This guest post is written by Microsoft Partner Customer Effective, consultants and solution implementors serving mid-market and enterprise organizations worldwide.

Recently, Cerulli Associates Inc. conducted research on 400 affluent households with investment portfolios of at least $10 million. InvestmentNews got a sneak peak at the report, which is entitled "Cerulli Special Quantitative Update: Investors in the High-Net-Worth and Ultra-High-Net-Worth Marketplace." Of U.S. households having investible assets of $10 million or more, 57% now work with at least five financial advisors. Furthermore, almost 64% are working with four or more advisors. According to Cerulli, this is a significant increase, as only 16% of high net worth households worked with at least four advisors in 2008. Evidently, highly affluent investors have begun to spread their assets around as they seek diversification, safety, and expertise on more complex alternative asset classes. Since the financial crisis and market crash of 2008 really changed everyone's outlook on investing risks and rewards, wealthy households are now seeking additional opinions on their portfolios. For instance, per Cerulli, merely 18% of today's high net worth households only utilize one financial advisor. Cerulli's research also reveals that over the past year, 44% of high net worth households switched to a new primary financial advisor. As affluent families seek a second or third opinion on their investments, they will often test out a new financial advisor with a relatively smaller amount of money at first. If satisfied with the relationship and results, the client will usually slowly reward the advisor with more assets to manage. Such an occurrence is a ripe opportunity for the fortunate newly selected advisor to possibly become the de facto trusted advisor and win even more business.

Additional findings from Cerulli reveal that, on average, primary financial advisors speak with their high net worth household clients about 50 times per year, which includes around 13 extensive face-to-face meetings. Cerulli's research also finds that almost 67% of these multi-millionaire households have very lofty expectations in terms of portfolio performance, as they are seeking investment returns of 15% or higher. That being said, related research from the Spectrem Group surprisingly affirms that poor investment advice, underperforming investments, and unreasonable expectations on rates of return are not the primary reason affluent clients leave their advisor. The number one reason why high net worth households fire their financial advisor is because they did not receive a call back in a prompt enough fashion. Respondents to Spectrem's survey indicate that 72% expect a phone call to be returned by their advisor within the same day.

Such a high level of contact with such a demanding and highly profitable client makes it imperative for financial advisors to have a robust CRM system, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, in place as the cornerstone of their practice. Built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, the scalable and collaborative Capital Effective for Wealth Management front-office web based relationship management system is tailored to meet the unique needs of top-producing financial advisors. Designed to serve as the hub of the integrated Advisor workstation, Capital Effective for Wealth Management can enable advisors to improve the level of service provided to those high net worth households that, more than likely, may be secretly clamoring and searching for a better advisory relationship. Since CRM is the comprehensive central repository for all client data, meeting notes, emails, phone conversations, upcoming tasks, opportunities, documentation, referral sources, reports, and dashboards, such as the one below, advisors will be more organized and able to return a client's call more promptly.

As the intuitive, familiar features of Microsoft Outlook are directly accessible within CRM, financial advisors will spend less of their day on cumbersome administrative work and toggling between applications. Instead, producers at elite financial advisory practices will have more time for cementing trust and nurturing relationships with multi-generational high net worth households, who can be extremely demanding as noted above. Wealth management firms that equip their financial advisors, branch managers and client service associates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and the Capital Effective for Wealth Management platform will find opportunities to grow greater client share of wallet and total AUM.

Please visit www.customereffective.com to gain more insights on how Capital Effective for Wealth Management can help enhance advisor productivity, improve client service, and cultivate long-term, profitable relationships with high net worth clients.