DFM satisfaction study shows little room left for complacency from providers

17 June 2020

Our fifth discretionary fund manager (DFM) satisfaction study, based on feedback from adviser firms that have outsourced their client investment assets to third-party discretionary managers, shows a slight drop in overall satisfaction.

Our latest DFM satisfaction study measured the relative importance of 14 satisfaction categories to advisers, including provider brand, and service, and identified their preferred DFM providers.

The study also measured how satisfied the advisers were with their preferred DFM providers and identified where expectations were being met by cross-matching ranked importance to ranked satisfaction.

A slight drop in overall satisfaction

Our survey showed a slight drop in overall satisfaction, but the top seven categories: quality of staff – investment, service, investment flexibility – range of options, investment flexibility – range of assets, ease of doing business, existing business administration and quality of staff – administration, continue to score high in terms of importance. Client on-boarding and quality of literature have both dropped by 5% however.

While three categories, including existing business administration and investment flexibility – range of options, are meeting expectations and a further four are exceeding them, expectations are not being met for 7 out of the 14 service categories, including quality of staff – investment and service, the top two service categories. Our previous study showed that four out of the top five categories in terms of importance failed to meet expectations, while this year, only three out of the top five failed to meet expectations.

Providers mustn’t become complacent

On average, advisers are using 2.5 providers for DFM services. Responses were dominated by a handful of DFM firms, but the tail is getting longer with more firms beginning to gain traction in the market.

“Overall it appears that DFMs are continuing to improve satisfaction in the adviser market. However, it shouldn’t be ignored that several categories have seen a fall in satisfaction and some are failing to meet expectations,” Pan Andreas, Head of Insight and Consulting (Funds and DFM) comments. “On average, advisers use 2.5 providers for DFM services so the providers mustn’t become complacent, acknowledge the importance of adviser relationships and continue to improve their standards across the board” he adds.

Want to learn more?

For more details, including the individual satisfaction scores, download our 2020 DFM satisfaction study for free here.

About Service Ratings

We use the results of the survey to rate providers Gold or Silver based on their overall satisfaction score. These Service Ratings help advisers in choosing the appropriate provider partners for them as they are based on the feedback we receive. They are available to view and use within Defaqto Engage, our end-to-end financial planning solution.

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