Long reads

The future of wealth management

Yaela Shamberg

Yaela Shamberg

Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, InvestCloud

Covid-19 has fundamentally and permanently changed the wealth management industry – evolving client demands and accelerating the need to go digital.  Firms who continue to improve their digital offerings will earn their place to compete in the market — whilst those who do not will be rendered obsolete. To succeed in this ever-evolving market, firms should focus on delivering financial wellness, hyper-personalisation and hybrid-advice.

Financial wellness

A focus on financial wellness should be at the top of the agenda for every wealth manager this year.

Covid-19 and the global economy has caused unprecedented levels of uncertainty for individuals. As a result, wealth management clients are ready for more support throughout their family’s financial lives. To deliver on this, managers must enrich their relationship and bring the same empathetic environment they would face-to-face, across various digital channels.

Using highly scalable digital tools, advisors can start helping their clients set and hit multiple goals that span beyond just finance, and extend into life organisation, coverage for unexpected events, wellness, planning, and life goals. A more holistic picture can be achieved by creating an all encompassing plan complete with an intuitive and interactive interface for ease of access. Equipped with a strong advisor relationship and digital tools, clients can measure their plan’s progress, adjust goals, organise life’s important documents and see their entire financial picture. This complete picture must also include non-investable assets such as life insurance and pensions, as well as non-bankable assets such as real estate, family businesses and art.

Together these non-investable and non-bankable assets make up around $142 trillion in potential wealth management assets (Accenture, 2020). If wealth managers are to resist the dual threats of fee compression and commoditisation, they must extend offerings beyond general investment advice and add value to clients across their lives.

Hyper-personalisation through AI and ML

Building on from financial wellness, delivering digital hyper-personalisation to clients will be essential in 2021. Wealth managers must start leveraging real-time data to deliver relevant content, products, and services. This is achieved by capturing in-depth customer insights.

Augmented intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will be needed more than ever to enhance efficiency, improve productivity and build deeper client relationships, helping to deliver on that empathetic digital experience.

By pulling from multiple unstructured data sources, AI can aggregate various pieces of information to a single digital platform. The ability to consolidate and evaluate disparate data in a central location helps managers provide clients with personalised choices and predictive suggestions, suitable for different client personas.

With a higher quality of personal information and access to smart content, managers can better appeal to clients and strategically work to their life goals. For example, if a client owned vacation properties, their wealth manager may want to share content and breaking news regarding the industry and platforms such as Airbnb.

As firms have fewer in person touchpoints with clients, they need these predictive technologies to help maintain the relationship by adding value and thoughtful interactions.


The doors to hybrid advice are still very much open, and in this uncertain time customers want more options than ever before. Investors want a blend of flexible, real time, seamless and self service tools that many Robo advisors offer, coupled with the value of having access to human advisors. Covid-19 has underscored the importance of community and trusted relationships to everyone.

The pandemic and the uncertainty of the financial market shifted investors’ perceptions, with many still wanting some level of human interaction, especially when dealing with complex financial decisions. The consensus still remains that customers are not comfortable with investing large amounts of their money in a solution that lacks “personal touch” (CAPCO, 2018). Expect this trend to continue in 2021.

The new normal

Overall, wealth managers will succeed this year by delivering advice beyond the realms of investing. This will be done by utilising the power of augmented intelligence and machine learning to draw better insights on their clients, whilst offering a personal touch through a flexible and intuitive platform.

The global pandemic will continue to further the divide between the winning firms who are ready to explore different paths of innovation, and others who continue to be two steps behind, costing them greatly in the new normal.

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