Celent Defines the State of Online Brokerage Platforms in New Report

Commissioned by Scivantage, the report focuses on the latest trends driving the evolution and growth of online and digital trading to better serve an increasingly self-directed and advisor-led market

JERSEY CITY, NJ — February 2, 2015Scivantage®, a Global FinTech 100 technology provider of information-enabled software dedicated to transforming complex information and processes into intuitive user experiences for the financial services industry, and Celent, a leading independent research and advisory firm focused on business, technology and regulatory issues and their impact on the financial services industry, announced today the release of its latest report, “The State of Online Brokerage Platforms.” The research, commissioned by Scivantage, highlights the factors driving today’s growing self-directed and advisor-led market, as well as the latest developments and trends in trading activity and brokerage technology among this segment of investors.

“The wealth management industry has undergone significant operational shifts as a result of changes in financial regulations and the increased role of technology,” said Isabella Fonseca, Research Director, Celent. “In response to these broader industry trends, retail investors expect a more streamlined, hands-on trading experience, which has led to an increase in the self-directed population of traders. We’ve been engaging with this community of investors over the past several years to track how the evolution of client demands has caused brokerages to expand their offerings to support greater integration and engagement in the trading process.”

The development and extension of hybrid services across multiple platforms, including social and mobile, allow bank-brokerages to offer a more client-centric trading experience for investors. According to the Celent report, the self-directed investor segment is growing faster than the non-self-directed segment (4.9% and 1.4%, respectively), and brokers’ services are responding to this shift. Several key highlights from the Celent report include:

  • Social media and mobile channels are at the forefront of firms’ strategic plans, helping to optimize their connectivity with current and prospective clients and drive growth.
  • Mobile trading DARTs (daily average revenue trades) have been steadily increasing since 2012, with 13% of all trades placed on a mobile device in 2014.
  • The range of remote servicing options and functionalities (e.g., video, tablet and chat) available to bank and brokerage advisors has increased dramatically, enabling advisors to deliver solutions and insight to a broader audience, while also building new client relationships.
  • Technology trends include the development of hybrid (self-directed/partially advisor-led) services. Several major firms now offer hybrid investing services that support both DIY investors and those who prefer some professional guidance.
  • The average profile of the retail investor is expanding to include retirees, women, millennials and baby boomers, and as a result of this new demographic, firms are offering more free, in-depth educational programs and resources to better inform investors of the trading process.

“Retail investment is changing rapidly, and firms will continue to expand with more advanced capabilities and solutions that meet the demands of a dynamic clientele,” said Chris Psaltos, Vice President, Product Management, Scivantage. “Now more than ever, institutions are dedicating resources to digital strategy, and the implementation of a multi-channel platform – supporting mobile, web services and social engagement – is essential for servicing the needs of today’s investors. Such functionalities, as well as data analytics capabilities, will evolve even further over the next year to address new trends among active traders and investors, and to also help differentiate firms in today’s competitive market.”

For additional insights from the new report, listen to a recent Webinar (http://scivanta.ge/1DosO6Z) featuring Psaltos and Fonseca discussing the outlook for online brokerage platforms, and valuable insights to differentiate and grow the online brokerage channel.

To download the full report, “The State of Online Brokerage Platforms,” click here (http://scivanta.ge/1D6oxrb) to visit Scivantage’s website.


The online brokerage market consists of investors with a wide range of trading activities, demographic profiles, and risk tolerances. Celent defines investors as falling in the following three categories:

  • Traditional investors. Long-term investors with sporadic trading activity (<3 trades per month). This defines the largest proportion of self-directed investors.
  • Active investors. Investors trading between 3 and 10 trades per month. Active investors tend to use a wider range of tools than traditional investors.
  • Active traders. Investors trading over 10 trades per month. This group of investors tends to be more self-directed and is less interested in advice. Occasionally, firms will define a fourth segment for those who trade hundreds of times per month. These “hyperactive traders” tend to consist of individuals who trade for a living or may trade on family accounts.

About Scivantage

Scivantage® is a Global FinTech 100 technology provider of information-enabled software dedicated to transforming complex information and processes into intuitive user experiences for the financial services industry. With proven expertise in online brokerage, tax and portfolio reporting, and wealth management applications, Scivantage delivers intelligent and actionable information that goes beyond the boundaries of traditional financial software, helping improve investment decisions. Leading financial institutions, including broker-dealers, mutual fund companies, bank custodians, trust and prime brokers, depend on Scivantage’s cloud-based technology to achieve critical business insights, generate new revenue and build stronger customer relationships. For more information, please visit www.scivantage.com or contact us at +1.866.724.8268.

Transcending Technology™

About Celent

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is part of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Posted in Press Release.