The turmoil brought to the financial advice space during the Covid-19 pandemic led a large number of advisors to outsource investment management, according to a recent survey.
Thirty-four percent of advisors outsourced for the first time during the pandemic, FlexShares says it found in a survey of more than 550 advisors and “closely related professionals” conducted between January 10 and February 1.
The company, which offers passive and active exchange-traded funds, opined in a statement that the increased interest is likely due to “the high turnover and instability of this period.”
The survey also found that 23% of advisors who had already tapped third-party investment services before the pandemic increased their outsourcing over the past two years.
Among firms using outsourced investment managers, 95% said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their providers, while 53% said that using outsourced investment management let them boost their revenue, according to the survey.
Registered investment advisor firms are not using outsourced investment services as much as independent broker-dealers are, but RIAs are getting into the space at a faster pace, FlexShares says.
In 2020, the survey shows, 27% of RIAs outsourced, but that number had grown to 32% during the survey period. About half of IBDs use outsourcing, but that percentage has remained unchanged.
While IBDs outsource 39% of their assets under management, RIAs outsource around 50%, according to the survey. What’s outsourced also varies by channel: 25% of RIAs outsource their back-office work, compared to 15% of IBDs, while 38% of IBDs outsource investment manager research, compared to 22% among RIAs, FlexShares says it found. In addition, 27% of IBDs outsource due diligence and monitoring, compared to 17% of RIAs that do, according to the survey.