Conversations about clients’ well-being may overshadow conversations about finances in the post-Covid 19 world, said Jeffrey Lewis, financial advisor with Savant Capital Management, a Rockford, Ill.-based advisory firm with $7 billion in assets under management.

He posited that the best advisors will come out of the current crisis connecting with clients on a higher level and that the new behavior will likely carry over into the future.

“I think we saw some of this behavior change coming out of the ’08-09 financial crisis,” Lewis said in an interview Tuesday. “Advisors tried to connect with clients in a more personal way. The problem is we are creatures of old habits,” and many advisors in subsequent years returned to pre-crisis behavior of concentrating on just finances.

“If you’re not willing to change or make adjustments to your practice coming out of a difficult time like this, then someone who is willing to innovate and adapt is going to hire your clients away from you,” he said.

In the past few months, Lewis noted, he has turned himself into a life coach for his clients and suggests that other advisors should do the same if they want to succeed in a post-pandemic world. 

Covid-19 has provided advisors with an opportunity “to help provide peace of mind for their clients," he said. "We are finding that our conversations with clients are centered more around their well-being right now. This hasn’t happened before. In many cases, clients may need to have an emotional conversation, not a financial one.”

Recently, Lewis said, his firm has seen an uptick in clients looking to hire Savant from different geographic regions of the country. "I think this shows the importance of finding the right advisor for them as opposed to just looking for someone local,” he said.

The current situation “should be a reminder to advisors that having a financial plan, even when times are good, is vital to your clients’ financial success," he added. "Preparing for unforeseen events like this is part of the process and can help identify areas where your clients can improve their financial well-being going forward.”