Pre-retirees favor advisors with national firm affiliation

Advisors affiliated with national firms are likely to be in demand from those whose retirement is just around the corner.

Research from Cerulli Associates reveals that those within five years of retirement become ‘advisor-reliant’ and seek those professionals who can offer a strong suite of support services, becoming heavily reliant on these advisors. These households’ share of the advisor-reliant market rises from 27% to 46% in the ‘five years to retirement’ period.

When they are within a year of retirement, two key trends are apparent. Firstly, their share of the advisor-reliant market rises to 57%. Secondly, they prefer to work with an advisor affiliated with a national firm (45%) compared to previously (39%) while the no-preference share drops to 20% from 30%.

The mix of advice required also shifts, with 39% of investors preferring a dedicated home-office team for portfolio management and 29% favoring an individual advisor.


Cerulli’s recommendation is for individual client-facing advisors to manage the day-to-day engagement with the investor, while a dedicated team of investment professionals look after implementation.

The financial services advisory firm says it’s important for firms hoping to increase their market share to highlight the support services they have at their disposal and how they prioritize clients’ best interests.

“While most investors have little familiarity with the term ‘fiduciary,’ this type of relationship is the core of client preference,” says Scott Smith, director. “Communicating this commitment believably in terms that clients understand is vital to ongoing client acquisition, especially as prospects approach their anticipated retirement date.”

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