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Full service stock brokers have needed to pivot to provide more holistic wealth management services to ensure market relevance and position for the next generation of private investors.

With the commoditization of the transactional services provided by stockbrokers and the rise and rise of online trading platforms, traditional full service stockbrokers, once the holders of enormous market influence, have faced significant margin compression and declining share of market, in addition to occasional claims of asset recycling.

In response, over the past 5-10 years they have diversified significantly into providing more holistic wealth management services in order to retain customers, in many cases adding financial planners to their teams. Some have made the technical leap to partner with platforms to provide SMA and IMA offerings and model portfolios to benefit from the advances in digital delivery.

But with the numbers of financial planners in decline as a result partly of the rising cost of compliance which is pinching margins, particularly for smaller operators, it is questionable whether this continued foray into wealth management will become a standalone service offering or more a related service relevant only to existing broking clients, in which case it will remain very much a niche offering.

Traditional operators have relied very much on older relationship management practices to this point, encompassing an event heavy schedule of face to face meetings, conferences and seminars. Now, however, is the time to rebalance their customer relationship modalities and start to better embrace digital technologies to drive deeper relationships.

  • Productise their service offerings
  • Expand their branding strategies to be more proposition-led
  • Adopt more digital routes to market and to engaging customers to complement existing channels

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