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Nitrogen’s 2024 Growth Survey: 5 Key Trends Shaping Wealth Management

Each year, the Nitrogen Growth Survey explores not only how well advisors are growing their businesses, but also what methods and technology are working, how they’re measuring the effectiveness of growth efforts, and what pain points they are encountering along the way. 

With these key findings, firms can better understand overall trends in the industry and craft intentional strategies based on their particular growth goals.

Click Here to Download the Full 2024 Nitrogen Growth Survey

The 2024 Nitrogen Growth Survey: Defining Advisor Goals, Useful Technology, and Excellent Client Experiences

As the financial industry continues to evolve, so does the Nitrogen Growth Survey, zeroing in on questions, insights, and motivations shaping firms in the here and now. 

In 2024, a total of 1,333 participants answered a total of 64 questions across five main categories:

  • Demographics, which revealed trends across the wealth management industry, including firms, advisors, and clients
  • Business growth, which explored how financial professionals are prioritizing their firm’s growth goals and how they plan to achieve that growth
  • Technology, which assessed what software firms are using most often and for what purposes, as well as how they’re measuring the effectiveness of that technology
  • Marketing, which centered on how firms are finding leads and the cost associated with such efforts
  • Client engagement, which focused on the intersection of client satisfaction, client engagement, and firm growth

Additionally, the 2024 survey included an in-depth analysis of compliance challenges and successes.


A Look Inside the 2024 Survey: 5 Key Findings to Know

1. Referrals are still king 

It’s not surprising that referrals are the number one method of gaining leads – research has been supporting that trend for years (see statistics reported by eMoney and InvestmentNews). But let’s take a closer look at that phenomenon:

Sixty percent of advisors identify referrals as their top-performing marketing avenue and 61% of advisors say most of their leads come from referrals. What do communication and engagement look like once those referrals become clients? One in ten advisors only communicate with current clients on an annual basis, and another 10% say they limit communications outside of regular meetings to sporadic instances or when clients call.

Moreover, only 9% of advisors are actually measuring client satisfaction through the use of surveys. These numbers indicate that while firms often find growth through referrals, they may lack the technology and processes required to keep a pulse on their current clients’ overall satisfaction. 

Related: Nitrogen’s Firmwide Solution Helps Generate Referrals and Secure New Business with 72% Advisor Adoption Across Firm

2. Advisors often prioritize new clients over existing clients

This year’s Growth Survey found that 71% of firms have both the desire and capacity to grow their book of business. However, a focus on gaining new clients over retaining existing clients may be hindering potential referral-driven growth.

When asked what strategies they believe are most effective in growing AUM and revenue, advisors were more likely to say “increasing their book of clients” than “prioritizing client retention and uncovering held-away assets.”

Since we know that referrals are the number one method of gaining new business, these results may present an opportunity for some firms to pivot their growth methods by focusing on client engagement and satisfaction over marketing to new leads.


3. Many firms are still hesitant to embrace automation in client engagement

Ninety-one percent of advisors believe that the right technology is a game-changer for client satisfaction. Yet, in a surprising twist, nearly a quarter of firms haven’t ventured into automating client communication at all.

However, we also found that Nitrogen customers were more likely to embrace technology in the pursuit of client satisfaction: Our users tend to engage with their clients at least on a quarterly basis and are more likely to touch base with clients on a weekly basis than their non-Nitrogen counterparts. Using automated tools, like Nitrogen Check-Ins, can help streamline client communication and quickly detect early warning signs if a client needs a little care.

Related: Why and How to Automate Client Engagement


4. Certain technologies are ranked higher than others

When asked what pieces of technology they believe are most important for overall firm growth, advisors pointed to financial planning software, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and risk tolerance software.

As they look forward to their technology plans for 2024, most advisors are hoping their tech stacks can grow AUM, increase efficiency, and increase client satisfaction.


5. Most advisors aren’t using compliance technology on a daily basis

Overall, advisors don’t have positive feelings about compliance. The majority of our survey participants ranked regulatory obligations as the biggest threat to growth, both now and when looking ahead to the next five years.

But while firms are worried about regulation, they aren’t necessarily using technology to ease that burden. Only 17% of advisors are using compliance technology on a daily basis, uncovering a startling gap in the integration of technological solutions designed to streamline and enhance regulatory practices. 

The 2024 Nitrogen Growth Survey is full of new insights, trends, and technologies shaping the wealth management industry. From how firms are prioritizing growth efforts to what challenges advisors are facing in their technologies and beyond, our survey provides key information to financial professionals in every phase of their careers. The data found in our survey also serves to confirm that real advisor needs are at the center of Nitrogen’s continuous software innovation.

Related: 5 Compliance Process Improvements to Help Your RIA Scale


Download Nitrogen’s 2024 Growth Survey

The 2024 Nitrogen Growth Survey is packed with insights and statistics that reveal what factors are driving wealth management innovation, practices, and technology across the industry.

Click here to download your free copy of the 2024 Growth Survey and learn more. 


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