A growing number of investors and advisors increasingly expect all communication to be paperless. There is a growing need to digitize the onboarding and account management processes in order to make it easier for advisors and investors to increase inflows.
Meeting this expectation is a top priority for most wealth managers who are not there yet. To add to the pressure, the next generation of investors will be even more dogmatic in their belief that paper plays no role in the service they receive from a wealth manager, and also expect a digitally archived history of communication—so the clock is ticking. The digital transformation we’re seeing (and supporting) at SS&C goes beyond online portfolio access for investors. By engaging “smart nudges,” wealth managers can update advisors of events that will keep investors informed, drive engagement and loyalty, and ultimately strengthen relationships.
The front office remains an area of key strategic interest, with many wealth managers engaging new systems to construct and rebalance portfolios more efficiently, and centralize investment process workflows. Audit and control of this function is becoming a top priority in a decentralized working environment. Firms are working to implement greater automation—from the initial onboarding of a new customer to all related business activities on their accounts.
A persistent challenge for wealth managers is the integration of front and back-office systems and downstream data management. Most wealth managers are painfully aware that investment in front-office and investor engagement solutions can only be valuable if systems are properly integrated into the wider front-to-back ecosystem.
Most wealth managers also feel the pressure of staying ahead of the regulatory trajectory and realize that the associated cost in the back office is increasingly unsustainable. Wealth managers in some domiciles face an overarching task of making sure that client money processes can be delivered regardless of higher volumes of accounts and transactions, requiring additional investment, changes to operations, and risk management.
In light of these priorities, challenges and opportunities, how are wealth managers investing their time and money? Which systems are they deploying to improve the client and advisor experience? How are they ensuring the back office can support this investment? How are they avoiding regulatory costs chipping away at profit margins?
At SS&C, we partner with some of the largest UK wealth managers; in 2020, we announced a new relationship with one of the UK’s leading wealth managers and the extension of our existing relationship with the UK’s largest wealth manager through to 2034. We are also very proud to have more than 100 wealth managers using our technology across Europe. To be a successful provider to the wealth management industry, a “build it and they will come” approach simply doesn’t cut it. We work closely with our prospects and clients to understand their challenges and opportunities, to map our solutions to their current and future priorities. We summarize this insight in our “Wealth Managers: Time to Shift Your Technology Priorities” whitepaper.
Written by Wade McDonald
Senior Director, Asset & Wealth Management