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How to connect diverse experiences across wealth

The services clients need and value are changing fast. Can wealth providers adapt to a very different future?

In brief

  • Clients’ ideas of value for money are changing, and they are seeking more transparent approaches.
  • Firms need to deliver more holistic, more tailored services — making partnership and “co-opetition” increasingly vital.
  • Wealth providers have an opportunity to consolidate clients’ financial lives into a single relationship using the right capabilities.

The wealth management industry never stands still, with this past year having seen truly exceptional changes in the services that clients want — and the things they value. Investors are becoming more risk averse, are seeking more holistic approaches to finance and increasingly focused on protecting themselves and their loved ones.

As they seek to simplify their affairs, a growing number also want to integrate all their financial relationships in one place. These changes present huge potential opportunities for wealth providers. But meeting clients’ expanding expectations will become ever harder for many firms. The need to “do more for less” will make the ability to build partnerships and participate in financial ecosystems increasingly vital to success.


Chapter 1

The nature of value – and how it’s delivered – is changing

Clients’ concept of value for money is changing, and wealth firms must find ways to deliver new value.

Wealth management clients are increasingly focused on value, with 73% of clients worldwide indicating that wealth managers are successfully delivering value for money — a very positive finding that suggests wealth firms have proven their value by guiding clients through the disruption caused by COVID-19. 

Set against this, 42% of investors remain concerned about hidden costs when working with their wealth manager, driven by a more anxious younger audience, which suggests there is scope to improve transparency.

There are growing expectations for the “basic” elements of wealth offerings to be provided at zero cost. By 2024, an increasing number of investors will expect free transaction services — such as equity trading — and over 30% will expect free portfolio reports.

The good news for providers is that while clients are expecting more for free, they are still willing to pay extra for tailored elements of the wealth proposition. For example, 49% of investors would pay more for increasingly personalized and specialized products and services.

In short, clients’ concepts of value are changing fast. The way firms deliver value must change too. With basic investment products and services becoming available at very low cost, the ability to deliver tailored experiences is becoming the key driver of pricing in wealth management. Firms should explore new models of value, establishing that they can deliver genuinely differentiated experiences in areas as varied as advisor engagement, tailored products, customized financial education or membership benefits.


Chapter 2

Co-opetition will help to develop richer, tailored services

Client demand for more holistic approaches is increasing, which will impact wealth firm’s service models.

Global demand for more holistic approaches to wealth management is growing. Our research suggests that three complementary elements will be key to developing wealth services that can increase the financial well-being of clients and their families.

The first of these is diversification. All client groups see growing value from a wide spectrum of products and services, with investors expecting to diversify the financial products they use from an average of 4.1 product types today to 5.5 by 2024. Demand for diversification is strong in Asia-Pacific, where clients anticipate using an average of 6.1 financial products within three years.

Most notably, investors expect to make much greater use of alternative investments. Definitions vary among markets, but increasingly include hedge funds, private markets, real estate, infrastructure and commodities, as well as digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. One in three clients invests in alternatives today, but this is projected to reach 48% by 2024. 

The second key element of future wealth services will be more tailored advice. Our research shows increasing demand for planning services, with the proportion of investors using estate and tax planning expected to grow from 30% today to 44% and 45% respectively by 2024. The appetite for personalized financial support is especially strong when the transition between life stages increases clients’ personal responsibilities.

The third leg of next-generation wealth management will be enhanced protection. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the wellness agenda, and clients increasingly expect wealth providers to protect their financial, physical and emotional well-being and that of their families. The need to protect clients’ interests extends from hedging against market volatility to maintaining personal health.

The need to deliver richer, tailored and more holistic services in the future will have profound implications for wealth managers’ service models. Many firms will want to enhance their ability to partner with other companies. That includes technology providers and other financial providers, such as alternatives managers or health insurers. Excellent data management, alignment with client goals and building technology connections will be increasingly vital. In some circumstances, it may even mean collaborating with rivals, using “co-opetition” (collaboration with competitors) to provide clients with niche investments, local expertise or customized protection.


Chapter 3

What comes next? Integrated financial relationships

Clients express the need for consolidation, requiring wealth firms to seeks new ways of collaboration.

Worldwide, nearly half of investors want to consolidate all their financial activities in one place. More than three-quarters of that group — no fewer than 38% of all clients — have yet to choose a single provider. This is a huge opportunity for wealth firms to integrate a full range of financial services, including private banking, insurance, wealth and investments into a single client relationships that can unlock major gains in wallet share.

The appetite for consolidation varies significantly between regions. Clearly, not all investors are seeking a single financial relationship. But even here there’s scope for more firms to act as the primary advisor. Among investors who prefer multiple financial providers, one in four say they would pay more to access a consolidated view of their investment portfolios.

If wealth firms are to build on these opportunities, they will need to convince clients that greater integration will allow them to achieve their goals in an easier, more tailored way. The key enabler will be a firm's ability to smoothly integrate a full range of activities for clients seeking a single financial provider, or to provide a clear consolidated overview for those preferring multiple relationships.

For some providers, the answer will be to enhance their ability to function as a one-stop shop. But most firms are likely to face tougher choices, for example, between curating a universe of products and services on behalf of clients or becoming a specialist provider focused on a niche investor demographic.

Given the varying attitudes to consolidation among different investor groups, the ability to customize the degree of integration will be essential to success. This re-emphasizes the importance of collaboration with other financial providers to “deliver an ecosystem” and points to the importance of engaging flexibly with clients using multiple channels.


Wealth managers need to ensure they’re ready to meet client expectations of more balanced, tailored and all-encompassing services — not to mention more integrated propositions. Doing so will depend on enhanced partnering, underpinned by a clear understanding of client goals.

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