Another month, another successful TALK event! What we love most about these events is that they give delegates not only the chance to expand their knowledge on a particular topic, but also the opportunity to come together with peers (albeit virtually) and share best practice.

This month, we were joined by Dan Atkinson from Paradigm Norton and our very own Alanis Daniel, who were discussing the hot topic of vulnerability.

So, what was going on in the breakout rooms? We learnt that different firms take a different approach when it comes to outlining a vulnerable client. While some firms are on board with the Roboadvice element, others ask how this could possibly compare to a face to face meeting. Support staff are on hand within some firms and are specially trained in order to be able to spot the signs of vulnerability.

Then there was discussion around how to approach the subject of vulnerability with a client you may feel does not know they are vulnerable. Compassion and empathy were the keywords mentioned, whilst making sure that you have a general understanding of your client’s feelings and sensitively raising your concerns.

2020 was the year that face to face client meetings came to a halt, and therefore it became more difficult for advisers to pick up on the usually obvious signs of vulnerability, i.e. home environment. This led to discussion around advisers having to explore other avenues in increasing their emotional intelligence and picking up on signs of vulnerability that they may not have noticed/considered before i.e. does the client seem withdrawn/nervous?

One of the most poignant points to come out of the session was that of recommending local charities to vulnerable clients. This was something that a few firms were already doing and others were feeling encouraged to start offering. Action from this would be to research different charities for different causes in the client’s local area. If they are suffering from a long-term illness, is there a support group nearby? If they have confided in you about domestic abuse, do you have a contact number for a local service that could offer support? It’s the little things that go a long way and showing your client that you have their best interests at heart can put them at ease.

Thank you to everyone who attended the session and contributed to the discussions. The general consensus was to always approach vulnerability with kindness and care. If you need any further training on vulnerability, Apricity clients can access the annual test in our system. Alternatively, you can complete The Art of Finance ‘Advising Vulnerable Clients’ express course for just £25.

Jasmine Nattrass – Marketing and Events Coordinator