Russell Bignall, Managing Director Sales, Adviser, takes a look back over the past couple of unprecedented years and shares why our connection with advisers is one we’ll never take for granted.

The current market volatility has left advisers managing fluctuations in clients’ portfolios.

During these uncertain times, last month, abrdn published a strong set of full year financial results for 2021. Thanks to the advisers who choose to partner with us, we maintained our number one position in the adviser platform market based on AUA and gross flows over 2021, with AUA of £76bn and a 14 per cent increase in gross inflows compared with 2020.

These results reflect our growth strategy that will help us secure further investment in our adviser solutions – solutions that make it easier for advisers to serve their clients and deliver good outcomes for them.

I’m delighted that half of all advisers in the UK have continued to entrust their clients’ money to us - the family wealth of almost 430,000 clients.

Advisers can choose any solution provider on the market, yet 50 per cent choose abrdn. It’s the highest endorsement of our proposition and we’ll never take that for granted.

abrdn is a FTSE-100 company with the scale and financial strength to give reassurance to advisers so that, in turn, they entrust abrdn to be the custodians of their clients’ wealth.

It’s very clear to me that not only are we continuing to refine our understanding of how adviser firms work, but we’re putting more focus into helping advisers get the most from abrdn.

We’ve always had a connection with advisers and we want our partnerships to deepen and to continue to grow in mutual trust and confidence.

Leveraging technology to maintain our connection 

Throughout the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, our support teams have been committed to maintaining that connection, either face-to-face, virtually or online, leveraging technology to support advisers.

It’s a commitment I’ve seen demonstrated every day by both our sales and service teams. Over the course of the past two years, they consistently worked hard to keep all communication channels with advisers open, while working remotely from multiple locations across the UK.

I’ve been really impressed by the way the adviser firms we work with adapted so seamlessly to virtual and online support, continuing to put the needs of their clients first. They provided them with peace of mind, while managing businesses and looking after the wellbeing of their own families at the same time.

No-one’s been left unaffected by the past two years.

But as we emerge from the pandemic, that connection we have with advisers, and that they have with us, continues to provide reassurance to clients.

We’ll keep that connection going.

We’re making sure our service teams are equipped with integrated technology to make our connection work more easily. For example, we’ve invested heavily in Amazon Connect and Salesforce Service Cloud. Together, this technology helps to facilitate a personalised one-stop service for advisers.

We’ve also introduced more digitally--enabled services including collaborative browsing. This allows us to support advisers with on-screen navigation, to help create more efficiencies within firms and save advisers valuable time.

We’ll always be here when advisers need a hand

With government restrictions relaxing, I’ve been holding more face-to-face meetings with advisers either in their offices or in our offices.

I’ve also been holding a few really insightful round table discussions.

One of the key themes that keeps emerging from these conversations is that maintaining service levels is an industry-wide challenge.

It has been a tough time for the wider marketplace.

For our part, we’ve done our very best to maintain service levels and advisers tell us they appreciate what we’ve done to support them. I know there have been challenges but we’ve continued to respond proactively and creatively whenever advisers need help, either in person or through digital self-serve.

We’ll always be  here when advisers need a hand. That will never change.

Throughout Tax Year End (TYE), our service teams worked tirelessly  to meet adviser and client TYE needs. We answered 45,000 calls and processed 76,000 demands. Feedback tells us that 96 per cent of all callers were satisfied with the service received over the TYE period.

Of course, there’s still work for us to do.

We’re listening.

Feedback is a gift and we’re prioritising what we do next with the feedback we receive from the advisers who entrust their clients’ money to us.

Just as advisers build their business on the goals of their clients, we’re building our business on the ambition of the advisers who choose to partner with us.

Our year end results are evidence of abrdn’s strong and sustained growth - growth that will allow us to continually invest in our adviser experience so adviser firms can do business their way.

Coverage of our results also helped to put the focus on our abrdn brand and we’ll carry on  establishing our name with advisers, their businesses and their clients.

I know abrdn’s  legacy and financial strength will continue to give reassurance to the advisers who choose to partner with us,  as we help them get the most from abrdn.

Because there’s a connection there, a connection we’ll never take for granted.

Look out for more insight from Emily Bevens, Head of Client Enablement  on how our service is making it easier for advisers to support their clients.

We’re aware advisers’ clients may want to know more about the possible impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on financial markets.

Read Russell’s first blog, ‘I’m going to champion the adviser voice at abrdn’

The value of investments can go down as well as up and your clients could get back less than they paid in

The views expressed in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice.