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New Refinitiv report highlights rapidly changing expectations of self-directed and advisory clients


Refinitiv has released the findings of its Wealth Management report titled ‘The Gold Standard: The Race for Digital Differentiation’ – the second in a two-part series and examines how investors’ trading activities, data needs and digital expectations have changed and continue to evolve.   

‘The Race for Digital Differentiation’ report is based on research commissioned by Refinitiv that surveyed 1,030 self-directed and advised mass affluent investors, located in nine global financial centers: Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and US.

The study finds that self-directed and advisory clients’ needs are rapidly changing in this new, more digitally oriented operating model. In the future, they will need new data and digital capabilities to take advantage of promising investment opportunities and avoid potential risks, supported by more advanced tools that allow for better digital collaboration and personalisation of the experience.
According to the report, only 37 per cent of investors globally give their platforms top scores for the digital experience, while 20 per cent of advisory clients will consider switching providers compared to 11 per cent of self-directed investors. Forty three per cent of investors meanwhile, use mobile applications to access their investments and 72 per cent of investors say better integration of news updates is a key area for improvement by platforms.

A total of 80 per cent of investors say real-time data would enhance their analysis and 20 per cent of investors are not receiving alerts they would find helpful.

Charles Smith, Head of Digital Solutions, Wealth at Refinitiv, says: “The consequences of Covid-19 have emphasised just how vital it is to have a robust, customer-centric digital experience enriched with deep insights and analytics. Rather than settling for digital transformation progress in 2020, platforms need to set their sights higher and deliver a digital experience that meets and exceeds expectations.”
Ashley Longabaugh, Senior Analyst, Wealth Management Practice at Celent, says: “The wealth management industry is at an inflection point between serving NextGen clients and creating innovative platforms for a NextGen workforce—all against the backdrop of an accelerated transition to remote and digital service models. As we move through 2021, we will see wealth management firms accelerating their digital initiatives by prioritising proven technologies while adjusting their business models to serve a breadth of clients more effectively on a scalable platform. A key takeaway from engaging in a remote-only wealth management experience was the realisation that the client journey was an area of improvement for many FIs.”
April Rudin, CEO and Founder at The Rudin Group, says: “The era of hyper-personalisation in wealth management is here to stay, and in the minds of investors, financial advisors are only as good as their last client experience. Refinitiv’s latest report shows that only 37 per cent of investors give their digital experience top marks. This means that there is significant room for improvement, and wealth platforms must accelerate their efforts in order to win ‘The Race for Digital Differentiation.”
Will Jan, VP & Lead Analyst, Outsell, says: “Client investors have become more selective in choosing wealth managers and investment platforms, in search of those offering the best recommendations and insights. Digitalisation has become more critical in delivering and enabling the understanding of information quickly, thus a powerful competitive differentiator among institutions serving these clients.”

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