BMO – A Podcast Series To Enable Better Client Conversations by Robert Huebscher
BMO Global Asset Management has launched its new podcast series, “Better conversations. Better outcomes.” The 33-episode series provides actionable ideas to expand advisors’ businesses and tools to improve the quality of conversations between advisors and their clients. The series launched on September 12 and the first season will conclude in the first quarter of 2017.
The series seeks to tackle some of the challenging conversations that advisors face with their clients and provides access to industry experts across a broad spectrum of the wealth management industry. Each episode will be 15 to 30 minutes and topics range from retirement planning, use of alternative investment, and fixed income to niche subjects such as living to 100, women and wealth, tax loss harvesting and much more.
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I spoke with Ben Jones, managing director of intermediary distribution for BMO Global Asset Management and series co-host, about the series on September 16.
You’ve recently embarked on a major initiative, a series of podcasts called “Better conversations. Better outcomes.” Before we talk about that series, I’d like our readers to learn a little more about BMO Global Asset Management. How is your firm positioned in the asset management industry? What is the unique value that you bring to advisors and their clients?
BMO Global Asset Management is one of the 100 largest asset managers globally. We manage approximately $234 billion and we operate from a core set of beliefs. We believe in specialized investment teams who are empowered to focus on what they do best; open access to our portfolio managers and experts, so our clients know exactly what they’re thinking and why; and being easy to do business with by giving advisors a range of investment vehicles and share classes to access the formats that work best for their clients’ needs.
As far as a firm, we have a belief that in today’s environment, with the increased pressures of pending DOL rules as well as technology, like robo advisors, it is putting the interpersonal aspects of an advisor’s job at the forefront of their success as well as their clients’ success. We believe that better conversations result in better outcomes for advisors and their clients. We seek to enhance those conversations through ideas, access and ease of our solutions and advisor tools.
The podcast series was done in connection with the BMO Wealth Institute. What is that institute and how can advisors benefit from it?
The Wealth Institute is a collection of experts, both internal and external, who come together with their collective expertise to provide insights and strategies around wealth planning and financial decisions. It’s an effort to better prepare people for a confident financial future. The Wealth Institute used to be called the Retirement Institute, but we broadened the mandate a few years ago to cover all aspects of wealth planning.
The Institute’s reports are written with an end-investor audience in mind, and it’s done purposefully so that advisors can use them to educate their clients on topics relevant to their particular situation. The topics that the Wealth Institute covers are very broad, ranging from retirement to planning issues, tax issues and insurance topics.
What led to this podcast initiative?
The starting point was our value proposition: better conversations lead to better outcomes. From there, we started looking at the ways we could make it easy for advisors to access ideas from experts, both internally, externally and maybe even more importantly, from their peers. That meant not putting the information behind a password-protected site or having to send it to an advisor or different groups of advisors in a one-off manner. Instead, we wanted to provide content that could be shared endemically throughout the community. For those reasons we looked at all the different media and delivery mechanisms, and it naturally led to podcasts as the ideal choice for delivering this content to advisors.
You mentioned that some of the people who are participating are peers. Did you work with advisors in developing the series?
Yes, we certainly solicited topics and ideas from many different advisors around the country, as well as from different niches of advisors that might focus on corporate retirement plans versus high-net worth. We wanted to get an idea of the topics that they found most relevant as well as some of the conversations they found challenging, so we could add value by seeking experts who could help them with those conversations. We also have a number of advisors who will be joining the podcast and sharing what works both in their practices and for them personally.
As you know, there’s nothing more powerful than learning from someone who’s already put that concept into practice.
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