Advisers expect accountant and lawyer referrals to become bigger source of new clients

19/10/2017 News Team

Advisers expect referrals from accountants and lawyers to become a bigger source of new business over the next year, research from insurers Prudential has found.

Almost two fifths (37 percent) of advisers state that referrals from existing clients are the biggest source of attracting new clients, however 15 percent say accountant and lawyer referrals are their biggest source of new business, up from 11 percent last year.

Over half (52 percent) of advisers believe the number of referrals they receive from other professionals will rise in the year ahead and boost new business levels. The research highlights that part of the reason for this expected growth in referrals may be an increasing willingness by advisers to outsource specialised and complex advice: 47 percent say they outsource to specialists; 25 percent indicated a willingness to outsource in future; and 23 percent say they will never outsource to another professional.

In addition, the expected rise in professional referrals has been attributed to the growing need for advice on protection from inheritance tax bills, with 58 percent of advisers saying they have seen a rise in inheritance tax advice enquiries in the past year. Inheritance tax was identified by 37 percent of advisers as the second most significant source of opportunities to provide advice over the next three years, slightly behind the 40 percent who said advice on taxation of retirement income.

Meanwhile, 11 percent of advisers say their or their network’s website is the best source of new clients; nine percent say their direct marketing including social media generates the most leads; eight percent identify new advice opportunities from events; and eight percent say approved adviser lists are their best new business source.

Head of personal financial planning at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), John Gaskell, commented: “It’s encouraging to see that advisers expect professional connections to become a greater source of new clients. In an increasingly complex financial planning environment, there is undoubtedly a greater opportunity for accountants and advisers to work more closely together to deliver better outcomes for their clients.”

Paul Harrison, head of Prudential’s business consultancy for advisers, added: “The quality of service and the added value that advisers provide continues to be one of their best sources for attracting new clients through personal recommendations.

“However, working with other professionals, particularly accountants and lawyers, is growing in importance when it comes to new client referrals and is likely to continue to expand in the future.”

He concluded: “Outsourcing to specialists and working in partnership with other professionals with expertise in complex areas is becoming a significant part of the advice market but does require clarity as to the roles and responsibilities of all involved.”

Prudential is a multinational life insurance and financial services company headquartered in London. It was founded in London in May 1848.

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