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What do Financial Advisors Want from Mutual Fund Wholesalers?

The critical mutual fund wholesaler challenge

The existing approach to the mutual fund wholesaler role doesn’t address the critical challenges faced by the advisors it targets.

Advisors, it turns out, are no different than any other consumer in certain, important ways. We are all, now, expecting more from every relationship because of the online interactions we have every day. Every meal ordered and tracked online from our local Greek restaurant, every season of Stranger Things recommended to us by the bots at Netflix, and every John LeCarre novel that Amazon thinks we might like, condition us to expect a lot from the companies who want our business.

In short, we want data driven, hyper-personalized service.

And a digital self-service capability.

And, so do financial advisors.

How have financial advisor expectations changed?

Top advisors continually seek to create separation from their peers. To do that they are always looking for ways to provide their clients with the most unique, comprehensive solutions. It’s not just about figuring out which investment product promises the most or costs the least. For the best advisors the key to building client relationships and competitive advantage is offering integrated, highly-targeted advice that addresses the entire range of their clients’ goals.

In other words, data-driven, hyper-personalized advice.

Outdated approaches put advisors in jeopardy. For example:

  • Prospects are turned off by transactional selling and product push
  • The old, haphazard methods of conducting a business are inefficient
  • Comparing funds in a portfolio by hand is inefficient and unlikely to yield the optimal result
  • Paper-based practices are causing traditional advisors to fall behind their competitors that use innovative asset allocation analytic technology

What do financial advisors want from wholesalers?

When a wholesalers’ team comes calling with a product presentation—one that’s been delivered to countless other financial advisors—what kind of a reception can they usually expect?

Comparing the traditional wholesaler approach to current advisor needs, reveals a clear mismatch. It suggests that the difficulties wholesalers may be having in obtaining advisor interest to hear the latest product presentation have a lot to do with what the offering is, rather than how it is delivered.

Advisors are looking for more than just product information from mutual fund wholesalers. They are looking for hyper-personalized advice that will help them grow their business, and especially, data-driven insights that will help them deliver on their clients’ unique goals.

Meetings with financial advisors are increasingly hard to book

When a wholesaler’s team reaches out to the advisors they most want to work with, they often struggle to book product presentation meetings. Most advisors are too busy for meetings that they feel have little value to their business. The modern-day wholesaler needs to stand out from the crowd and provide advisors with real solutions that will help their clients..

Mutual fund wholesalers need a better lever to influence advisor behavior.

Like brokers who failed to evolve into true advisors, wholesalers who persist in the old ways of working will not survive the digital revolution.

How Can Wholesalers Adapt to the Evolving Expectations?

Wholesalers are expected to adjust in the same way that advisors have. Advisors want to hear a new, more revenant value proposition from the wholesalers competing for their business. In order to gain an advisors interest and attention, wholesalers must set themselves apart from the crowd.

When working on a differentiation strategy, the three biggest challenges that wholesalers will come to face include:

  1. Attract the attention of advisors in order to obtain meetings
  2. Acquiring the right tools to become a portfolio construction expert
  3. Gain business intelligence to help drive sales

Forward-thinking asset managers may help their wholesalers become next-generation business consultants by providing solutions to these challenges.

Download the eBook to find out how asset managers can transform their wholesaling team’s approach to adding value for the advisors they work with.

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