Your clients

Average client numbers per adviser and average client values grew, reflecting optimism in last year’s census. This could be a result of a move to a virtual advice service allowing you to spend more time with clients and prospects.

This has implications for the future, with three quarters expecting to see growth in client numbers again this year

Select a region on the map to see results at regional level.

Northern Ireland excluded due to an insufficient number of responses

Average active clients

In the year ahead, how will the number of clients your firm actively deals with change?

Average investable assets

Active clients

Average client numbers saw a huge jump from last year, back in line with 2019’s numbers to 161 active clients per adviser.

This resonates with optimism seen in last year’s census, where over 70% of responders expected the number of clients they dealt with to increase. And across 2020, less than a fifth of you rated the number of new client enquiries and new client acquisition to be below expectations or poor. Most firms saw growth driven by organic means, with only 11% increasing client numbers via a business or client bank purchase. Considering the average size of most businesses using Nucleus this would be expected.

How many active clients are you personally responsible for?

How would you rate the following factors for your firm across 2020?

What would you attribute the change in the number of active clients advised by your firm?

Average values

As well as an increase in the average number of clients, the average investable client assets also increased, particularly across the £250,000-£500,000 grouping.

Again, only 14% rated the levels of new business received from clients as below expectations or poor and three quarters felt client appetite to invest was strong. Clearly it was a tough year for many, so what may account for this increased appetite?

Looking at your client profiles - what would you estimate as their average investable assets?

How would you rate the following factors for your firm across 2020?

More time with clients

As demand for your services continues to grow, moving to a more digitally based advice business is certainly one way to help increase capacity.

It also appears to be helping with the amount of time you spend with clients or prospective clients, with those spending more than 40% of their time with clients up to 28% this year compared to just 18% in last year’s census. Reducing travel time and removing some of the distractions of being in an office may have contributed to this.

Percentage of advisers spending more than 40 per cent of their time with prospective clients…

Demand vs supply

Increasing your ability to spend time with clients or prospects means expectations for client growth in the year ahead are bullish.

Three-quarters of responders expect to see an increase in the number of clients advised by the firm in 2021, continuing the trend over the past few years.

Demand is certainly there and increased virtual engagement of clients might be the driver to help increase supply.

In the year ahead, will the number of clients your firm actively deals with show an increase?

Vulnerable clients

From an already strong position last year, there has been improvement in the overall consideration of vulnerable clients this year.

Nearly all firms continue to agree they have a clearly defined definition of vulnerable clients and have policies and procedures in place to protect them.

There has been a slight increase in the levels of staff training around what to do if they suspect a client may be vulnerable, up to 93% from 89% last year. Finally, only 6% of responders believe their firm deals with no vulnerable clients.

Thinking about any vulnerable clients your business may advise, how strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Next… chapter four

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© Nucleus Financial Services Limited 2021

Nucleus Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, is registered in England with company number 05629686 and has its registered office at Elder House, St Georges Business Park, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0TS. Please note that telephone calls may be recorded in order to monitor the quality of our customer service and for training purposes.