2012 Americas wealth management study

Improving the advisor and client experience

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When asked to summarize their plans for the next few years, wealth managers agree they aim to leverage technology to provide better experiences for clients and advisors. To support this, budgets are heavily allocated toward client-servicing operations, even though firms currently view client-related technology as ineffective.

Strategic focus

While firms broaden their client base, they are designing segment-specific servicing models as well that provide different levels of high-quality service.

Smaller firms are more likely to focus on a single client segment and expand their offerings through third parties. Larger firms tend to target a broader client base and develop tailored servicing models for each client segment.

Technology effectiveness

EY - Technology effectiveness

Less than a third of wealth management firms report that their client-related technology is effective—with over 20% stating it is not effective. The results are even worse for CRM and enterprise data management.

Regulatory compliance and reporting systems are rated as the most effective, with middle- and back-office technology viewed as relatively effective.

Types of applications

The most common proprietary applications relate to compliance/regulatory reporting (86%), client-related functions (86%) and enterprise data management (82%).

It’s interesting to note that client-related tools and enterprise data management, as reported earlier, rate poorly in terms of effectiveness. Clearly, developing these tools in-house has not been rewarding.

A relatively high number of firms (39%) use vendor software in the CRM area, but again satisfaction is quite low.

Budget issues

Onboarding clients and servicing them currently accounts for 35% of a typical operating budget, an allocation that firms expect to remain relatively consistent over the next few years. Compliance and risk management also consume a sizable portion of operating budgets.

For support and maintenance budgets, the two largest allocations are dedicated to client servicing (38%) and relationship and product management (28%). No significant difference exists between the support and maintenance budgets of smaller and larger firms.

Effectiveness of client-related technology

EY - Technology effectiveness ×