Worldsource Wealth Management Insight: Creating Capacity with Client Segmentation

What is Client Segmentation?

Client segmentation is the process of taking your entire client list and organizing them into specific categories or groups based on defined characteristics, metrics and preferences in order to deliver the desired streamlined services. This can be a subjective exercise, there is no right or wrong way to segment your clients. Your approach may use both qualitative and quantitative elements.


Research by Fidelity Investments shows that clients of a segmented advisor practice receive better client service, while advisors realize better efficiencies and greater potential for growth.

Segmentation is a customer-centric exercise that allows you to clearly define your service offering to each tier of clients based on their needs. You and your team will improve your productivity by allocating the appropriate amount of time and resources to each client, which in turn will increase your profitability.

When clients receive services and messaging that are tailored to their needs, they are much more likely to feel happier with your relationship, which increases their loyalty to your business.


The first step is to define what your goals are for your business. Do you want to acquire another business or grow organically? What are your pain points when it comes to servicing capacity? Knowing your desired outcomes will help you design your approach and allow you to use your time more effectively.


Assets under administration (AUA)

The most common and simplest method of segmentation is based on AUA, which is purely quantitative.
For example:

Assets Under Administration (AUA)Segmentation Tier
$500,000 - $1M+A
$250,000 - $499,000B
$100,000 - $249,999C
Under $100,000D

Unfortunately, this method only analyzes the basics of how clients can be viewed, and overlooks other important client attributes. A better way to segment clients may be using annual revenue, the client’s future potential, their tendency to refer new business, demographics, insurance business potential, etc.

Demographics or behavioural

Successful advisors look beyond the surface of their client relationships to categorize their clients. Qualitative characteristics, such as life stage, can provide much more effective insights into the appropriate servicing level for clients in similar phases. By using demographic and behavioural elements you can determine what the unique needs, pain points, financial planning needs, values, and expectations each group has.

For example, if you are developing your service model for an elderly client, consideration may be given to the suitability of virtual or in-person meetings. If your client has young children, you may consider client appreciation events that are designed for families (e.g. an afternoon at the cinema). For business owners, you may proactively facilitate meetings with the client’s other professional advisors such as accountants and lawyers. Other factors you may want to think about:

  • Client’s life stages: young accumulators (aged 35-45), older established accumulators (45-65), retirement and estate planning (65+)
  • Established professionals (executive, doctor, dentist, lawyer)
  • Adult children of important clients
  • Young families with school aged children, mortgage insurance needs, etc.
  • Elderly clients
  • Business owners

A combination of the two above methods would involve developing a ranking, point or weighting system that looks at characteristics that you may feel are attractive or important in a client:


  • AUA
  • Potential to refer more than 1 client per year
  • Revenue
  • Potential to bring in new assets
  • High future wealth potential (e.g. income, inheritance)
  • Has insurance policies with you
  • Center of Influence (COI)
  • You enjoy working with this client
  • Has all their assets with you
  • Client location
  • Workload (e.g. how much time/resources the client requires)

For example, you may decide to weight 5 categories from above and then rate from 1-5 (5 being top score) on each attribute:

DescriptionAssigned Weight
Referral potential25%
Growth potential10%
Enjoy working with10%

One method is not superior to another, and some advisors may choose to use a combination of segmentation methods to best categorize their clients.


Once you have defined the categories of your clients, you can then design your servicing package to each level of client based on the value you would like to provide and what will resonate with this group. Document what the client will experience in terms of service as it pertains to the following:

Client Experience
  • Investment offering
  • Insurance and estate planning offering
  • Communications: newsletters, emails
  • Meetings: phone, in-person and/or virtual
  • Events: what kind of events will they be invited to?
  • Other appreciation: Holiday card/gifts
  • Other touchpoints: calls on special occasions, education to next-generation children
PricingAre there any pricing implications at different tiers?
TechnologyUse technology, platforms and digital tools to enhance client experience
MarketingDetermine what type of marketing you will be sending to this tier


A great client segmentation strategy may seem time consuming but the reality is that once you standardize your practice into consistent processes, it will allow you to be more effective about the time that you spend per client. Not only will you increase client engagement, but you may also be able to develop marketing and retention tools to reduce risks of losing clients as well. In addition, proper segmentation of your client book can help you to align your resources to your clients’ needs, which will also lead to definition, attraction and retention of your ideal types of clients.

If you have other team members, they will become a part of these repeatable processes as well, which will give them a clearer vision of the business and their part in it.

Whatever your client segmentation method, consider monitoring and evaluating your strategy to adjust as needed. This will be important as your client base evolves and will help you to prioritize any changes based on your clients’ needs.


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Worldsource Wealth Management (WWM) is a fully integrated wealth management company focused on supporting Financial Advisors and building financial prosperity for Canadians. WWM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading financial cooperative in North America with over 100 years of dedication to the people and communities they serve. WWM is comprised of: Worldsource Financial Management Inc. (WFM) and Worldsource Securities Inc. (WSI), which are Dealer Members regulated by the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) and Members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), as well as IDC Worldsource Insurance Network Inc. (IDC WIN), one of Canada’s largest life insurance managing general agencies.


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January 09, 2024