Wealth managers slow to embrace wider digital worldNews added by Benefits Pro on June 12, 2014

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By Nick Thornton

The financial and wealth management industry is taking to the digital revolution much more slowly than other consumer-based industries, according to Boston Consulting Group’s 2014 Global Wealth survey.

BCG’s survey shows that wealth managers are deploying web-based digital services, but that the adoption of mobile services via tablets and smartphones, and consumers’ trust of those services, is still a few years away.

Portfolio and account information is typically available online or through mobile applications. But other digital tools that could facilitate communications, and ultimately customer service, are as yet not being deployed, BCG said.

Its survey cites the lack of video tools to facilitate interaction between clients and relationship managers. Even simple alerts to a stock’s rating change could offer advisors a touch point, and a service value-add to clients, it said.

On average, only 1 to 2 percent of financial institutions’ and management firms’ employees are dedicated to managing digital interfaces with clients, proving a hesitation to invest in this area.

Only 30 percent of firms surveyed offer social media functions specific to wealth management. Most advisors or client managers have static LinkedIn profiles, and firms will often have a perfunctory Facebook page. Few, however, use the mediums to supply advisor-generated, expert content: a mere five percent of firms surveyed provide these services.

No industry model has emerged, but the firm cautioned against advisors taking a wait-and-see approach. “Early movers that best balance traditional, relationship-led wealth management with intuitive, simple-to-use digital products and services will gain an unparalleled competitive advantage over the next few years,” it said.

Time is of the essence, but so is clarity. Defining a clear vision and value-proposition before offering new digital services will help coordinate internal firm objectives, as well as help comply with regulatory guidance, the firm said.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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