Trends 2017: Wealth Management

Easy, quick, navigable digital access and delivery have made the impossible possible. Consumers can easily search, buy or communicate online – anytime, anywhere. So why would we not – how could we not – replicate that essential digital experience across wealth management?

Digitization fosters progress, and it is incumbent upon all of us to deliver solutions and offerings that are meaningful for today's investor.

Digitization in wealth management is fundamental to fueling progress, optimizing efficiency, facilitating communication and maximizing growth. If there was any doubt, consider the unprecedented disruption our industry has witnessed in the past few years:

  • Increases in regulatory requirements, such as the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule, have put significant demand on organizations such as yours. As you work to comply with each regulation, there are corresponding concerns regarding management of resources and issues related to governance, legality, risk, security, data, analytics and reporting. That can stress even the most buttoned-up firm
  • Digital investment assets are predicted to grow from $50 billion in 2015 to $400 billion by the end of 2018, according to a recent Aite report. Although that represents a fraction of all assets, our industry must prepare for a growing shift in investor preferences. Most financial advisors today are not using a digital platform, yet many investors say human interaction and the complement of a more digital experience is appealing
  • Customization and personalization are on the rise as investors look for experiences that enrich their wealth management journeys. Gathering rich data that identifies your customers' behaviors and needs enables your organization to make meaningful recommendations based on investor preferences. That spells growth potential for your business

Digital technology also addresses other pressing wealth management needs, including client onboarding, account servicing, on-demand reporting and accelerated trade settlement, such as T+2 settlement. Those and other developments build a compelling case for investment in digitization.

Robo-advisor startups have set a new standard for wealth management, from account activation to servicing. Other wealth-tech newcomers now offer in-demand features, including impressive user interface design; intuitive predictive features that make recommendations; communication, sharing and selection of investment options through social media; and advanced cognitive and analytics solutions. In addition, our industry has been influenced by retail banking, in which innovations in the user experience, determination of client preferences and mobile tools have increased consumer engagement, transaction volumes and revenue growth for clients.

The virtual advisor office and end-investor experience will continue to evolve, transforming the wealth management experience for all participants. Digitization fosters progress, and it is incumbent upon all of us to deliver solutions and offerings that are meaningful for today's investor.  Any interaction in financial services must be easy and echo your customers' everyday buying experiences. In doing so, you'll reap the benefits of customer loyalty, growth and opportunity.

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