Reassessing the “next”
Coming into 2020, many WAM organizations were in the process of executing transformational changes to their business. They may have been focusing on digitizing their customer experience and distribution strategies, making wholesale changes to data management and technological infrastructure, re-evaluating operating models and the use of automation, or identifying M&A opportunities for scale. But in the current environment, firms are reconsidering how essential these types of decisions are. Nearly 45% of WAM executives said that due to COVID-19 challenges, they will need to re-evaluate their decisions related to speed of automation and digital transformation.
Reframing for beyond and the “new normal”
Although many organizations will face similar challenges, each will have unique needs to address as they consider how to move forward in a post-COVID-19 world. Almost 50% of WAM executives stated they will need to re-evaluate operating models and supply chains.
Our team foresees a significant focus on strategic cost transformation initiatives as organizations reassess third-party relationships, location strategies, operational continuity plans and workforce management. With valuations expected to be lower, nearly 40% of organizations see opportunity to gain market share via M&A – though there will be a greater focus on the target’s business resiliency.
Resiliency going forward
With challenge comes opportunity. This crisis may well accelerate certain activities that had previously been plodding along. Some markets are already showing a greater openness toward virtual or digital approaches related to distribution and client interaction. New ecosystems are being created as participants recognize the sum of the parts (e.g., collaboration, partnering) may be greater than the whole (e.g., one doing everything).
We’re all in this together. Creativity, diverse viewpoints, flexibility – I see these characteristics being demonstrated by our teams and clients today. Such resiliency will be both a priority and mandate going forward. Just like we see health care systems uniting and sharing globally to defeat this common foe, our industry will need to do the same to drive financial well-being.