Advisors are seeing the benefits of continuing remote meetings with clients in addition to in-person sessions.

Christopher Jay, senior vice president and wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, says that his practice has “re-segmented” coming out of the pandemic.

“The deep-dive manager portfolio market planning stuff that was really collateral-heavy, we now only do virtually,” he said last week at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Private Client Conference.

“And then the in-person stuff is way more light touch, way more social — it’s dinners, events, concerts,” he added.

Jay said he initially thought there would be some resistance from clients.

“At first, I thought especially our more mature clientele would be like, ‘No, I want you to point this out on paper,’” he said. “They much prefer me highlighting it on Zoom and circling it on the screen and then when we’re together, we’re actually together.”

That combination of virtual and in-person meetings is here to stay, according to Don d'Adesky, managing director of investments and fixed-income capital markets at Raymond James.

D’Adesky recalled a meeting with an “entity client” in which one manager was in the room with his team while another manager and a risk officer were joining via Zoom.

“I do believe that’s going to be the new world that we’re in today — that it isn’t exclusively one or the other; it’s this combination,” he said at the conference.

Virtual meetings have allowed some to engage with multiple generations in a family more easily, according to Christina Anderson, vice president at Fidelity Investments.

Meeting virtually “has given us a great opportunity to engage the second generation in a more meaningful way” as family members in different locations can participate in the same meeting, Anderson said at the conference.

Matthew Wunder, a wealth management advisor at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company has also experienced this, saying that an entire family can be present for a Zoom meeting “to talk about the estate plan and the roles that grown kids might have to step into.”

“It brings a flavor, a feel and an opportunity to create intimacy that we would not have had,” he said at the conference.

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