The Drive to Digital: Make it a Road Well Traveled

Oct 11, 2016


Earlier this year, Roubini ThoughtLab teamed up with SEI and other leading wealth industry firms to conduct a study, Wealth and Asset Management 2021: Preparing for Transformational Change. It looks at the changing demographics of wealth, from boomers to millennials, with very different needs, behaviors and ways of communicating. The study suggests that over the next 5 years, the impact of 5 megatrends “will be profound.” The following post focuses on one of these megatrends.

I’m currently in the UK, visiting my parents. One of the problems of being an ex-patriate is that your whole family is an ocean away. In the time I’ve lived in the US, my communication with my family has changed dramatically. In the old days, it was very expensive phone calls, when most of the conversation went: “We better be quick, because this is costing a fortune.” Nowadays, my parents can visit with their grandchildren via FaceTime or Skype. E-mail and texting shortens the distances and makes us feel connected – all at a nominal cost.

Just as I’m using technology to keep communications going with my family, advisors are working out ways to use technology to deepen the relationship with their clients.

Megatrend #5: The Road Ahead: Driving Digital Transformation

If you have any doubts about the importance of going digital, you just need to listen to your clients. In the Roubini research, 82% said that it was important for their investment provider to stay at the forefront of technology. In response, investment providers are developing an array of digital capabilities, including anytime, anywhere, any device access (55%), omnichannel experiences (48%), technology-enabled planning tools (45%), improved performance analytics (41%), digitally enabled client on-boarding (41%), and low-cost online trading platforms (40%).

It’s important to note that firms in advanced stages of digital transformation say that, last year, they increased assets under management by 7.2%, profitability by 6.8% and productivity by 9.4% thanks to the use of digital technology.

Advisors should get ready now for the digital transformation #megatrend Click To Tweet

What does this mean for you?

How are you using technology to deepen your relations with your clients? Today, the concept of differentiating by the number of personal client interactions you have is dying fast. All clients want to be contacted in the way that they want – this may be entirely remote, entirely person-to-person, or a mix of the two. The story these days is all about convenience for your client.

A quick and simple digital engagement checklist:

  • Do you note in your CRM how your clients prefer to be interacted with?
  • Does your CRM have a clear history of client touches and the method used?
  • Do you have a good video-conferencing approach in place – and do you use it?

This is just the 101 list – I didn’t even touch on social media, prospect engagement and the analytic tools, which are on the advanced list.

The road ahead is full of new technologies. Make sure you travel this road frequently! Download the study, Wealth and Asset Management 2021, for more on the digital transformation megatrend.

Previous megatrend posts on Practically Speaking:

Are Advisors Ready for “The Big Shift”? (Hint: You Better Be)

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Raef Lee

Raef Lee

Raef Lee is the technology contributor for Practically Speaking and also serves as a managing director for the SEI Advisor Network.

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