Wealth management digital transformation is accelerating at a pace as rapid as technology advancement as a whole.
Financial advisors and investment groups must adapt or get left behind, as disruptive trends in digital wealth management like the following emerge:
If you want to be a leader of digital transformation in wealth management, here are seven characteristics to embody, inspired by the Roubini ThoughtLab report, Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership.
Wealth management leadership teams make digital transformation a priority for their businesses. They have a clear idea of how embracing digital platforms will create business growth and goal achievement. According to the Roubini ThoughtLab report:
The digital vision influences all business strategy and operations. It’s taken into consideration whenever a business evolves. As a 2020 Forbes Technology Council post states, a digital transformation must be a holistic, company-wide effort to succeed.
With a vision in place, digital leaders create a plan that helps them stay on the digital transformation path. First, digital leaders assess how their current progress in digital developments benefit their customers and their business. Knowing where they want to be, they create a plan with timelines, goals and milestones to achieve as they work toward their long-term goals.
Digital leaders know a digital plan is ongoing. Technology continues to evolve, and so do digital needs. Plans are updated as progress is made and new trends emerge.
Succeeding at a digital transformation requires buy-in from throughout an organization. Innovation is highly prioritized in company culture. Teams are encouraged to contribute ideas, report on industry successes that might help their business, provide feedback and strive to be leaders.
One way to encourage digital collaboration is to set up an internal communications hub, where teams and employees can share news and ideas, ask questions and get updates on the digital transformation a firm is undergoing.
Creating a digital focus is also a way to increase employee engagement. Gallup reports that employees who use their strengths at work are more engaged and less likely to quit. Identify employee strengths and align them with how they can contribute to the digital transformation at your firm.
According to Deloitte, one of the main disruptors to the wealth management industry is the “re-wired investor.” This new wave of investors, including Gen X and Gen Y investors and Baby Boomers who are influenced by the digital transformation, want to be treated as individuals with specific preferences and goals. They want to receive tailored advice and are willing to do their own financial research. They want access to multiple investment channels and want simple, intuitive and self-directed investment capabilities.
Digital leaders recognize the influence the re-wired investor has on the industry. Digital leaders make customers the center of their digital transformation strategies. Digital leaders analyze how customer expectations are changing and make sure their firm is adapting to fulfill them now.
Digital leaders take on a startup mentality, making product development an agile process that relies on continual building and testing. Wealth management products from digital leaders are updated as customer needs change. Digital leaders use the cloud to develop products and shorten their times to market.
Because digital leaders view digital transformation as a continuous journey, product development is viewed similarly. Making the product improvement process faster and easier using cloud technology keeps digital leaders on pace with customer expectations.
Big data and analytics provide firms with increased capabilities to serve customers. Algorithms can track the digital environment activity and adjust company responses. Data boosts predictive capabilities, helping to guide decisions in uncertain conditions. Analytics help firms understand business impact and customer response, while reporting and monitoring of financial and operational performance help firms make smarter decisions.
According to Roubini ThoughtLab, 94% of digital leaders use business analytics. Adopting the right financial technology (fintech) early on is an advantage. Roubini reports that 88% of digital leaders have a range of fintech capabilities, and 85% use scanning systems to identify emerging technologies. Showing clients that your firm is invested in digital technology like cybersecurity methods helps increase client confidence in your business.
A vision and plan mean nothing without the people to execute it. According to Roubini, 94% of digital leaders provide training on technology and business, and 79% create dedicated digital teams.
Digital leaders in wealth management have strategies for attracting, hiring and retaining technology talent across management levels and among business teams. There’s no longer a sole focus on hiring the best in wealth management. Hiring the best in technology is also a priority for wealth management digital leaders.
Wealth management digital transformation trends will continue to emerge as technology evolves. Investors expect advisors and firms to keep up.
As new generations of investors continue to demand access to wealth management technology to serve their investment needs (and older investors take note), firms must transform now. That requires a customer-centric digital vision, plan and team at the forefront of wealth management digital technology and product development.