Future bright for advisors who 'get it'

Advisors who are flexible enough to get into the very different head space of millennials are positioning themselves for real opportunity, a study suggests.

Advisors and wealth professionals are failing to capitalize on changing demographics, and are particularly weak when it comes to serving the millennial generation and female clients, a survey by PwC reveals.

The consultancy’s 20th annual global wealth management survey found that advisors are failing to capitalize on intergenerational and gender opportunities and need to become more sophisticated at understanding the values of millennial and female clients.

"Our research shows that millennials are more involved in their wealth creation and management, regardless if they are first-, second- or third-generation wealth holders,“ said Petrina Dolby, senior advisor of PwC's Canadian wealth management consulting practice. “They will change jobs more frequently, put a greater emphasis on flexibility in how and where they work, have increased life expectancies and care deeply about their broader communities using social media as a matter of fact tool.

"Most strikingly, millennials feel very strongly that they are not being listened to by the wealth advisors of their parents, she adds. “This puts them as a flight risk."

Dolby said that women continue to be an increasingly important, empowered and wealthy client demographic. However, they do not feel empowered in the wealth management space. Only 8% of PwC's survey respondents said they consider gender when segmenting their client base.

"Women tend to outlive their male partners and stand to gain control of wealth through not only their own efforts but also through inheritance and divorce," said Dolby. “In addition, women are gaining more seniority as business leaders and are often the decision makers in next generation wealth transfers within family groups, having close relationships and contact with the next generations.”