The Coronavirus pandemic has helped increase the awareness of the benefits of financial planning amongst younger generations, according to national IFA Continuum.
The IFA has found that the pandemic has left clients more open to including members of their family in the estate planning process. As a result, more Continuum clients are now tailoring their estate planning towards the individual needs of the younger generations of their family with the help of their adviser.
Not only does this help to smooth the intergenerational wealth transfer process, it also makes the younger generation more likely to engage with financial planning and with what Continuum has to offer them.
Over the past two years, Continuum has seen many new clients coming to the firm through older generations of their family.
Martin Brown, Managing Partner at Continuum, said: “For many years now we have been encouraging clients to include younger generations of their family in meetings to talk about estate planning and intergenerational wealth transfer. However, in the past two years we have seen a notable increase in the number of clients including their family in meetings with their Continuum adviser.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has left clients thinking about their vulnerability and perhaps also a little more open to discussing estate planning with their family.”
One of the consequences of the growth of involvement of younger family members with estate planning is that Continuum has seen many of them join as clients in their own right.
The national IFA now has over 64% of its client base under the age of 60. Over 1 in 5 of Continuum’s clients are under the age of 40.
Along with intergenerational wealth transfer, Continuum’s success in engaging younger generations can be partially attributed to strong investment in digital marketing and financial education.
The past two years have seen Continuum invest heavily in its infrastructure including marketing, capitalizing in the firm’s reputation for high-quality advice.
Simon Reeve, Head of Operations at Continuum, said: “During the pandemic we have also really stepped up our digital marketing efforts with a plethora of regular news-based, financial education and wider wellbeing content. We have also extended our Wellbeing and Brand Loyalty programmes to our clients.
“Clients have really appreciated us going the extra mile to support them, sharing our digital marketing efforts far and wide as well as providing us with fantastic reviews.
“The Partnership sees growth in brand awareness as a driver of significant future growth, so the help our existing clients are giving us in this area is invaluable.”
In 2021 Continuum launched a new website to support its growing digital marketing plans.
The year saw a 55% year on year increase in website audience. There was a 15% increase in new visitors to the site, with the rest of the traffic coming from existing clients regularly engaging with Continuum online.
The IFAs social media engagement also grew impressively. In 2021 Continuum had a 25% increase in followers of LinkedIn, and a 15% increase in social media traffic across Twitter and Facebook.
Investment in digital marketing alone is not enough to appeal to the younger generation.
Continuum has found that younger clients are likely to engage with the IFA due to recommendations from friends, family, and online reviews showcasing high levels of client satisfaction.
Client satisfaction is at the heart of Continuum. The firm’s latest Net Promoter score of over 98 demonstrates the results of this ethos.
Continuum has also seen high engagement rates from younger clients with its financial education content and wellbeing programmes. The firm’s digital newsletter, sent to over 5,800 clients now has an average open rate of 35% (well above industry average), and is often shared by clients with younger members of their family.
By leveraging its impressive client satisfaction levels and providing a wide range of financial education opportunities within its marketing strategy, the firm has seen remarkable engagement and conversion rates.
The success of the strategy was reflected in Continuum’s 2021 financial results.
The national IFA firm saw a 40% increase (year on year) in annual turnover to £10.51m for the year ending 31 December 2021.
Assets under influence continued to grow through the year. Assets at 31 December 2021 were £1.49bn, an increase of 30% year on year.
Ongoing recurring income also rose 39% year on year.
Martin Brown, Managing Partner at Continuum, added: “Engaging with the next generation and educating them on the benefits of financial planning is key for IFAs, many of whom have been seeing their average client base age considerably over the last decade.
“With over one in five of our clients being under the age of 40, at Continuum we feel confident that we are well prepared for the future.”