Displaying items by tag: advisors

Thursday, 07 December 2023 11:26

UBS Upping Focus on Advisor Recruiting, Asset Growth

UBS Wealth Management Americas posted a small increase in advisor headcount and added $300 million in new assets during the third quarter. Both are the first gains after two quarters of declines. Last quarter, UBS had outflows of $3.4 billion. 


The unit posted profits of $307 million, which was $231 million less than last year’s Q3. The bank attributed this to lower commissions as more clients shift towards a fee-based planning model. Another factor is that UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti noted that it doesn’t include interest and dividends when calculating asset growth unlike US competitors. In future quarters, the company will be calculating asset growth in this manner. 


In the quarter, advisor headcount increased from 6,071 to 6,142. However, headcount is still down 2% on a year-over-year basis. The company said in part this is due to its recruitment efforts focusing on a small group of high-producing advisors. Ermotti added that the company is resuming growth bonuses for any advisors who add million-dollar clients. 


Overall, US brokers managed $1.76 trillion in client assets which was up 16% compared to last year primarily due to asset price appreciation. UBS’ Americas unit is a laggard relative to other geographies within the company and its US-based competitors when it comes to asset growth. 

Finsum: UBS posted a small increase in net new assets and advisor headcount. The company is focused on boosting asset growth through the recruitment of high-earning brokers. 


Published in Wealth Management
Thursday, 07 December 2023 11:15

Blackrock Bullish on Active ETFs

Blackrock is the leading company in the $7 trillion ETF market in terms of assets and new issues. According to Dominik Rohe, the head of BlackRock’s Americas ETF and Index Investments business, active ETFs are a category with significant growth potential.


He notes that the boundary between active and passive ETFs is becoming ambiguous as all types of strategies are now being offered with an ETF wrapper. This is leading to more complex and innovative offerings. In 2023, the firm launched 18 active ETFs with more planned for 2024. According to Rohe, active ETFs currently make up 38% of all US-based ETFs with a total of $101 billion in assets under management. And, they are changing the concept of what an ETF can be from a passive vehicle to a ‘technology that will generate active return’ for investors. To that end, it’s launched active ETFs for alpha, specific goals, and strategies.


Another boost for active ETFs is due to the increase in fee-based financial planning and fiduciary wealth management which is leading to the ascendance of model portfolios. These are typically constructed with ETFs with the category growing at a 15% annual rate. Blackrock is forecasting that total assets in model portfolios will exceed $10 trillion by 2027, more than doubling its current level of $4.5 trillion, leading to more demand for these types of products. 

Finsum: Blackrock had an eventful 2023 with a bevy of active ETF launches. It sees continued growth for the category with the continued adoption of model portfolios as a key factor.


Published in Wealth Management
Thursday, 07 December 2023 07:52

Recruiting Tips for Financial Advisors

Having a strategy to acquire new clients is necessary for any financial advisory practive to grow and thrive. Yet, there are multiple paths to accomplishing this goal. Some examples are cold calling, digital marketing, in-person networking, etc.


While the tactics can vary, the principles are the same. This entails identifying your target client, figuring out your unique value proposition, and identifying the best medium to reach prospects in a way that is complementary to your personality.


It can also be helpful to spend more time with your existing clients. This will strengthen these connections and increase the chances of getting a referral. These types of referrals have a higher chance of conversion given a stronger foundation of trust. It’s also a reminder that the most important job of an advisor is to build relationships which can only be done by spending time with clients and prospects.


By making financial planning a family affair, you can increase your chances of serving the next generation. This will give you an opportunity to spend time and build a relationship with multiple family members which could ultimately be assets in terms of recruiting, retention, and finding leads. 

Finsum: There are many tactics when it comes to landing new clients for financial advisors. However, many successful strategies have some important principles in common. 


Published in Wealth Management

Financial advisors constantly strive to find the perfect balance between serving their existing clients and attracting new ones. Often, they view their core value proposition as managing customized portfolios tailored to each client's unique needs. From this perspective, they believe spending less time constructing bespoke portfolios could negatively impact client relationships. However, a counterintuitive approach suggests the opposite: using model portfolios can create more time for genuinely serving clients.


While it may seem a paradox, spending less time on portfolio construction and more time listening to clients can significantly improve service. Building trust and understanding client needs requires dedicated time for genuine conversations and insightful questions. By freeing time from portfolio management, advisors can focus on building deeper relationships with their clients, focusing on what truly matters most to them.


Moreover, using model portfolios doesn't mean sacrificing portfolio quality. These portfolios are typically managed by professionals with access to a larger team of experts and a more comprehensive range of investment options than most advisors have access to.


Embracing model portfolios as a time-saving tool allows advisors to shift their focus from portfolio construction to client service. This seemingly counterintuitive approach often leads to higher client satisfaction and increased referrals, leading to a more successful practice.

Finsum: Consider how model portfolios can enhance client service for advisors by saving time on portfolio construction and focusing on client relationships.


Published in Wealth Management

Every industry changes and evolves with time. The financial advice industry is no different as advisors increasingly move towards focusing more on financial planning and serving clients with less emphasis on making investment decisions.


This is now being increasingly handled by asset managers and third parties. Currently, about 10% of advisors use home office model portfolios with minimal modifications. 36% of RIAs and independent broker-dealers are building their own allocations from scratch. Most advisors are taking a blended approach by using these models as a starting point and then offering some customization to suit a clients’ specific needs. 

For advisors, the shift makes sense especially as most clients seem to value planning more than performance. Further, it frees up time and energy that can be spent on client service and growing the business. According to Cerulli, advisors who build their own portfolios, spend about 30% of their time on the task. 


Another benefit for advisors is that it makes the business more scalable. For advisors who spend considerable time on portfolio management, there is more of a constraint to how many clients can be added. An interesting finding is that firms with large amounts of assets under management are more likely to use model portfolios. 

Finsum: Model portfolios are becoming increasingly popular, although most are currently using a blended approach. Here are some of the major benefits to advisors. 


Published in Wealth Management
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