Digital differentiation for asset and wealth managers must focus on “better”—not just “more”

The pandemic’s impact on the asset and wealth management (AWM) market was to force the hand of digital interactions, forever driving this advisor and relationship-led business to virtual meetings and mobile apps as the primary forms of client engagement. Post-pandemic, amid a balancing act of challenging macroeconomic factors and exciting innovation potential, AWM firms are looking beyond building capability via mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to securing growth through a trifecta approach of developing new assets and offerings, enhancing the experiences of customers and advisors, and monetizing data with the help of analytics and applied AI to drive real-time insights, modeling, and decisioning. The imperative for success is no longer just offerings and services across asset classes, it is increasingly digital differentiation. The C-suite-led mantra needs to be “better”—not “more.”

HFS Research, in partnership with Infosys, surveyed 150 AWM providers across North America and Europe to better understand the growth and modernization needs of the AWM market.

Key findings

  • Fifty-five percent (55%) of AWM companies focus on digital optimization and simplify customer interactions via mobile apps and virtual meetings
  • For AWM providers, the top business objective continues to be increasing revenue and profits
  • Eighty-seven percent (87%) of AWM businesses still require five or more days for the customer onboarding process, and the current average time to onboard clients is 12 days. Data issues are the main cause of delays
  • Sixty-three percent (63%) of AWM firms expect to increase the quantity of their strategic partnerships in the next two years

This report is fourth in a four-part series examining the growing importance of ecosystems in the BFS market through the lens of making practical progress across the innovation Horizons and savvy use of partners to help drive modernization and create new forms of value. The series includes a broad view of banking and financial services trends complemented by drill-down spotlights on innovation and ecosystems in payments and commercial banking.

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