Financial institutions that want to boost their retail investment businesses need to provide better support to their reps and advisers, according to a recent study by Financial Insights. "There's pressure [on advisers] from clients for better service, more information and more integration, and there's pressure from the firm," says senior analyst Gene Kim, who authored the report. "The current business setup within institutions isn't sufficient to help an adviser meet all those expectations."
Kim offers institutions a three-point plan:
1. Continued movement to relationship-based pricing. Retail financial institutions must align the cost of services with the success of those services.
2. Continuing enterprisewide integration efforts. Firms should create a support system for individual investors' portfolios by ensuring that systems and data work together seamlessly.
3. Focus on front-office tools. Advisers need visibility into clients' portfolios and access to information on the universe of investment products.