The wealth management industry has been talking about the upcoming “great wealth transfer” from older generations to younger generations for years. Eye-popping stats have been tossed around from various research studies that this intergenerational wealth transfer will be anywhere from $30 trillion to $70 trillion. These numbers stir up the urgency for advisors to think through their options and approaches to either playing defense in retaining this wealth or playing offense to attract new business.
To holistically review this topic, SS&C has initiated a number of business and practice management research reports, whitepapers, and webcasts with industry luminaries steeped in theoretical and practical aspects.
A fantastic example of this is a recently held webcast hosted by WealthBriefing that featured Kyle Fleming, Senior Manager of SS&C’s Black Diamond® Wealth Platform, April Rudin, Founder of the Rudin Group, and Peter McCrae, Managing Partner of McCrae Capital Management.
This wide-ranging discussion covered key takeaways and strategy discussions that immediately make it “must watch” TV. According to Fleming, he has a wide lens into the thousands of advisors using Black Diamond and the millions of end-client accounts on the platform. “We have accounts on the platform for 1-year-olds and 101-year-olds, which show the dispersion across the industry.”
What this means is that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for each firm. Many of those same research studies point to the fact that anywhere from 70-80% of inheritors choose not to retain their parent’s advisor upon receipt of the estate. For Rudin, she believes this creates a tremendous opportunity to focus on digital, client-facing technologies for service and marketing to appeal to the inclinations of younger clients.
These opportunities not only extend to the client and prospect experience but also to recruiting next-generation advisors who can be a great leverage point to work with the older children of current clients, develop peer-to-peer relationships, and stay with their parents’ firm.
McCrae, however, has a different point of view, having been a practicing advisor for many years. “We may not want to have as clients the children of our current clients as they may not be a good fit for our model,” he says. “So, it is imperative for firms to have a very defined target market for who they want to serve and not just take on any client. Efficiencies are key to our business, so we keep this top of mind when thinking through the wealth transfer issue.”
Additionally, McCrae notes that, in his experience, inheritors are not typically in their 20s. Instead, due to longer life spans, heirs are now receiving their parents’ estates in their 50s and 60s and have an entirely different set of financial needs, concerns, and family considerations.
Despite these differing points of view, all panelists agree that technology remains critically important in supplementing their client relationships. Innovative technology ensures that firms have a flexible, sustainable business that can support current client relationships and provide an outstanding digital experience for next-generation client aspirations.
“It’s all about future-proofing your business,” Fleming notes.
To check into these compelling trends and ways advisors can incorporate new ideas and approaches in their business today, watch the replay of this lively discussion and download the whitepaper, How to Manage Intergenerational Wealth Transfer.