Reuters-Forbes study says tech is key to wealth management

Thomson ReutersA Thomson Reuters-Forbes Insight survey on wealth management found that keeping up with new technology, staying relevant to the next generation of investors and finding ways to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into investment decision making as well as into the client-service process, are key factors defining the wealth management industry of today.
The ‘Digitalization of Wealth Management’ report 2018 is part of Thomson Reuters’ effort to help connect and empower the global financial community by harnessing proprietary data and analytics designed to add greater client value.


David Akellian, managing director and global head of Wealth Management at Thomson Reuters, commented: “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.”

Having surveyed 200 wealth managers from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, to better understand how wealth managers are using data and technology to adapt to changing client expectations, the survey includes key findings such as 68% saying that learning about and keeping up with new technology is the top challenge they face.

Additionally, 69% of industry participants surveyed are concerned about staying relevant to a younger generation of investors, while 41% say advanced analytics and cognitive technologies will have the greatest impact on the wealth management industry over the next three years.
While they believe the mobile platform is the digital capability that clients value the most, only 27% currently have and are happy with their own. Artificial Intelligence is well regarded as an opportunity, with 72% agreeing to that.
David Akellian, managing director and global head of Wealth Management at Thomson Reuters
David Akellian, managing director and global head of Wealth Management at Thomson Reuters

65% of the wealth managers surveyed 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.

“The industry challenge and the opportunity, is helping ensure that wealth 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”, Akellian added.
‘Digitalization of Wealth Management’ comes to the conclusion that the role of the financial advisor could change dramatically in the next few years, as 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.
The Thomson Reuters-Forbes Insight report finds that advisors are clear about what they need from their technology going forward: Access to client information on one screen, prioritized for current events; Meaningful personalized advice at their fingertips or for their clients directly.
The wealth management industry has trillions of dollars in managed assets at stake. It is a race no wealth manager wants to lose. Additional features they are looking to incorporate are: 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.