As the world slowly moves towards the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, many players in the region are looking to align themselves to make the most of the new reality we all find ourselves in. Hubbis had the opportunity to catch up with Mark Wightman, the Asia-Pacific Wealth and Asset Management Consulting Leader for multinational professional services provider EY, who spoke to us following the release of the company’s new study. – titled “2021 EY Global Wealth Research Report” – to explain its findings and how the report’s content can better serve those looking to excel and differentiate themselves.

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1. What does the report tell us about the evolution of service models in wealth management?

2. How has Covid-19 affected customers’ preferences towards engaging their wealth providers?

3. There is a lot of talk about ESG and sustainability. How does this affect asset managers in reality?

4. How can asset managers use this information to differentiate themselves?

Video transcript

1. What does the report tell us about the evolution of service models in wealth management?

What the survey tells us this year is that customers are clearly expecting more for free. Lots of merchant services should be there and they don’t expect to pay for them. But, and I think this is an important “but”, customers are willing to pay extra for a tailored, more holistic experience. We see a lot of companies today thinking about how they are going to improve the customer journey, how they are going to provide better and more personalized service. In addition, we are also seeing a demand for diversification of financial products. So there is a question about the product suite. There is a model of service across the wealth continuum. Finally, we all know, especially the wealthy, here in Asia a lot of customers have multiple bank accounts. But we are seeing clients who want to consolidate their activities in one place. There is therefore a growing interest in aggregating, gathering information. And again, customers are looking for service providers who can provide this to them.

2. How has Covid-19 affected customers’ preferences towards engaging their wealth providers?

During Covid-19, we saw people take a much more detailed look at how they can interact with their wealth providers. If we look at Google’s results, there have been a lot more queries on digital wealth providers. And increasingly, customers are saying they want or already use FinTech providers. If we look at the growth that we have seen in the D2C space, be it here in Singapore, in markets like Malaysia, Hong Kong, etc., there has been significant adoption of some of these robot services. Obviously, “working from home” and the world of Covid-19 have, on the contrary, accelerated this. Going forward, when we look at the engagement model, sentiment and survey feedback suggests that more and more customers are expecting to engage through apps. They would certainly want to potentially use digital first, especially for retail and mass space, and less for branch offices. And the same goes for call centers and some of the traditional face-to-face media. In the future, this suggests that digital will be an important medium. But also, when we think of digital, it has to be a humanized environment. What we mean by that is that it’s not just digital. There is an option, a hybrid option for human interaction and when we look at the interaction it should be a lot more personalized. Customers now expect that if I give up some of my data, I expect a series of personalized recommendations and advice to come back to me. So while customers, for service, yes, customers are happy to share data, they expect to get value in return for sharing that data. In the future, there’s a lot of talk about hyper-personalization, leveraging the following best stocks, leveraging AI and the like, but at the end of the day it comes down to “being relevant to me.” We’re heading into a world where, rather than seeing mass, ultra, high value, ultra high net worth retail segmentation, we’re actually going to see a lot of segmentation. more personalized, where it is expected that wealth providers will understand the individual, his goals and be able to provide better services.

3. There is a lot of talk about ESG and sustainability. How does this affect asset managers in reality?

Sustainability is absolutely one of those questions that has come up more and more since last year, 18 months. I think a lot of companies initially saw it as just a product and service issue for the company. “Do I have impact funds, do I have ESG funds on my shelf?” More and more it goes much further than that. We see clients expecting their wealth providers to understand their own sustainability goals. One thing that really stood out in the survey, even though we look at one of the APAC countries, is that the majority of clients, 89% in fact, have sustainability-related goals in their lives. However, in most cases, they reported that their wealth managers, in general, did a dismal job of understanding and achieving these goals. Now, on some level, if we think about it, yes, there is the product. This obviously goes from funds to durable deposits, and so on. But more and more, we’re seeing clients take a closer look at their wealth partners and say, “Well, okay, what about the diversity of interests in this area? How does this manifest itself in the company? In many of these large organizations, we’ve seen C suite announcements about being net zero and tracking their goal. How does this manifest itself throughout the company? Also, how do you actually put that to work? We are now seeing companies thinking about collecting sustainability and ESG preferences from their initial conversation with their customers. As they develop their end-to-end offerings, whether through the product, even through DPM or APM related services, with a sustainability lens in mind, it It is essential that the client is understood, that his objectives are understood and that he can actually achieve them. these needs holistically, through the process of wealth.

4. How can asset managers use this information to differentiate themselves?

Differentiation is clearly one of the most important areas at the moment. If we look particularly here in Asia, more and more international companies are doubling their activities and having strong growth strategies in the region. But in many cases, they try to do similar things. They’re trying to increase the number of RMs, they’re trying to serve the end-to-end wealth continuum. And the differentiation, in a lot of cases, especially if you’re sitting there and reading their company pages, it’s actually very difficult to determine what they represent because they will have an open architecture, they will have digital offers, they all have a long history and end-to-end heritage service. So I think, really, what the survey says is put the customer, put the customer at the heart of what you do, understand what they want and be able to do it. reply. What I mean by that, especially when we’re working on operating models and technologies with a lot of private banks today, we’re seeing this double-speed or double-speed development. We have the development of the upstream customer experience, which must clearly be consistent across the wealth continuum, and very, very agile. He must move and evolve. And of course we have the back end, which is often a problem for a lot of private banks and wealth managers, as a lot of it is inherited. This will usually evolve at a different pace than it started with. But the key is to provide a consistent and highly usable customer experience up front, regardless of the channel, to make it simple and relevant. The customer doesn’t want to know about your latest automotive research when their entire portfolio is in technology. So understand the customer’s needs, whether it’s durability, special products, and make your life easier. If we think about some of the challenges of cross-border adequacy, integrate them end to end, make their life easier. When we talk to customers, whether they are from the big bank, the private bank, or even the ultra, in general, they expect service, they expect simplicity and they want to put their money with the providers of wealth that can really make their life easier, giving them the products they want, providing them with the services, feedback and capabilities they need in an easy way.



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