An advisor client of mine is on a mission! She purchased another advisor’s practice one year ago and has been converting a portion of each client’s portfolio from that practice to Sustainable Investing strategies as she meets with them.
As this advisor told me in our last meeting, “My clients are very excited about the opportunity to invest based on their personal values, and to know that their money matters in helping the companies they own deal with environmental, social and governance challenges every day. They leave my office smiling and sometimes giving high-fives to my staff!”
Building strong relationships
Okay, being the SRI-ESG consultant to this advisor’s practice is really inspiring for me, but what the advisor is delivering to clients who clearly want what she has to offer them goes way beyond smiles and high-fives.
Let’s begin with the immediate, positive transformation of the advisor/client relationship. In my experience as an advisor, the transition of client relationships from one advisor to another rarely creates this kind of excitement. This is one of the true benefits of integrating sustainable investing into a practice. When an advisor is upfront with clients about a passion for SRI-ESG strategies, clients get excited too.
Another key factor in building a relationship with new clients is giving advice to clients that you don’t know well. Introducing SRI-ESG investing into your portfolio mix is the perfect way to get to know clients on a deep level. As advisors we know that the foundation of each client relationship is an exploration of the values the client lives by every day. With SRI-ESG strategies, the client now has an opportunity to use their values as the basis for investment decisions as well, and you will know a good deal about these clients when the initial consultation ends.
What about compensation for the advisor’s time and expertise? A recent review of my client’s SRI-ESG assets under management indicates that approximately 10% of total client assets in her practice are allocated to sustainable investment funds, a 32% increase during the past nine months. All the SRI-ESG net flows are from and to fee-based accounts, so the clients are not increasing their annual cost to make the changes. And these new clients are starting to transfer other assets to her based on their excitement about SRI-ESG strategies.
My client is building her recurring revenue stream to increase income as net flows grow from existing and new clients. And she’s increasing the value of the practice for when she’s ready to retire.
The support for integrating a SRI-ESG niche into your practice is substantial. Business partners from most of the 13 SRI-ESG investment companies my client is using for portfolio diversification are lining up to secure their spot in her marketing plan queue for 2015. Just now we’re formulating her plan to brand herself as the “GO TO” SRI-ESG advisor in the community.
If you’re ready to revitalize your practice and expand your client base, let’s talk.