Philadelphia, PA: Today’s financial advisor faces myriad challenges. The last decade has seen tremendous technological changes, business and market volatility, and the competitive landscape has grown more crowded and complex. The internationally-recognized Finance faculty of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania knows that staying ahead of the knowledge curve and better understanding clients’ wants and needs are keys to growing a successful financial advisory business. A new three-part program will bring Wharton insights and research directly to financial advisors in an interactive online format.
Beginning in May, the Wharton Wealth Management Financial Advisor Online Series will provide a window into the current market and advisory environment, revealing the latest research on what clients are thinking, what they want now and what they and their advisors need to know. It will also offer practical tools to help understand markets, serve and retain current customers and uncover new ways to increase business.
The first session, led by Christopher Geczy, Academic Director of Wharton’s Wealth Management Initiative and Academic Director of the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research, will explore whether the fundamental theory and practice of portfolio management has failed investors and their advisors over the past half-decade, and how advisors can exploit the array of investment options available today.
“Scientific investing is a big question mark in the minds of today’s investors,” says Geczy, who is also an adjunct associate professor of Finance at Wharton. “But there’s nothing wrong with the theory—in fact it predicted the kinds of market behaviors seen during recent periods of volatility. What is critical is how it is applied.”
In the second session, advisors will learn practical tools for persuasion and communication that will help serve and retain current clients and reach out more effectively to potential ones. Wharton Fellow Mario Moussa, co-author of The Art of Woo, will teach participants a four-step strategic process for persuasion. He notes that credibility is key in the advisor-client relationship. “What you are selling is not a product or an instrument or a service. You are selling trust. Building relationships is critical for success in general, but it is especially important in financial advising.”
Raphael Amit, the Robert B. Goergen Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Management at Wharton leads the third session, where he will share his latest research on ultra-high net worth families, and his startling conclusions about what they are thinking and what they expect from a financial advisor. He says with these clients, “you can’t just manage their portfolio. Advisors are typically interested only in managing liquid assets, but my research suggests that family dynamics are equally important in providing value. You have to manage the portfolio in the context of family dynamics, and understand that context completely.”
For financial planners and wealth advisors, The Wharton Wealth Management Financial Advisor Online Series is eligible for continuing education credits. It meets the requirements of IMCA (Investment Management Consultants Association) and the CFP Board, a non-profit organization that fosters professional standards in personal financial planning through its setting and enforcement of the education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements for CFP® certification.
Geczy, who has served on the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and on the Economic Advisory Board of NASDAQ, says this new online series from Wharton will offer unique advantages to advisors. “The series was designed so that its pieces work together. Each of the three sessions targets a key component of today’s advisory business—and each is an area in which advisors can gain important competitive advantages. We are sharing different perspectives and approaches for client service, retention and preparedness in these sessions. Altogether, it’s a comprehensive look at where we are today. Advisors are fielding a lot of questions from their clients right now, and we have answers.”
For more information about The Wharton Wealth Management Financial Advisor Online Series, please call +1.215.898.1776.
About the Wharton School
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.