Solving the Millennial Client Dilemma
Source: FA-IQ, Jun. 28, 2017
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS, SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER, FINANCIAL ADVISOR IQ: Hello, I’m Rita Raagas de Ramos, from Financial Advisor IQ. With me is David Geibel, senior vice president and managing director of Girard Partners, an RIA within Univest Wealth Management. Financial advisors seem to be split with the way they view millennials as clients. Some of them actively pursue them, but some of them purposely avoid them. Those that pursue them say it’s a largely untapped client market. But those who avoid them say that they haven’t yet amassed the kind of wealth that would make it economical for them to pursue them. Where does your company stand in this debate of millennial clients?
DAVID GEIBEL, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & MANAGING DIRECTOR, GIRARD PARTNERS: Well, we certainly believe that you should pursue millennial clients because they are the future wealth clients for our business. And we think that is going to happen in as soon as 10 years. So, it is our practice. We’ve actually developed some solutions for the millennial client. They may not be the same type of portfolio that their parents are in in its construct or framework. But we think it’s very important that the millennial generation has started-- starts to come into the fold of wealth services.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: And do you target millennial clients in general? Or do you only pursue the millennial children of your wealthy clients?
DAVID GEIBEL: We actually pursue both. Certainly, millennials do not have the massive influence that perhaps their parents have, at this point. But we think it’s important to start tapping into that demographic today. But we also think it’s important that it’s a service to their parents, if their clients were actually helping out their children. There’s also been studies done, that a lot of clients' children aren’t necessarily going to go with the advisor that their parents have. So we think it’s important, that if we can start a relationship with the clients' children early on, to help them out, as well as pursuing millennials directly, it’s very important.
If you’re in this business for the long-term-- our firm’s been around for more than 20 years-- you have to start thinking about where the next generation of wealth is. And the millennial generation is larger than the baby boom generation. So we think it’s really important to start thinking about, and targeting, that demographic, even though it’s not as lucrative today as perhaps the boomer generation is.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: So it’s like a bet on the future, of this particular client group.
DAVID GEIBEL: Absolutely, and I think we all know that five, 10 years can move by pretty fast. We’re in 2017 already. And the baby boomers are starting to retire in droves. So, that’s come up on us pretty quick. And if you look at millennials, they're -- actually household formation is up. They’re starting to have children. They’re starting to buy homes. They’re starting to do all the things that their parents did in the 1990s, which means they’re going to start wanting to save more for their future.
RITA RAAGAS DE RAMOS: Thank you, David.
DAVID GEIBEL: Thank you.