Adviser platform Wealth02 has added an online meeting facility for use by financial advisers and their clients, with users reporting they were likely to implement its use in more client meetings after the end of the COVID-19 lockdown.
WealthO2 managing director Shannon Bernasconi said the addition of the facility was in response to the need for advisers to continue to meet with clients while social distancing rules remained in place under the lockdown.
Bernasconi said the new tool allows clients to log in and set up a meeting with their adviser and integrates with a range of calendar and online meeting software, such as Outlook, Google, Zoom and Acuity, as well connecting with customer relationship management tools like Salesforce.
“It is clear that advisers will be using online face-to-face calls for their client meetings now and for the foreseeable future, and we have moved quickly to implement the functionality to facilitate this directly from the WealthO2 portal,” she said.
“The global pandemic has led many advisers and their clients to embed technology where it adds value in the advice process, and this new functionality is a natural extension of this move.”
The new feature would also allow advisers to add the meeting to the client’s file notes and history.
“Many online digital applications offer a recording feature so the call between clients and their advisers can be saved as a review meeting and file note,” Bernasconi said.
“During these digital meetings advisers can share the screen with clients, whether it be a copy of the client report or the screens from the system dashboards showing performance and income returns of the client’s portfolio.”
The online meeting tool was developed in conjunction with advisers who used the platform and 100 per cent of those involved stated they would like the feature to be a permanent addition, she said.
“In fact, some advisers are saying that post the pandemic, they will continue the format of more regular 15-minute online meetings with clients, while keeping the face-to-face meetings for the annual review. It is seen as a change in business practice that will lead to better outcomes for clients and for advisers,” she noted.
Advisers are also considering the value platforms hold and their ability to provide services for clients as a result of the pandemic, with some platforms falling short during the lockdown, she said.
“For instance, platforms that are not able to provide bulk rebalancing of portfolios and ease of changes to all clients’ portfolios intraday may not be as well regarded by advisers post this pandemic,” she said.
“If the technology of the platform provider did not assist the adviser in this ease of portfolio management in such volatile market times, it will ultimately be the clients who have suffered as a result of the implementation drag.”