Today’s investors are voting with their feet, willing to change advisors and add new relationships, while searching out the products, services and advice they need to make sense of an increasingly complex investing world. That insight is one of the more surprising findings to come from the 2023 EY Global Wealth Research Report.
Conducted during a period of exceptional volatility, the results show that far from consolidating assets, clients are increasingly willing to spread their portfolios across several providers. Investors are attempting to safeguard their wealth by transferring their assets to a provider capable of delivering better investment performance and diversifying their portfolio. As these investors seek better investment options, advisors are facing the challenge of meeting complex client demands while keeping up with the fast-paced financial innovation and accelerating technological transformation to stay ahead of the competition.
Investors’ fundamental goals, meanwhile, remain defensive: They’re less focused on creating purposeful legacies than they were during the pandemic. Yet clients reveal a growing appetite for advice and support, especially when it comes to new, complex investment products.
Report scope and results
The findings of the research are summarized in the full report. These draw on proprietary data obtained from a primary survey1 of more than 2,600 wealth management clients based in 27 key markets around the world. The report explores the implications of the often remarkably varied reactions of clients in different regions, of different ages, of differing levels of wealth – and even of different behavioral traits – to the complex and increasing volatile market environment.
For instance, Millennial clients stand out for their heightened uncertainty over their financial health. As a result, the same group also demonstrates an above-average appetite for advice and education, coupled with a greater willingness to try new products. Furthermore, younger investors are more likely to shift their investment approach at short notice – often switching to new wealth management providers altogether.
But the report doesn’t only examine shifting investor views. It also takes a close look at the actions wealth managers can take to transform their own activities in response. These range from initiatives, like harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to maximize the value of multi-channel client interactions, to more fundamental changes such as pivoting from a “one-stop shop” strategy to an ecosystem approach based on performing a specialized, differentiated role in collaboration with others.