“In a relationship-focused business, advisers must make time
for building better relationships, not just better businesses,” says Everplans
co-founder and co-CEO Abby Schneiderman.
Schneiderman’s firm considers itself an “online estate and
legacy planning platform.” As an enterprise solutions partner for defined
contribution (DC) plan specialists and wealth management advisers, Everplans helps
advisers help clients organize, store and share legal, financial, health care
and personal information, “so
loved ones can find it when they need it.”
In her role, Schneiderman naturally spends a lot of time
thinking about the transition of wealth between generations—and in fact, the
firm just put out a joint study with Cerulli Associates, measuring the success
advisers have had in managing wealth across generations. Suffice it to say,
advisers aren’t doing nearly as good of a job building intergenerational client
relationships as many may think.
Of the more than 200 financial advisers surveyed, the vast
majority (90%) believe they will continue to manage at least a portion or all
of the assets once passed on to their clients' children. This is despite the
fact that only 7% of clients' children say they know their parents’ adviser
“Advisers inherently understand that they should be focusing
on the next generation, but turning those good intentions into action is
said than done,” Schneiderman adds.
In one positive finding, nearly all advisers (95%) feel they
have a relationship with most of their clients' spouses; and about two-thirds
of their clients' spouses are formally considered clients of the adviser. Against
this backdrop, 75% of advisers surveyed remain confident that should their
clients pass, spouses will keep assets with the adviser, even if they weren't
the primary client.
“What if the money is passed to a grandchild? Half of all advisers
believe the assets will stay right where they are even though 92% are wholly unacquainted
or only quasi-acquainted with their clients' grandchildren,” Schneiderman
communication across generations