Stephen Wall, Co-Founder, Head of Marketplace & Content, The Wealth Mosaic
For time immemorial, wealth management has been a personal business, face-to-face, relationship-based, done with paper-based reports and delivered by a human. Differentiation was about the brand, the history, the fancy address and, sitting at the top all of that weighty and longstanding reputational mass, a close and long-term personal relationship with each client. Technology was in the background and definitely not a point of differentiation.
The arrival of the digital wealth management movement over the last decade, technology-delivered and, (until more recently) without the option for any form of human relationship, ushered in a change to the way the wealth management model was sold to clients. Differentiation in this new world was about accessibility, fees, transparency, user experience, simple to market products and mass market appeal. A new form of wealth management and one that operated from the basis of a different set of differentiators from the traditional market.
However, despite the digital WM movement certainly making the traditional sector sit up, take notice and change some of its practices, the model has not taken a hold of the client opportunity for incumbents as much as early digital advocates had hoped. Looking forward from here, can the digital WM market grasp the opportunity and, if so, what will be the differentiators that will support the sector’s growth and relevance to new generations?
Discussion themes will include:
• What really differentiates wealth management providers? If we look at incumbents purely through websites, are they getting this across?
• If the "human touch" is essential to current customers, is this as true for new generation customers? ... Does "trust" look a bit different as your service becomes more digital?
• To differentiate, does a wealth management firm have to create their own digital solutions?
• How can firms find the right stakeholders and leaders to move ahead with customer-facing digital services?