As lockdown enters its eight week – although some firms have been in lockdown for longer, independent financial advisers (IFAs) and chartered financial planners (CFPs) have been finding new ways to communicate to potential and existing clients.
Both are embracing new technology and moving away from the individual face-to-face client meetings to virtual client meetings – this method of communication might even be here to stay post-lockdown and become the “new normal.”
Below, several IFAs and CFPs give their points of view.
Scott Gallacher, director and CFP at Rowley Turton: “Due to the current situation we have started using Zoom meetings in place of the traditional face-to-face meeting. Whilst there are work fine, and there are clearly some efficiency benefits (no travelling, no client coffees). I do feel that they lose a lot compared to a face-to-face meeting.”
Jeremy Edwards Partner at Martin-Redman Partners LLP: “I have used Microsoft Teams, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook and the telephone! Where the client and the adviser are both comfortable with the tech and understand the limitations, it seems to work. I found myself being schooled on Zoom by an 80+ year old client who had been using it for a while with family in Australia.
“Comparing graphs and cash flows on screen seems OK but challenging attitudes and clearing contradictions on fact finds is more difficult. It is harder to see what questions make people evasive/uncomfortable on a video chat.”
Tony Byrne, CFP and managing director at firm Wealth & Tax Management: “We have had a lot of Zoom meetings but have had some clients concerned about security after recent reports about Zoom. We stopped using Skype about six months ago because it is not as smooth and easy to use as Zoom.
“We have started using Google Meet which is better than both Zoom and Skype. You can do screen sharing too. It is more secure than Zoom and it has been built with superior technology. Downside is that both users need Gmail accounts. I have found video conferencing great. I have started doing webinars too using ‘GoToWebinar’ which surprisingly resulted in a lot of new business from existing clients. So overall I have been very happy with the experience so far.”