Client wellbeing and digitisation crucial for advice practices

Clients’ overall wellbeing and adoption of technology and digitalisation will be the two most important things for advice practices going forward, according to Pina Sciarrone, chief executive officer and managing director, AIA Australia.

Speaking at the AIA Adviser Summit last week, Sciarrone was asked how the successful planning firms could articulate their value.

“There is two things that come to mind,” she said.

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“The first one is really a focus on overall client wellbeing to be a part of value proposition so you are looking to a person’s life goals, health goals, whether it is mental wellbeing or physical wellbeing, and of course, you are looking at their financial wellbeing where education and financial advisers are a component of that.”

According to her, practices should adopt and develop towards these goals and become “almost wellbeing organisations where the advice would be a component of this solution”.

 “And the second thing that I think is really important is adopting technology and adopting digitalization and not being scared of that. Also adopting robotics and AI (artificial intelligence),” Sciarrone said.

“All of these are really important and complement an advice practice and I am not saying ‘let’s get rid of face to face’. This is the relationship business but I believe that technology and digitalisation play an important role in client engagement and an important role in how the client wants to be served as well as the important role of back office so we can become much more efficient.

“I think product providers have a role to play and I think successful practices will be very open to and product manufacturers would be very open to integrate with practices.

“And in terms of articulating value I think traditionally advisers have articulated value through product selection and product solutions. And I think it has now evolved to advisers identifying customers’ needs  and it’s evolved again in terms of looking at overall wellbeing and being holistic about it.”

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