The majority of wealth managers are either dissatisfied with or indifferent to their current technology systems according to new research from fintech provider Avaloq.
The study was conducted among 200 wealth managers across Europe and Asia, and includes contributions from firms such as BlackRock, which has a strategic partnership with Avaloq.
The research revealed that just 31% are satisfied their technology is up to date, versus 45% who say their systems are outdated and 25% that are indifferent. Meanwhile, just 29% believe their technology is designed to suit their needs and 38% say they can easily find the information they need.
Just over half of wealth managers globally (54%) use investment advisory technology in client meetings. Of those not yet using their advisory systems in client meetings, two thirds (67%) would like to, indicating a significant opportunity to integrate systems that are up to the task.
The biggest barriers to using advisory tools in client meetings, cited by overwhelming majorities, are user interfaces that are not optimised (69%) and technologies that are too confusing to use with clients (60%).
For UK wealth managers, while a similar amount (55%) use investment advisory tools in client meetings, just 44% of those who don’t say they would like to, suggesting it is even more important to overcome key barriers around usability.
More than half of wealth managers globally identified similar challenges plaguing their broader use of technology, with unintuitive navigation (58%) and the requirement to use too many different systems (54%) the most commonly cited. The latter complaint is compounded by Avaloq’s finding that almost a fifth of wealth managers (17%) currently rely on over ten technology systems to conduct their daily tasks, while half (50%) of respondents use between four and six.
Despite this, Avaloq found widespread enthusiasm and demand for well-functioning technology systems. Enhanced data visualisation (66%), automated regulatory checks (58%) and automated portfolio monitoring (57%) emerged as the top three functionalities offering a major improvement for wealth management professionals, with and enhanced data analytics (57%) and automatic summary-creation of client meetings (54%) also in high demand.
Suman Rao, managing director for the UK and Ireland at Avaloq, said: “Our research reveals that too many wealth management professionals are burdened with complex, outdated technology systems that do not provide them with the support they need in client meetings. Despite this, they are well aware of the potential benefits a well-functioning technology system can provide to their day-to-day operations, so it is important that providers step up to deliver the analytics, automation and visualization that they need.
“Often, wealth management professionals use too many different systems and would benefit from simplifying or consolidating their technology ecosystem. Finding the right partner will help them to streamline their operations and better use their technology to improve client service.”
Britney Lewis, head of advisory product for Aladdin Wealth Tech at BlackRock, said: “A streamlined, user-friendly advisory platform designed for real-time client interactions can address these concerns. Deploying an end-to-end platform is all about scaling the personalized proposal generation process with effective and compliant investment proposals that are easy to execute. Features like instant proposal guides or suitability checks give wealth managers the much-needed time back in their day while also equipping them to still have solid interactions with their clients.”