The second phase of the client relationship model (CRM2) is about starting a deeper conversation with clients beyond the basic reporting and disclosure requirements, and technology can help advisors meet that goal.
That’s according to panelists speaking at the 2014 Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC) national conference and annual general meeting on Tuesday in Toronto.
“[The prescribed requirements of CRM2] are really just to get to an endpoint,” said Chris Jepson, senior legal counsel with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and a panelist at the event. “Which is an ongoing conversation between the informed investor and the advisor.”
Taking the discussion above the new regulation’s basic disclosure and reporting requirements will not only lead to better-informed clients, but also a stronger advisor-client relationship.
“The reporting that comes every month or every quarter is what [clients] need,” said Susan Bell, executive vice president of Bell Kearns & Associates Ltd. and another panelist. “When they see you face-to-face there’s the reassurance that they’re not just a number in your organization.”
One way to get the conversation going is to make use of technology. For example, advisors can send out the required information to clients ahead of a scheduled meeting in an email, said Jepson. That way rather than explaining the documents during the meeting, advisors can answer any questions the clients might have and discuss the material in more depth.
“It opens the door,” said Jepson. “[Advisors] can have a much richer conversation and make the points [they] want to make.”
That deeper conversation shouldn’t end with the annual meeting, however. Instead, keep the discussion going throughout the year. Make use of technology again to stay in touch with clients whether it’s over the phone or via email.
For example, Bell suggests sending clients a brief email when a major world event happens to explain how it effects their investments. Said Bell: “We receive very good feedback from clients when they receive that from [portfolio] managers.”