While wealth management firms and private banks clearly recognize the value of digital, only 56 percent possessed a formal digital strategy.
They have started to rethink their strategies and overall approach to digital. In fact, according to the recent KPMG Global CEO survey of more than 70 investment management CEOs, 47 percent say they expect their organization to be transformed into a ‘significantly different entity’ within the next 3 years.
Our interviews suggest that wealth managers are now starting to use the digital agenda to enable a more holistic view of the end-client. Many are now starting to talk strategically about providing ‘omni-channel’ access, using digital investments to improve integration between advisors, channels and clients. The more strategic are using their digital agenda to identify emerging service demands that can be addressed through new capabilities.
“We see digital as a way to transform the client experience and channels, replacing the existing model with an omni-channel model. We want to give the client the tools to engage with us when and how they need and want,” said one executive from an Asia-based domestic bank.
Around the world (albeit with greater ambition in North America), wealth managers and private bankers are starting to think more clearly about how they leverage digital capabilities and tools to streamline processes, improve data access and manage risks.
“One of our main goals for our digitalization program is to deliver more standardized global systems and processes. Ultimately, we hope to develop a single platform and find one tool for all our locations. There is a huge effort underway to standardize our infrastructure in order to be able to deliver one consistent experience for our advisors,” noted one European-based global bank.
As margins compress and competition heats up, we are seeing a ‘move to the middle’ from players across the financial services sectors, where everyone is angling to capture a greater share of assets under management (AUM). Digital is playing a central role in enabling this shift.
Retail banks that traditionally focused on life cycle lending and payment transactions are seeking to move up the value chain by launching digital advisor plays that help them secure a greater portion of their banking clients’ investable funds. On the other end, Wall Street brokerage firms that traditionally focused on ultra and high net worth segments are moving downstream by launching digital lending and payment offerings. Traditional insurance providers are also entering the fray, seeking opportunities to capture wealth share through digital channels by leveraging their trusted brands.
Clearly, digital channels and the digitalization of operations will play a key role in the competitive battle that is now underway as market participants continue their efforts to move to the middle and be the holistic providers to a wide array of consumers.