Successful value-add programs typically find an intersection between a current need of advisors and valuable, actionable insight that is unique to the manager. Given the substantial marketing and staff resources asset managers commit to their value-add programs, it is important to understand how advisor demand for these programs is shifting.
- The uncertainty, market volatility, and remote work environment of the early pandemic produced across-the board upticks in 2020 demand for value-add support, most notably content focused on market insights which jumped to 70% and retirement income distribution which rose to 64% of respondents with significant interest in the topic at the height of the pandemic.
- In 2021 we have seen a modest pullback in interest for these and other topics including portfolio analysis and customer relationship management. By contrast, the market run up has helped boost interest in alternative investments from 29% in 2019 to 37% in 2021, while news about proposed tax hikes has provoked strong interest in tax planning (which was a new topic in our 2021 advisor survey).
- Indeed, 68% of advisors (more than for any other value-add topic in 2021) indicated significant interest in tax planning help. Knowing that potential tax hikes are top of mind among advisors and their clients, firms like Russell Investments have introduced content to help advisors be smarter about taxes.