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PwC wealth survey finds few plan to strengthen their digital capabilities

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PwC has published its new Global CEO Survey for the wealth and asset management (WAM) industry looking at data from 185 CEOs across 45 countries between August and December 2016. 

While PwC found that WAM CEOs are confident about the growth prospects of their firms – with 92 per cent saying they feel confident or very confident about the future – only 10 per cent stated they plan to strengthen their digital capabilities.

Chris Andrew, managing partner at Hearsay Europe, offers the following comment on the disconnect between the appetite for technological innovation and what advisers in the field are actually asking for:

“The new PwC survey indicates that CEOs are feeling upbeat about the future, yet this optimism won’t necessarily be translated into money spent enhancing digital capabilities, especially for their distribution teams.  In a world in which clients want to use multiple communication channels, failing to invest in digital at the advisor level will not only stunt growth, it could threaten many asset and wealth management companies' ability to compete at all.

“Today’s clients seek advice in many different formats – from social media to advisor websites to email – and they also interact with advisers in increasingly different ways; for example, in our experience we have found that millennials often prefer to interact via text message.  With generational wealth transfer a top concern for advisers – during the next 30 years USD830 billion of wealth transfer will occur in the UK – it is therefore critical that an adviser can manage and trace their interactions across all of these channels to provide a consistent and informed service.

“Digital tools can empower advisers to tune into their clients on multiple communication channels.  Investment in technology will be crucial to the long-term growth and health of the WAM industry.”

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