The demise this week of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America, the U.S. government bailout of AIG and uncertainty surrounding the fates of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have sent shock waves through the financial firmament. But, according to some industry players, independent wealth managers stand to gain from the turmoil on Wall Street.
“Financial advisors, especially at smaller independent firms, are at their highest level of ‘referability’ right now,” says Duncan MacPherson of Pareto Systems, a Kelowna, British Columbia-based business consultancy to financial-service companies. “Investors are no longer impressed by the big name conglomerates; they are simply seeking knowledgeable advisors they can trust and form mutually beneficial working relationships with.” To capitalize on this sentiment, MacPherson suggests that advisors make a point, now, of reaching out to their clients to answer questions and calm shaky nerves. “Proactively offering expertise at a time when investors have a multitude of questions and concerns will bolster relationships with current clients, as well as launch a breakthrough in referrals and additional business” he says.