Aegon Adviser Attitudes Report 2021

Final word – the simpler things in life Advisers have had a difficult year spent steadying the nerves of clients rattled by market falls caused by the pandemic, helping them focus on their financial wellbeing. Key legislative changes, such as MIFID II and PROD and looming ESG legislation, have driven advisers to enhance the advice process and the investments they recommend to meet the needs of clients. There are perhaps few positives to take from this past year, but the results of this survey do reflect some very constructive trends and underline the value of advice. We’ve seen an increase in engagement from clients as a result of the volatility caused by Coronavirus, particularly from those close to retirement as well as increasing prominence of ESG investing in both investors’ minds and advisers’ investment propositions. There’s also been a greater focus from advisers this year on creating consistent investment propositions that allow them to demonstrate both suitability and value for money in their recommendations. Often this has been achieved through outsourcing investment management and governance, and by opting for simpler and cheaper investment solutions. These trends represent huge opportunities for the industry. The pandemic has driven a greater appreciation of the environment and how wasteful and damaging endless consumerism can be. The industry would do well not to squander this impetus. We can do this by demonstrating in simple terms what a huge role ESG investing can have in driving the green agenda forward, and how much more effective investors’ collective billions in pension and savings investments can be in driving improvements to companies’ carbon emissions and corporate behaviours. The popularity of risk-targeted multi-asset funds demonstrates a desire by fund providers to provide investments that can deliver simple, all-in-one solutions that are easy for investors to understand and represent value for money. We expect this trend to continue, particularly as firms choose to offload regulatory and governance risk to third parties. 52 Aegon adviser attitudes report 2021