Reflecting its core beliefs, Adhesion has become known in the advisor space for its commitment to open-architecture solutions and responsiveness to RIA needs. True to that vision, a significant new piece has been added, enabling firms to leverage world-class research in an affordable way, with customized implementation just one step away inside of Adhesion’s Managed Account desktop.
This strategic relationship with Mercer Investments gives advisory firms a single, fully integrated solution for building, implementing, and monitoring client portfolios across major RIA custodians. We invite you to read the details about this exciting new way to leverage specialists in building out a scalable practice.
A recent ThinkAdvisor article, “10 Ways Wealth Management Firms Can Beat Rivals: Mercer,” lists 10 ways firms can compete in today’s ultra-competitive market. Says Cara Williams, senior partner and the global of Mercer Investments’ Wealth Management business and Global Technology Solutions: “There are three sets of challenges that we find are common to wealth management firms competing in today’s environment. These are strategies to improve investment results in a low-return environment, strategies to reduce risk, and strategies to contain costs.” Below are Mercer’s 10 recommendations based on these three overarching strategies.
1. Position portfolios for growth in a low-growth environment
2. Determine if alternative investment strategies are appropriate for a broader group of clients
3. Consider impact and socially aware investing as part of portfolio design
4. Adopt a client communication technology strategy
#4 addresses a common frustration among clients when they are not receiving frequent communications from their advisor or direct access to their portfolio information. Mercer recommends that RIAs address this issue and enhance client satisfaction by adopting smart technology. “Staying up to date with technology will require investments to remain ahead of the competition.”
5. Review the resources required to deliver value to clients and resolve the “build versus buy” question
#5 speaks to the importance of deciding when to outsource versus when to stay in-house. According to Mercer, “To survive, thrive and best serve the needs and interests of their clients, wealth managers need to review the core skills that provide them with a competitive advantage, and evaluate which resources are best sourced internally versus through an external partner, consultant or other vendor.”
6. Conduct investment and operational product risk assessments
7. Beware rear view product risk assessments
8. Evaluate the firm’s governance process
9. Discuss fee budgets with your clients, and ensure they get what they pay for
10. Remember that fees always matter
Mercer suggests that firms remember the importance of fees to clients. “Evaluate business models, services, and enhancements that allow you to deliver exceptional service and products while continuing to reduce the cost to your clients.” In other words, adding Alpha while increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness.