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Missing clients a problem for advisers

Advisers who don’t make enough of an effort to reach hard-to-find clients could find themselves offside with the regulator, attendees at a NZ Funds Management event last week were told.

Monday, March 18th 2013, 7:45AM

by Niko Kloeten

NZ Funds senior counsel Mike Gray told the conference that the “difficult task of getting to all your clients” is a necessary one due to the Financial Markets Authority’s desire for advisers to have met all their clients since the regulatory regime came into effect nearly two years ago.

He said at their current pace, many advisers will take two more years to speak to all their clients but in reality the pace will slow down.

“Why?  Because you’ve already gone to all the high-value clients and people you can get hold of relatively easily.  From there it’s going to get harder and harder and harder,” he said.

“There’ll be people you write to six times who never reply, people you can’t find.  These people are still your clients.  If you continue your current approach you’ll never actually complete it as there will always be those clients that are completely non-responsive or you can’t find.” 

Gray said AFAs need a formalised process to disengage lower value clients from their advice business.

Jude Laurenson, a client adviser and regional team leader at NZ Funds, quoted the ‘80/20 rule’, which states that 80% of your problems and stress come from 20% of your clients.

“They don’t appear for meetings… you might even travel many miles to meet them and they don’t show up.”

Laurenson said advisers should use a three-step process that involves categorising all clients by service level, re-engaging with valued or high-potential clients and dis-engaging lower value clients.

“Often that’s the last thing we do; we leave it and do it another day.”

Niko Kloeten can be contacted at niko@goodreturns.co.nz

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