Three ways to stop taking detours
May 2023, 4 min read
Advisers tell us managed accounts deliver benefits to their clients and their business. So here are their top three tips for making the implementation process as easy as possible.
We’ve spoken to many advice practices and they all tell us how important consultation and collaboration is to achieve a successful managed account implementation. Because the more you engage with staff, clients and service providers on your managed account journey, the more invested they will be in the project.
Advisers recommend involving your key stakeholders, internal and external, as early as possible. In particular, they say the feedback from staff as you go through the implementation process will be invaluable in making sure the new processes that will be part of the switch to managed accounts will be adopted across the board.
When it comes to clients, your priority should be letting them know how the way you communicate with them will change when managed accounts are live. Talk them through the model portfolios in which they are invested and how they can still directly invest in shares, if this is important to them.
Advisers say it’s vital to tell clients about how you will let them know about major market movements, up or down, and how this will affect their portfolio, once the switch to managed accounts has been made. They need to have confidence they still have access to you during these times, so they can get a handle on how these events may affect the performance of their assets.
On an ongoing basis, make sure they understand how much time they will have with you once you are in the managed accounts environment to do portfolio reviews, and assess whether their objectives and return assumptions are being met.
Let them know about all the advantages managed accounts will give them, such as the ability to access real-time information about their portfolio. Advisers say they constantly emphasise how much more versatile the managed account environment is versus managed funds.
When you’re deep in the planning and implementation phase, advisers tell us this is the time when it’s so important to keep everything on track. The planning phase is when you need to really get inside how the transition happens and how the new managed account environment will in the business when it is up and running.
At this stage, advisers say they are busy examining and assessing the different portfolio solutions, working through different fee models and how they will affect the practice, as well as formalising investment policies.
We understand laying down really robust governance frameworks is critical and MLC can help with that. We have resources advice practices can use to ensure their systems and processes meet all their regulatory obligations.
When we talk to advisers about this stage, they often underline how important it is to build substantial contingencies into the implementation time frame. This takes the pressure off the practice and ensures it has plenty of time to iron out any wrinkles in the transition process.
To bed down the implementation process, advisers tell us how critical it is to continually check back in with the team to see what’s working and what needs attention.
Advice firms recommend building incremental processes into the business so you can regularly review and realign workflows to account for any changes in regulations or to make it easy for the practice and its clients to make the most of managed accounts.
One of the main insights we get from advisers who have successfully implemented managed accounts is while it’s a revolution for the business and its clients, it’s important to take an evolutionary approach. It’s very much a hare and tortoise situation. So, take your time and that will help ensure managed accounts work for the practice and all its stakeholders immediately and well into the future.
This publication has been prepared by MLC Asset Management Pty Ltd (MLCAM) (ABN 44 106 427 472, AFSL 308953), a member of the Insignia Financial group of companies comprising Insignia Financial Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate.
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