Asset management and the importance of close client relationships
Private banking has already been facing a year filled with challenges, following a 2022 year marked by sharp decreases in value for all types of assets. The uncertainty surrounding economic growth, ongoing inflation, rising interest rates, and recent disturbances in the banking sector will continue to influence events during the upcoming months.
In view of this situation, having a financial advisor is more important than ever, because it is during stressful times like these that investors tend to make more mistakes when making financial decisions: selling off securities during times of upheaval can cause major losses when trades are made below the prices paid, with the chance of benefiting from rebounding prices also being lost.
“In the current climate of uncertainty, which is being reflected in high levels of market volatility, it is essential to have access to the type of highly professional financial advising we can offer, and this is something that our clients really value,” says Miguel Ángel Segura, general manager of MAPFRE Inversión.
The importance of a close relationship between advisor and advisee cannot be overstated, because this is what creates the kind of trust that becomes so critical when a saver’s assets are at stake. At MAPFRE, this is something we know very well. “Every day, we strive to ensure that everyone involved will understand what we are communicating: clients, agents, intermediaries, and of course ourselves as well. But above all, we want to make sure that our clients really know what is happening”, adds Daniel Sancho, head of investment at MAPFRE Gestión Patrimonial.
Providing good explanations of products and their risks must be given top priority in this environment, and doing this becomes much easier and more effective when there is a close advisor-client relationship. MAPFRE Gestión Patrimonial, or MGP, is the insurance group’s unit offering professional financial advising, and it has just opened offices this year in the Spanish cities of Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, and Málaga, as a way to maintain closer relationships with clients and customers in those regions.
These three new offices have now joined those already existing in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Seville, and Zaragoza. MGP also has plans to continue with this strategy by opening new offices in other Spanish cities, with the aim of enhancing its local presence and availability for its clients.
When opening its new office in Palma de Mallorca, MGP took advantage of the opportunity to announce its new strategy, which features a plan to increase its number of clients by 20% by the end of the year, while expanding the number of financial agents its employs to 200, from the current figure of 170.
Making client protection a priority
Protecting its clients is another key element of MGP’s strategy, as a way to offer a competitive advantage compared to other advising firms that are not backed up by the type of solvency seen in this case with the MAPFRE insurance group. It is also worth mentioning that MAPFRE plans its own investments using the same strategies it recommends to its clients and customers.
In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on investment based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Rising interest rates have also brought fixed-income securities back into the minds of investors, as increasing yields are making these options more attractive again.
A multichannel approach
Remaining available is important, and not just through local offices. There is also a need to provide channels for communication through the Internet or over the phone, to ensure the best opportunities for communication between advisors and their clients.
With this objective in mind, in November of last year MAPFRE Gestión Patrimonial launched a new version of its app known as MAPFRE AFIN, which helps its users take better advantage of their savings. They can use this app on their smartphone to select the most appropriate investments, and to track the evolution of their contracted products.