In connecting a few of the dots over the past month, it would seem the bank channel has experienced a failure to communicate.

One of our articles details the plans of broker-dealers in the channel to help advisors improve on the soft skills needed for their jobs. They already know the more concrete aspects of investments and volatility that often accompanies it. But as our article illustrates, the ability to understand people and their motivations, and truly connect with them on a personal level, still eludes.

That same general issue also came up in a very different way when we hosted a webinar last month in which we touched on the topic of younger, millennial advisors.

The consensus is generally that younger team members can bring new skills to any program. They’re good with social media and they can, it is assumed, relate to younger clients and prospects. But Keith Weber, our main presenter in the webinar, made an intriguing observation that millennials have spent so much time on social media that many have not developed the finer skills that advisors need to succeed—the ability to communicate face-to-face with a client or prospect. In other words, the essential people skills.

Based on these ideas, it would seem that the youngest advisors excel at social media, while the older ones are good at the more technical aspects of the job, thereby leaving few who are truly at their best with client management.

This should serve as a wake-up call for banks and broker-dealers as they face a deluge of business from the ongoing wave of retiring baby boomers, most of whom are below the wealth threshold to be of serious interest at the wirehouses.

Indeed, banks have been saying for years that they are the logical place that many of these people will turn to for financial help. After all this time, it would be a shame to be caught unprepared because of something preventable like a skills shortage.

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