Making the most of your client reviews

Client review meetings, in which you discuss with your client their portfolio, goals and personal situation, present a golden opportunity to reiterate the value of the service you provide.

Meeting face-to-face reinforces your relationship, giving you and your client an opportunity to speak and ask questions in depth. We are happy to support your client meetings, either by supplying up-to-the-minute portfolio information or by attending in person, when you request us to do so.

We will provide you with the necessary client reports and supporting information, as part of our discretionary service, to ensure you have the information needed to complete an effective client review. If you think it appropriate, your investment manager can attend your client reviews to discuss portfolio investments on a face-to-face basis with you and your client. Based on our discussions with advisers, we have developed this 12-point client review checklist.

1. Research is key

Set the agenda ahead of the meeting and ask your client what they would like to discuss. Examine your client’s file, prepare conversation points and gather materials to answer questions, explain concepts, or share news.

2. Focus on approach

Consider placing emphasis on holistic wealth management, rather than focusing purely on the performance of any individual investment. Demonstrate cost and tax-efficient savings that are achieved, sound portfolio construction, and emphasise longer-term goals within the wider plan.

3. Openness and transparency

It is always preferable to provide clear explanations of what contributed to the performance of a client’s portfolio. Where investments are provided by third-party providers try to obtain up-to-date information from the provider, such as investment commentaries, benchmark comparisons and current valuations. You may be able to request attendance from your investment provider at a review meeting. Doing so provides an opportunity for you to reinforce your client advocacy skills and subtly shift the dynamic from having to explain, to being able to question investment performance.

4. Ensure you are still on the same page

Remind your client of the wealth management approaches you previously agreed in order to ensure that you both have a clear understanding of future expectations.

5. Pinpoint important changes

Ask your client to describe any financial or personal changes that could affect their goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs, or tax and legal situation.

6. Make recommendations

Identify any strategy, allocation, or holdings adjustments you see necessary. Explain why they are necessary and the potential benefits of implementing the changes.

7. Offer extra help

When possible, offer to contact your client’s other professional advisers, such as accountants, solicitors or investment managers, who may be affected by, or could contribute to, your financial planning process. This will make implementing changes more efficient and will strengthen your network of professional connections.

8. Be transparent

Advisers tell us it is best to treat fee conversations with the same level of openness and honesty as you treat your other client conversations. Ensure that your client is clear about the services they are paying for and are able to make an informed judgement about the value they add.

9. Finish strong

Advisers tell us it is best to end a review meeting by summarising the key discussion points and the agreed plan of action. This might be a good time to introduce “homework”. Providing supporting reading materials helps to boost engagement and creates a sense of mutual ownership in the implementation of the plan.

10. Request feedback

Ask your client for feedback on how you can improve the review process.

11. Seek referrals

The ongoing review is an ideal time to ask a client for recommendations.

12. Say thank you

Advisers tell us that a thank-you note gives you the opportunity to document and summarise the highlights of your review and reiterate the action plan that you and your client have agreed to.

We would like the opportunity to meet you

We understand the importance of your role as a financial adviser and we would like the opportunity to discuss with you how to add value as a Financial Adviser.

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