Virus-proof networks

Bluerating | December 2020 

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a strain on our country and on the whole world. Very few industries survived the first wave of the pandemic; even fewer will outlive the second wave.

Networks of financial advisors emerged from the Covid-19 storm stronger than ever. There are three main reasons. 

The first is linked to the level of digitalization achieved by financial networks. The primary feature of financial consultancy is the advisor’s ability to work off-site, that is without the support of an office or a branch. What twenty years ago used to be a limitation, today has become a competitive advantage. Financial networks were the first to invest in remote banking platforms, providing advisors with advanced devices to enable them to work on the move. 

Moreover, several financial networks are digital natives – they have ridden the digital revolution and, on occasion, enabled it. Unlike banks, they have not been overcome by events nor did they need to spend their time and energy to loosen layers and layers of old soil. In fact, in order to be successful, digital investments need to be set or planted in fertile ground. 

The second reason depends on their chain of command, certainly simpler than those found in more complex environments such as banks. Thanks to their federal systems, some banks have dealt successfully with the Covid-19 pandemic, overcoming obstacles with flying colors thanks to a widespread and highly effective system of proxies. These are, however, exceptions. 

Instead, financial networks feature a simple chain of command with few apical figures with clear proxies and in touch with financial advisors. Of course, this works as a competitive advantage. 

Networks of financial advisors work like Maximus Decimus Meridius’ gladiators: faced with tigers and Praetorians in the Colosseum, the Gladiator and his companions close ranks to better resist the enemy… in our case, the virus. 

The third reason depends on the figure of the financial advisor itself – It combines the best qualities of the entrepreneur, of the financial professional and of a motivated manager who believes in his/her company. 

Financial advisors share the entrepreneur’s proactivity and ability to react to adversities – in fact, they know that everything comes down to them and that the end of the month is not the payday, but a day like any other. 

They share the clarity of mind of financial professionals, their willingness to constantly keep themselves informed, to invest in training and ongoing professional development. Moreover, they also have good listening skills, an increasingly rare quality. 

Finally, financial advisors share the team spirit that is typical of company managers, the pride in their brand and trust in their management.

Since the first lockdown, such winning combination has produced excellent results: one week after the beginning of the medical emergency, 56% of clients had already been contacted by their financial advisors (vs. 14% of bank clients). Three weeks after the beginning of the lockdown, 71% of clients claimed to be satisfied with their financial advisor (vs 37% of bank clients). 

Facts, not words. 

Nicola Ronchetti

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