RegentAtlantic has long done quarterly webinars providing market updates for its clients, but when the full force of the coronavirus crisis hit in early March it kicked its webinar machine into high gear and has made them a weekly affair during the past few months. And in the process, it has expanded its reach beyond its existing clientele.

“At the beginning of the crisis our chief investment officer and our marketing officer suggested we do a spontaneous webinar to update people on what we were thinking about the markets, and things were changing so quickly at first that we did a weekly webinar during the first three or four weeks [of the crisis],” said Matt Masterson, a wealth advisor with RegentAtlantic, a Morristown, N.J.-based firm with about $4.5 billion under management. “We had such great response from our clients, prospective clients and other professionals that we continued with the webinars.”

Masterson spoke during a recent webcast on advisor best practices delivered by a handful of firms participating in the G2 Leadership Institute, a training program administered by The Ensemble Practice. In a subsequent interview, he described some of the specifics about how the webinars work and how he thinks they’ll shape the firm’s client communications going forward.

Since early March, RegentAtlantic has conducted 30-minute webinars every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Masterson noted that tonight’s webinar will discuss the potential long-term impact the pandemic-fueled economic shutdown could have on Social Security, including the possibility of an earlier-than-expected depletion of the trust fund for Social Security’s retirement and disability benefits, which is forecast to run dry by 2035.

Webinar topics have run the gamut from the quantitative (i.e., investment management) to the qualitative. The latter included a session on behavioral biases and how, for example, the urge to flee to cash during a financial crisis is the wrong thing to do.

“In our industry, it seems more and more that we’re becoming like coaches, especially as the investment stuff becomes commoditized,” Masterson said.

Participation Rate
Masterson said the firm uses Zoom’s webinar software. It also employs customer relationship management software from Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot to handle the logistics, such as contact management and tracking where attendees come from.

In addition, the firm’s marketing team uses Patch, a community-oriented website with news for local towns, to plug the webinars on local websites in areas where RegentAtlantic has a high concentration of clients.

“Our marketing team is typically blasting out the webinar invite on Friday for the weekend, and follows up with another reminder on Monday for the webinar that’s held Wednesday,” Masterson explained. “And they create a post about the webinar on LinkedIn, and we all share it with everybody.”

He noted that roughly 250 to 300 people have been tuning into the weekly webinars, and the firm’s tracking software indicates that about 25% of participants aren’t clients.

“It has opened up more people to RegentAtlantic and what we do,” Masterson said.

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