WEALTH MANAGEMENT | Cesar Tordesillas, Singapore

Needs of advisors and investors in Asia not fully met: Research

Wealth management firms in Asia are not fully supporting the technology and service requirements of their advisors and high net worth clients.

This was the conclusion of a new research, 'Future Advisor Asia', undertaken by wealth industry expert Scorpio Partnership on behalf of SunGard.

According to the research, this potentially impacts service capability and client confidence.

The research examines how Asia's wealth management sector is meeting the changing needs of the  region's growing high net worth clients.

The research, which surveyed* over 400 high net worth individuals and 96 wealth advisors and senior managers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia, examined current wealth management industry challenges, the role of digital channels in high net worth client management and the future role of the advisor.

The research revealed that Asia's advisors are taking technology into their own hands: A significant percentage of advisors are using iPads and other tablets for presentations (51%), investment research (46%) and portfolio analysis (41%) to help meet client demands 'on the go'.

It also noted that Asia's millionaires are also increasingly empowering themselves through digital channels. On average, HNWI's spend 5.3 hours online per week regarding financial matters and the demand for financial apps is on the rise. When investors predict their usage patterns in five years' time, they expect the largest increase to be their online interaction directly with their financial institution on matters related to their wealth.

Client servicing is slipping as a priority: The average advisor is spending less than 40% of time on client-facing activities and just 12% on prospecting. Too much time spent on administrative tasks is interfering with focusing on customer relations.

Knowledge of the client is also lacking: Despite spending less than half their time on direct client servicing, 88% of advisors believe they have a good understanding of their clients' overall wealth and manage approximately 38% of their clients' portfolio. In contrast, the client responses indicated advisors have a very poor level of knowledge and often manage much less than the stated 38%.


Furhtermore, while investors consider their wealth managers to be relatively solid value for the money, the industry has a much higher opinion of its own value. 62% of advisors ranked their services as either good or excellent value against a lower number of investors on the service value of international (44%) and local (43%) wealth managers ranking their services as good or very good. This points to a perception gap between high net worth clients and wealth advisors.

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