The core theme of this year’s Survey is that there remains much to be done by the industry. In our analysis, trusted adviser status has not been fully restored and culture and ethics have now come to the forefront of the trust agenda. Existing challenges around operations, technology and next generation wealth transfer need to be addressed, but in our view, achieving excellence in client experience and executing effective transformational change now need to be the priority areas of focus for the industry.
In our view, the industry is now at an inflection point and there are two overarching strategic priorities for wealth managers: achieving excellence in client experience and managing transformational change.
Across the entire industry, transforming the client experience must be the key strand running through a private bank or wealth manager. Understanding how the key themes discussed herein affect the overall client experience we believe will be key to achieving differentiated, and economically sustainable, business performance. The value exchange between wealth manager and client needs to be fairly balanced. Achieving this balance in the value exchange will require a significant shift in both leadership mindset and front office capabilities for most industry players.
Most of our respondents are currently undertaking what they see as significant transformational change. More than half are not fully satisfied with the traction being achieved or that necessary change is occurring with sufficient speed. Our analysis shows that the industry is part way through its transformation and, in many areas, our respondents appear to have underestimated the level of change required to meet existing operational challenges. It is understandable that transformation programmes are proving to be challenging in light of the sheer scale and breadth of the task at hand and the costs involved. But industry players will need to do more across the spectrum of their business and operating models than has been the case to date. There remains much to be done, but for those organisations which transform effectively across the spectrum of their business, the opportunities are significant. This year’s survey again sets out a snapshot of the current state of the industry and provides forward looking views on its likely evolution over the next two years. As such, it provides a useful guide to executives on the future of wealth.