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A Perfect Storm for Wealth Management

Authored by: Ravnit Singh Kohli, Senior Director - Synechron

2018 has seen many industries ripe for change making steps toward innovation. Wealth Management is an industry where there is significant change as a result of the perfect storm created by maturing innovative technologies, a new generation of investors with new expectations and digital-centric preferences, and new regulatory obligations, all of which have played an important role in the transformation of Wealth Management.

Stemming from this ‘perfect storm,’ firms have had to adjust business strategies, operating models, products and services, and technology approaches to compete with agile, digital-savvy FinTechs and startups and keep up with client and regulatory demands.

Ripe for Innovation
Much of the tech investment for wealth and asset managers has been focused on the back-office in the last few years, with the updating legacy systems and automation of any tasks that have highly-manual processes, such and client and account onboarding, to reduce time and costs, as well as any risks associated with human error, redundancy of information, and more. A large shift in middle-office and support functions have been improved with technology investment, with technologies like automation and artificial intelligence, especially on the regulatory front to adhere to calls for greater transparency and an increased focus on compliance from the Investment Management Agreements (IMAs) to Annual Supervisory Reviews.

However, Wealth Management industry challenges are still present, despite some investment in back-office practices. An overarching challenge for the industry at large lies in siloed, outdated systems. Disparate, disconnected experiences are common, in which platform components have been built as siloes disconnected from a holistic Wealth ecosystem, which becomes a larger challenge as clients demand more streamlined, holistic advice. There are also third-party integration challenges, in which there is a need to integrate best of breed into Wealth platforms, and without industry standards, this becomes extremely complicated, leading to a disjointed experience. Through all of this, advisors are overwhelmed with compliance obligations and regulatory burdens, aging Wealth platforms which require many steps for simple activities, and repetitive data.

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