PIMFA’s Millennial Forum returns

18th April 2018

Following on from the release in mid-November last year of the highly successful Millennial Report 2017, the Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association – the leading UK trade association for the investment management and financial advice sector – has launched the third Forum in this series, which will deliver its definitive report in November of this year.

The overall aim of this research initiative is to provide recommendations for the industry, regulators and Government that will help contribute to their strategy for engaging with future generations.

For those who haven’t been following this initiative, the research has so far produced several significant items of interest – Millennials, whilst digitally competent, highly value face-to-face advice above purely technological investment solutions; they are open to the sharing and use of their personal data, as long as it can be proven to be secure and produce tangible benefit.

Reasonable fees (low at entry level) and appropriate product design came up repeatedly, including those which would, for example, help Millennials buy a house and there were clear indications that the industry should also look at reducing its minimum investment amounts.

Finally, post Crisis (2007/8), whilst it was apparent that the industry as a whole still has a bad name with many Millennials, large firms and overt corporate branding was seen as negative by some.

This years’ research is being conducted by the brightest stars from within our member firms who are Millennials themselves, although we will also see more views from similar individuals working outside the financial services sector. Topics, under the overall banner of “Life in the 21st Century”, fall under four main headings;

  • Talent (how people view this and how companies can entice or retain talent),
  • Socialisation (how we should all interact in future and what is appropriate for financial services),
  • Ownership (do we really possess things like we used to, are things changing, are products changing?)
  • Brand and Gender (how do sexes and companies and their image affect us, do sexes think and act differently with regard to products?)

Lest we forget, Millennials now represent the largest working generational group in the UK – indeed, accountancy firm Deloitte predicts that this group will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025 – so this research is very important to our sector. How Wealth Managers, Financial Planners & Advisers relate to this group is critical to the future of their firms, as is how they will deal with client engagement, the transfer of wealth in the future and the rise of Millennial-age entrepreneurs – research carried out by Santander Universities in 2016 highlighted that a third of students across the UK were either considering starting a business or already had done.

At some point the current wealth holders will be passing on their wealth and assets and where this happens – issues like healthcare notwithstanding – it will have a big impact on the lives involved. Close and clear engagement with future clients will help the process of planning and managing wealth, it will demonstrate what benefit there is to having open communication and what products could possibly suit the lifestyle choices the sector may face. In short, management today for the best outcomes for Millennials tomorrow.

This societal sector has so many more variables to contend with – pensions are no longer guaranteed at pre-determined levels, jobs are no longer for life and can be numerous through a career lifetime, property prices are often prohibitive and both Artificial Intelligence and offshoring of resources are changing the nature of the roles required by firms.

However, one thing remains constant; good relationships and clarity of engagement are necessary for firms and clients alike in order to interact well with one another. The more information we can glean from the latest millennial study and investigation, the better we will become at what we do as an industry. If we are both smart and forward-thinking it will be to the benefit of all and that’s exactly why the Millennial Forum exists. Watch this space!

If you would like to view PIMFA’s Millennial Report 2017, click here

Nigel Ross-Scott