Unified Wealth Management: Bridging the Client Engagement Gap

The evolution of the wealth management industry continues to transform client engagement as firms face increased competition in retaining and growing next generation assets. In this new era of always-on Investment Services, where web, mobile, tablet and social channels intersect, a comprehensive digital strategy is essential to delivering a unified wealth management experience that is tuned into the expectations of investors. As an overarching trend, many firms have come to recognize a client experience gap between varying generations of investors, and are actively looking for ways to bridge this gap as part of a greater sustainability strategy.

We recently hosted our fourth annual roundtable event bringing together banks, brokerages and investment executives to discuss, with our expert panelists, the importance of a unified wealth management strategy and the challenges that come with enhancing the client experience and developing a comprehensive digital strategy. The client experience has evolved from our last gathering to now focusing on client engagement and analyzing how users are utilizing online services across different investor pools.

The panelists consisted of Jim Goodwin, President at Riperian; Alois Pirker, Research Director, Wealth Management at Aite Group; Sophie Schmitt, Senior Analyst, Wealth Management at Aite Group; Scott Stathis, Managing Director and COO at BISRA; and Chris Psaltos, Vice President of Product Management at Scivantage. The panelists asked attendees what the 2-3 most important strategies were for each firm, as it relates to client engagement, in the next 12-24 months. Amongst the responses from the executives included addressing the emerging digital channels and creating an integrated online experience, streamlining the onboarding process, as well as better addressing client segmentation.

One of the main themes that were addressed during the session was capturing the young investors and retaining this segment through the online experience. Over one-third of U.S. individuals characterize themselves as self-directed online investors or traders, with Gen Y leading this segment (according to Aite Group). Gen Y investors are utilizing digital and online capabilities across the majority of their day-to-day activities, so they tend to be more comfortable with these channels. The challenge for firms lies in redefining the client relationship as investors make a shift from the traditional advisor/client connection towards the online channel.

In 2013, wealth management firms focused budgets on compliance and addressing the regulatory mandates. Now that institutions have a handle and better understanding of what is required from a budgeting perspective, most wealth management firms indicated in Aite Group’s recent research that enhancing the client experience has become a top priority for 2014. This will help bridge the gap between banks and brokerage firms through the online channel, ultimately enhancing client relationships.

Join the discussion in our LinkedIn group – The Bank Brokerage Executive Forum.

 

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