the advisor-client relationship is financial advisor Ray Loewe. At 77 years young, Ray recently sold his practice to launch his newest evolution of the advisory model – the Luckiest Guy in the World. The Institute

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Institute for Innovation Development (IID) is an educational and business development catalyst for growth-oriented financial advisors and progressive financial services executives who are determined to grow their firms in a business environment of accelerating business and cultural change. Run as a social enterprise, the Institute will be dedicated to help make business innovation best practices a vital cornerstone for members’ ongoing growth, competitive differentiation, and client/community engagement strategies. Three current IID initiatives are: 1. Integrating business innovation mindsets, processes and tools into financial services practices through the formation of Advisor Practice Management 3.0 professional development. 2. Applying business innovation as a powerful and differentiating advisor marketing/branding approach and community engagement strategy. 3. Creating a FinTech radar program to increase communication and access between the financial advisor and early stage FinTech communities. Bill Hortz, Founder and Dean, of the Institute and Institute Founding Innovator members (comprised of top cross-industry innovation experts, innovative fintech companies, and progressive minded financial advisors and industry thought leaders) will be contributing articles and hopefully sparking ideas and discourse on much needed, next-generation advisor business models and industry development. We will seek to uncover proven business innovation best practices; learn from innovative business creators; explore innovation mindsets; hear about new approaches, services and technologies; and ultimately discover how to apply these insights to a financial advisor's business. For more details about the Institute, investigate here: https://innovationdevelopment.org/annual-membership

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: I wrote this article myself and I am not receiving compensation to write this article but I do have a business relationship with Ray Loewe, who is an Institute member. The Institute is a business innovation platform of over 100 innovative firms that are openly sharing their unique perspectives and activities to build awareness and stimulate new approaches/thinking for a financial services operating environment of accelerating change.

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