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Huge opportunity for advisers to engage with the next generation

30 Jan 2019

Two-thirds of those expecting to inherit £250,000 currently without an adviser

UK financial advisers have an untapped opportunity to expand their client base by building relationships with their clients’ beneficiaries. This is according to research from Octopus Investments, which works with more than 4,000 advisers across the UK.

Most advisers said they had an existing advisory relationship with only 20% of their clients’ beneficiaries. A large majority (58%) said they are actively trying to develop these relationships, however almost all (95%) said they faced at least one of the following barriers:


Barriers to forming relationships with a client’s beneficiaries

% of advisers who have encountered this issue

The beneficiaries have their own financial adviser


It’s simply not something that is discussed


The beneficiaries live too far away


Don’t know who the beneficiaries are


The clients are opposed to the idea


One third (33%) also said they find it difficult to have a conversation with clients about continuing the relationship with their beneficiaries. This is despite only 1 in 10 (12%) of advisers reporting that their clients were opposed to the idea.

Paul Latham, Managing Director at Octopus Investments, comments:

“It’s well-known that we don’t like to talk to our families about death, and it can feel even harder in a professional context. Yet in our experience, the conversation is nowhere near as bad as people expect. Most clients tend to understand the obvious benefits for their children or grandchildren and are often relieved if someone brings it up first.”

The research also revealed the extent of the advice gap that still exists in the UK. More than two-thirds of UK adults1 surveyed expecting to inherit £250,000 or more said they do not currently have a financial adviser.


Expected value of inheritance from parents

% that have a financial adviser

% that don’t have a financial adviser

Less than £100,000






More than £250,000



Paul Latham added:

“The benefits for both advisers and beneficiaries in maintaining the relationship are clear. The adviser is able to retain the assets under advice and add to their client base, but more importantly, beneficiaries receive invaluable advice on the assets being left to them.

The loss of loved ones is often an incredibly difficult and stressful time, never mind the added worry of any financial implications. For the beneficiaries, it can, therefore, be enormously helpful to have an understanding of what is likely to happen well in advance.

“Sometimes it can be relatively simple advice, like explaining what you should do if you inherit an equity portfolio, or explaining what a venture capital trust is. However, there have also been cases where beneficiaries have unnecessarily paid significant sums in inheritance tax because they didn’t speak to their parents’ adviser and hadn’t discussed plans with their parents.”

Keith Richards, chief executive, Personal Finance Society said:

“Intergenerational wealth planning is a key challenge and opportunity faced across the whole financial planning profession, requiring soft skills for effective engagement. Encouraging advisers to start conversations about legacy planning with their client’s beneficiaries, will not only benefit advisers but also spur consumers to tackle this tricky topic. Showing the value that financial planning can play at all stages in life will help to build awareness and trust in the profession more broadly.”


Notes to editors:

UK adults aged between 30 and 60 with at least one retired parent

Research was conducted by Opinium Research 28 November to 5 December 2018 among 1000 retirees over 65, 1000 adults over 30, with at least one adult in retirement, and 200 financial advisers.

For journalists in their professional capacity only. The value of an investment, and any income from it, can fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the full amount they invest. Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. We do not offer investment or tax advice. We recommend investors seek professional advice before deciding to invest. Issued by Octopus Investments Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 03942880. Issued: January 2019.