As we explored global consumer attitudes, three distinct consumer personas emerged from our 2017 Global Distribution & Marketing Consumer Study for Investment Advice, each with specific characteristics related to what they value most from their investment advisors, how they want to access investment services in the future, and how they would like their advisory firms to embrace digital innovation. 

The three personas are:

  • Nomads. This is a highly digitally active group, ready for a new model of delivery and relationship.  Nomads select an advisor after extensive online “shopping” and are not tied to traditional financial services providers.  They value digital innovation and want new ways of accessing services and advice.  They are also very open to receiving advice that is exclusively computer-generated.  Within Europe, there are wide regional variations as to the prevalence of Nomads; they constitute only 24 percent of respondents in the Nordic countries, for example, but 44 percent of respondents in Spain. 
  • Hunters. This group is driven by receiving value for money and searches for the best deal on price.  Human advisors remain crucial for Hunters – they cannot live with computer-only advice. Hunters also want to use traditional investment advice providers.  As with Nomads, the distribution of Hunters varies widely from region to region within Europe; for example, they are relatively common in France at 27 percent and relatively rare in Italy at 12 percent. 
  • Quality Seekers.  For Quality Seekers, the key elements are high quality, responsive service and protection of personal data.  They want providers who will put their interests first and keep their personal information secure.  More than half of Quality Seekers will share data with trusted providers, but they remain cautious.  Quality Seekers would also value a more data-driven relationship, but they need the right assurances about security.   Quality Seekers are the largest persona in many European countries and regions including Benelux (54 percent), Germany (48 percent) and Spain (44 percent).

In my next blog, I will look at some of the implications for investment advisors resulting from the emergence of these new consumer personas and from overall shifts in consumer behavior and expectations identified by our study. 

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