Enquiries from new clients have risen 24% for financial advisory firm deVere Group as investors navigate volatile global stockmarkets with over half wanting advice to be face-to-face.
The firm, which operates in 100 countries, said new enquiries were up 24% in April and over half of its clients wanted face-to-face advice, 42% wanted advice via video call and 6% said by phone.
Nigel Green, chief executive of deVere Group, said he was surprised by the preference for face-to-face.
“Given the circumstances and how much things have changed, I quite was surprised that the preferred option for the delivery of financial advice remains face-to-face. But video communication is only 10% behind, which is quite something as it is a new platform for most people.
“The survey underscores that increasingly people want bespoke financial advice combined with innovative technology.”
He said the rise in new enquiries came as many people were realising in the crisis that they had insufficient funds or savings which could impact their long-term financial health.
“This most unusual situation has dramatically underscored that no-one really knows what is around the corner. Now more than ever people are seeking to be as financially prepared as they can for any eventuality.”
He said the situation replicated that following the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 when consumers sought advice, despite a fundamental lack of confidence of the banking system.
Some 80% said they expected new companies would emerge from the crisis and that the ones which had previously been successful would not necessarily remain so in this new environment. Nearly three-quarters felt that the world had changed ‘permanently’ as a result of COVID-19.
“We can be in no doubt that the world has already fundamentally changed – and it will do so more and maybe at a faster pace,” Green said.