A wake-up call for professional advisers

New research conducted by The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) and US Trust shows that while client-adviser conversations about philanthropy are happening in the US, many advisers don’t understand what their clients want from them. With just 41 per cent of clients stating they are fully satisfied with these conversations, these findings are important to all advisers looking to close the gap between their approach and their clients’ expectations.

The research consists of a survey of wealth/financial advisers, trust and estate attorneys, and tax and accounting professionals working with high net worth (HNW) clients and a separate survey of HNW individuals.

TPI and US Trust undertook the research in hopes that a better understanding of the major disconnects between advisers and clients would help advisers create ‘triple-win’ conversations with the greatest positive impact on their own businesses, their clients’ lives and society. Specifically, the research shows that advisers need to:
•    Open the conversation earlier and more often. 34 per cent of clients are ready to discuss philanthropy on the first meeting, and 90 per cent expect to have discussed philanthropy within the first few meetings.
•    Focus more on the ‘personal’ side of philanthropy (passions, values and life goals) rather than the technical side (giving vehicles and taxes). Clients want both, and they are left unsatisfied when their advisers focus primarily on the technical. Despite what advisers report, clients perceive that just one in four conversations focuses on the personal.
•    Understand what actually motivates their clients to give. Taxes don’t.. Only 10 per cent of HNW individuals say tax is an important factor in their giving decisions. Personal passions, a desire to ‘give back’ and a desire to achieve social impact are motivating factors.
•    Use philanthropy to engage the next generation. Nearly half of HNW individuals want to involve their children or grandchildren in philanthropic conversations – yet only 9 per cent report their advisers have discussed using philanthropy to transfer values or prepare the next generations for wealth.

For more information
Full research findings and other resources for professional advisers are available for free download at http://www.tpi.org


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