Profile Software’s recent event in London (hosted at The Landmark Hotel in London last June) was a great opportunity for wealth management executives to discuss key industry trends, keynoted by Mr. Ian Woodhouse, PwC, Director EMEA, Private Banking and Wealth Management.
Mr. Woodhouse’s “Wealth management industry challenges – opportunities and trends” presentation, outlined future trends for the sector, such as the evolving customer requirements, the changes in regulations and the increased need for transparency. These trends mark an inflection point for the industry where professionals and organisations are called upon to proactively adapt in order to succeed.
Particularly, the survey findings indicated how these changes (economic landscape, regulatory, technology and client-oriented) affect the role of UK advisors and relationship managers. This leads companies to restructure, divest, or merge, depending on their strategy. Furthermore, it becomes apparent that as the “total number of advisors has declined by over 40% in the last 18 months”, more changes are expected to happen.
Private Bankers and Wealth Managers alike, today face the same challenges. They need to:
• become more proactive and compliant to regulations,
• achieve an optimal level of client service,
• enhance their IT performance,
• offer transparent pricing to their customers, and
• invest in differentiated branding, sharing the company’s culture and purpose.
CRM attributes and interactions have to meet the pressures posed by regulators and clients. Technology becomes the key enabler to successfully onboard, service and retain clients.
Mr. Woodhouse presented the findings of a recent PwC survey on “what technology investments are expected” in the industry. More than a third of the respondents said that they plan to invest in CRM, 18% will focus on Portfolio Management systems and the same on Investment analysis. 15% of respondents said they will be concentrating on performance management, client reporting and regulatory issues. According to Mr. Woodhouse the positive trend for the industry is that they are starting to respond to digital trends. The rising use of mobile and tablets complement the advisers’ role and provide enhanced client information and experience.
Following his thought-provoking presentation, Profile Software’s executives (Dr. Michael Bakouris, COO, and Mr. Herbert Leonelli, Business Development Manager) focused on ways technology can become the instigator to convincingly meet these objectives and turn those challenges into opportunities, if properly channelled. Profile Software’s comprehensive investment management platform IMSplus, capitalising on accrued business experience in the industry while continuously being enhanced with new functionality, successfully accommodates rich functionality for CRM, reporting and performance management. IMSplus provides compliance according to local regulations and helps Wealth Management firms to effectively respond to the changing landscape.
Summarising, there is no doubt that the operational and regulatory environment is reshaping in the UK financial services sector. As in every similar situation, firms that can adjust will be able to not only survive but even take advantage of these challenges for their benefit. Technology is becoming the driving force to positively reshape one’s business, not only by providing the capabilities mentioned above, but, most importantly, by offering a differentiating level of service with a client-focused approach.