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Staying Ahead of your Clients - A Client’s Perspective

by Jarl Smidt-Olsen

Equity markets continue to trade lower and volatility is on the rise - driven, to a large extent, by concerns over the strength of the Chinese economy.

In such uncertain times, imagine how your clients may feel. They may be confused, scared and fearful that neither they, nor their trusted advisor seem to be on top of the situation. As a client myself, these were certainly my thoughts - but my advisor managed to ease my concerns through more frequent updates and displaying a thorough understanding of not only the situation, but also the exposure my portfolio had to the market developments.  

Of course real ‘control’ is impossible to achieve, but I am sure many clients would be comforted by such increased information flow - at least they would then know how to answer if someone else asked them how their portfolio was doing.

These are some of the easy ways which we have seen advisors increase the information flow to their clients:

  1. Check the portfolio regularly - and highlight to the client when their portfolio, or any component has dropped by, say 5%, over the last week or month. As a client, I always feel better if my advisor reaches out to let me know, than me having to chase him to understand what has happened after receiving a statement.
  2. Add some depth to the investment and exposure conversation with your client. For example, although the client’s portfolio may not have been directly exposed to China, it could well hold established market funds where the underlying stocks have significant exposure to China - such as Apple or Commodity related stocks for example. A quick bit of spreadsheet work, together with some holdings analysis tools on funds, would be sufficient to establish the significant stock exposures that your client has within his portfolio.
  3. Add information about mandate breaches. If your client has mandated that, say, no more than 30% should be in established market equities, or at most 20% in alternatives, - the recent market movements may have pushed the portfolio closer to such limits. Having a discussion about this not only gives a heads-up on portfolio rebalances which may need to take place, but also gives a sense that the advisor is very conscious of the agreed mandate.

Of course, none of this may change the economic outcome - more information to the client does not in itself change the portfolio exposure - but it does help to bolster your firm’s credentials in the eyes of your clients - and ultimately enhances your brand.

Privé Managers offers such tools to assist you in enhancing your brand - from monitoring alerts and investment guidelines - to the possibility of ‘look-through’ to show the major exposures and holdings across all of the funds in the portfolio.

To hear more about the Privé Managers system, and how we can help you stay ahead of your clients, please contact us today on [email protected].

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