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Keeping HNWs app-y

In light of Celent’s recent report, ‘Mobile Applications for Advisors: A study of the European Market’, there is much evidence to suggest that the growing trends of mobile and tablet apps are enhancing wealth management advisors’ ability to serve customers and offer up-sell opportunities.

The ever-changing landscape of wealth management means that traditional methods of practice are in serious need of evolution. Fears of falling portfolio values have in turn increased demand for stronger advisor-client communication for which channels are due a revamp. This is where mobile apps are proving fruitful in two ways; firstly, clients are given direct access to their portfolios. Just how much read/write ability is allowed is at the discretion of the banks: they certainly do not want to cut their advisors out of the investment process. Secondly, and with seemingly higher demand, banks are providing apps for advisors themselves.

Advisor apps not only provide the opportunity for advisors to showcase client portfolios in a medium rich with interaction, they also liberate advisors to leave the bank and meet with clients offsite. This provides the crucial stepping stone to securing the face-time which is so often lacking in a digital age. And when advisors meet the clients, they need to be armed with the most up-to-date portfolio information. This is only accessible with online tools – and who wants to get out a laptop and load that up in front of a client?

Despite being in very early stages of adoption, the market for tablet and mobile banking apps is most certainly beyond the embryonic stage, with Asian and US markets leading the way. Europe’s reticence over the security implications involved is already existent within traditional wealth management. The common practice for advisors is to visit clients at home for a portfolio review. Bearing that in mind, the chances of losing a paper document or a tablet are equally viable but the key question is: which one would you rather lose; a portfolio that has all its data encrypted and password protected or a paper folder?

It’s really impressive having swanky mobile/tablet apps for advisors to drill down into portfolio specifics with clients, but private banks are actually looking for apps that are relevant throughout the lifecycle of a customer. This means that advisors can sign-up clients through their apps in-person and speed up the on-boarding process.

Today’s 20-something entrepreneurs will be tomorrow’s HNWs, and for this generation tablets are pervasive through all parts of life. Banks must incorporate this technology into their client interaction, to get customers onto their books and maximise customer stickiness. Banks cannot afford to be left behind by the tablet revolution and must capitalise on this technology to gain real business value.


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