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Reinventing Wealth Management with Technology-Enabled Video Services

The wealth management industry continues to face many challenges as it recovers from the financial crises of the past few years. And while financial markets have recovered most of their losses since 2008, investor confidence has not yet returned and volatility remains high.

Against this backdrop, investors now have access to a wide variety of investment information online, including analyst research, detailed company and sector financial reports, and data visualization tools previously available only to financial advisers. The combination of poor market performance, availability of information, and low-cost business models that put the investor in control are calling into question the fundamental value proposition of wealth management firms and their financial advisers.

To better understand the mind-set of wealthy investors, we conducted our first wealth management survey in January 2011. An important finding was uncovering a relatively young wealthy investor group we called “Wealthy Under-50s.”

As we shared the findings with our customers, new questions arose including:

  •  Is there a desire for technology-enabled interactions among younger wealthy investors?
  • Given that many clients value face-to-face meetings with their advisers, how often would they use a high-quality video option?
  • Is there a “right way” to deploy technology-enabled services and capabilities?
  • Would video services convince wealthy investors with no adviser to hire one?
  • What are the main barriers to the adoption of technology-enabled services?

To answer these questions and provide additional insights about wealthy investors, we conducted our second survey 18 months later, in April 2012.  The findings show rapidly shifting attitudes about wealth management and technology-enabled services. Specifically, we found:

  • After only 18 months, the behaviors and attitudes of the Under-50s in the first survey now extend up to age 55 (“Wealthy Under-55s”).
  • Although Wealthy Under-55s meet more often with their financial advisers, they are less satisfied with those interactions than older investors.
  • Wealthy Under-55s want more personalized investment recommendations, access to more diverse opinions and expertise, and more frequent access to their financial advisers than they currently receive.
  • Wealthy Under-55s believe that technology-enabled services that feature video-enabled access to financial advisers would provide them with better advice and more satisfying interactions than they receive right now.
  • Wealthy Under-55s are much more willing to change advisers.  Twenty-percent of them indicated they were likely to change their primary adviser in the next year, compared to only 4 percent of investors over the age of 55.

And perhaps most important for financial services firms looking to capture a share of this market, Wealthy Under-55s are willing to move at least some of their assets to firms that provide these services (57 percent in the United States, 54 percent in Germany, and 51 percent in the United Kingdom). Read More »

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