Keeping up with new technology, staying relevant to the next generation of investors, and finding ways to integrate artificial intelligence into investment decision making and into the client-service process, are some of the key issues facing the wealth management industry today.
That’s according to the findings of a new Thomson Reuters report, Digitalization of Wealth Management 2018, which has been produced in conjunction with Forbes Insights.
In order to better understand how wealth managers are using data and technology to adapt to changing client expectations, Thomson Reuters and Forbes Insights surveyed 200 wealth managers from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
The report reveals that 68 per cent say learning about and keeping up with new technology is the top challenge they face, while 69 per cent are concerned about staying relevant to a younger generation of investors, and 41 per cent say advanced analytics and cognitive technologies will have the greatest impact on the wealth management industry over the next three years.
Only 27 per cent currently have and are happy with their mobile platform, even though they believe this is the digital capability that clients value most, while 65 per cent spend most of their time on client acquisition and onboarding, followed closely by providing advice, and client objectives and risk tolerance. Many believe technology can help them become more efficient with each of these tasks.
Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of those surveyed see artificial intelligence as an opportunity.
“There is no doubt that wealth management firms and their advisors are now at a turning point, and have a great opportunity to reinvent themselves in order to both deliver an exceptional digital experience for the digital natives as well as to define a new generation of high touch services,” says David Akellian, managing director and global head of Wealth Management at Thomson Reuters. “The industry challenge and the opportunity, is helping ensure that these firms and their advisors are better equipped with the AI, advanced analytics, insight and technology necessary to meet their clients rapidly evolving investment and service needs.”
The report further notes that the role of the financial advisor could change dramatically in the next few years. Not only will many clients expect better tools of engagement, but advisors will likely be serving even more clients and for lower fees. They will want to “know” their clients with the speed and precision of machine learning. With trillions of dollars’ worth of managed assets at stake, advisors are clear about what they need from their technology going forward: Access to client information on one screen, prioritised for current events; Meaningful personalised advice at their fingertips or for their clients directly; Automation to free advisors to spend more time with clients; Communication tools for the next generation; and augmented decision-making capabilities for advisors and their clients.