Demand for financial advice in Europe will increase by "more than 20% this year", with changing attitudes brought on by the global pandemic a key driver, according to deVere Group's European head.
DeVere Europe,has this week surpassed more than £1bn of assets under management (AUM) in Europe alone for the first time, prompting James Green, pictured above, deVere Europe Divisional Manager, to make the bold 2021 forecast.
Worldwide, deVere Group has $12bn AUM, with £1bn of this now in Europe. deVere Europe, has 11 different regulatory licenses including for asset management, insurance and investment.
People will need advice on how to put their excess savings to work for them, especially in today’s almost zero interest rate environment, and will be seeking to top-up their investment portfolios,” James Green, deVere Europe
Green believes the rise in interest in financial advice will continue based on three key drivers that began last year and will accelerate over the next 12 months.
"First is the financial impact of the pandemic on individuals, households and businesses around the world," says Green. "Suddenly, unexpectedly, many realised that they didn't have sufficient money behind them, they didn't have contingency plans. The value of professional financial advice comes to the fore when life-opportunities for you and your loved ones are at stake.
"In addition, many households in developed economies across Europe have accumulated more savings than they usually would, due to the lack of services, travel and leisure activities on which to spend their incomes.
People will need advice on how to put their excess savings to work for them, especially in today's almost zero interest rate environment, and will be seeking to top-up their investment portfolios."
The second main driver is the push towards the industry becoming more accessible, Green adds. Over the last year, we have pushed towards bringing more low-cost solutions to market, thereby opening up the benefits of financial advice to even more individuals," he said.
"This is in addition to our growing fintech offerings, which are by their very nature, accessible 24/7, ‘on-the-go'. The convenience and flexibility they offer allows for increasing engagement."
Green added that consolidation of the industry is also driving increased activity, with many European IFA firms expected to consolidate their positions in the market this year due to "changing regulatory requirements and shifting trends and client expectations".
"This will see some firms exit the industry or downsize and we could see a flurry of acquisitions," he added. "Exceeding £1 billion AUM in Europe alone in the first quarter indicates that 2021 will be a year of significant growth and development for deVere Europe and the wider industry as the world looks ahead to a post-pandemic future."