One day after the House of Representatives passed legislation that could increase limits on 401(k) and IRA contributions, UBS PaineWebber private client group President Mark Sutton says brokers and branch managers could do a much better job at encouraging retirement savings.
“We face a challenge at our firm right now, and that is getting our financial advisers on the phone and having those types of conversations that are difficult to have,” Sutton told attendees at the SIA’s 6th Annual Savings, Retirement & Estate Planning Conference being held at the Marriott World Trade Center today and Friday.
Brokers and branch managers have not done a great job managing expectations, Sutton said. And with the recent downturn in the market, telling clients that they are behind schedule in their retirement savings schedule, and encouraging them to stick with their long-term strategy can be uncomfortable, he said.
“One of the issues we face also is getting our managers involved,” Sutton said. “They’re afraid to go back and re-engage their financial advisers.”
He urged executives from the brokerage firms and mutual fund companies attending the conference to seize upon the momentum created by the House’s action and encourage brokers to become proactive. “We have to redouble our efforts to communicate even more effectively to our clients, [to tell them] that it’s in times like these that you have the opportunity to make long-term imvestments that can make a significant difference in your retirement,” he said.
In addition to his retail post at UBS PaineWebber, Sutton is also chairman of the SIA.
“We need to be out there at a time when our clients need us most,” he preached. “At our firm, we’re trying to provide our advisers with products that will at least get them on the telephone and promote a discussion with clients about these issues.”
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