Financial institutions worldwide are focusing strongly on High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) having determined that these customers consume the greatest portion of high margin services and generate higher profits. The range and capability of investment facilities offered to customers is emerging as a significant competitive differentiation factor between institutions.
Younger professional people are now used to getting the investment information they want, when they want it, and they expect it 'online' from the web, mobile devices and social media. At the same time, the aging population of 'boomers' is significantly expanding the number of people actively managing investments for future retirement or current income. As more people become involved in their own investments and increase the scope of their portfolios and strategies, they require more sophisticated wealth management tools and a new collaborative relationship with their advisors.
Financial Advisors are too often not listening to or responding to the evolving new requirements of the investors especially the HNWIs and the younger investors. Many providers in the financial services sector are still in denial that a massive change has already occurred and are still operating under the 'leave it all to us - we know best' approach of the past.
Systems designed for the Financial Services industry are typically built from the perspective of the Financial Institution to fulfil their own vision of the way they want to provide services to Investors. This has compounded the mismatch problem and has severely limited their ability to react to the changing requirement - the existing systems often lock the institutions into the out-dated practices.
The irony is that in this age of internet, social media and mobile devices, the investor client often has the same access to wealth management information as the Advisor and is aware of broader investment opportunities and strategies than they are being presented with. The investor clients understand their own requirements well and are actually looking for a new 'collaborative' relationship with the Advisor that takes into account their own knowledge and preferences, their busy life-style and the online tools they prefer to use.
In addition, another major problem is looming. Many Investors actually deal with multiple asset managers: banks for cash and loans, brokers for stocks and bonds, financial advisors for funds and property, fund managers for pensions, accountants for private lending etc. Portfolios are becoming more active and diversified and 'statements' of all shapes and forms are rolling in almost every day making it impossible to keep control over the big picture without resorting to complicated spreadsheets or accounting packages or getting the accountant to manage it all.
These affluent people and their advisors who are usually employed by an asset management firm, wealth management company, single & multi-family offices and bankers constitute the primary audience for sophisticated yet easy to use wealth management systems.