DALBAR Canada Study Finds Becoming A New Robo-Advisor Client Has Its Challenges 

TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DALBAR released results for its much anticipated Robo-advisor Onboarding Experience study. Opening a new account is a critical first point of contact between a service provider and a client. DALBAR set out to investigate the onboarding process between a robo-advisor and its new clients. The study reveals some robo-advisors are clearly falling short of peer performance as well as of Canadian investors’ expectations for service in the wealth management space.  Key service gaps include:      

  • Funding the account was the biggest challenge facing Canadian robo-advisors.
  • Several firms encountered serious technical and logistical challenges using live chat effectively.
  • It can take up to 8 steps to complete a new account open with a Canadian robo-advisor.
  • Almost all robo-advisors did not discuss when portfolios are rebalanced.

“The fintech revolution is expected to disrupt the wealth management industry, but we can’t lose sight of who is in the driver’s seat, the client will ultimately decide how much they will embrace this new segment and who they will trust to manage their investments…the stakes are very high, tolerance for errors is low, so developing strong client relationships at the onset will be particularly important,” said Anita Lo, Vice President, at DALBAR.

DALBAR employed a case-study approach where 45 mystery shoppers were recruited from across Canada and the US to participate in an investigation of the onboarding process by opening a new robo-advisor account. Mystery shops took place between April and June 2016 at 10 Canadian robo-advisory firms and 5 US firms. 

DALBAR, Inc. is the financial community’s leading independent expert for evaluating, auditing and rating business practices, customer performance, product quality and service. Launched in 1976, DALBAR has earned the recognition for consistent and unbiased evaluations of investment companies, registered investment advisers, insurance companies, broker/dealers, retirement plan providers and financial professionals. DALBAR awards are recognized as marks of excellence in the financial community.


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