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October 9, 2012updated 04 Apr 2017 3:33pm

Asian wealth managers behind on HNW tech needs

Wealth management firms in Asia are not fully providing technology and service requirements to high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and their advisers, potentially impacting client confidence, new research suggests.

By Elsa Buchanan

Wealth management firms in Asia are not fully providing technology and service requirements to high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and their advisers, potentially impacting client confidence, new research suggests.

The report Future Adviser Asia from technology vendor SunGard said one of the key findings showed knowledge of the client is lacking, according to client responses, which indicated advisers have a very poor level of knowledge.

This contrasts with the advisers’ responses, where 88% believed they have a good understanding of their clients’ overall wealth while managing approximately 38% of their clients’ portfolio.

 

Client servicing ‘slipping’

The research, undertaken by Scorpio Partnership found client servicing is slipping as a priority in Asia as administrative tasks are interfering with focus on customer relations.

The report found the average adviser is spending less than 40% of time on client-facing activities and just 12% on prospecting.

Overall, the report also points to a perception gap between HNW clients and their wealth advisers.

 

Industry values itself too highly?

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. Indeed, 62% of advisers 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.

The survey of more than 400 HNWIs and 96 wealth advisers and senior managers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia, showed Asia’s millionaires are empowering themselves through digital channels.

 

Online interaction rising

On average these Asian HNWIs are spending 5.3 hours online per week regarding financial matters and the demand for financial apps is on the rise.

In addition, 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.

SunGard research also showed advisers are using technology to help meet client demands "on the go", as 51% are using tablets for presentations, and 41% for portfolio analysis. Advisers said that their employers were behind when it comes down to making good use of technology.

Executive vice-president of SunGard’s wealth and private banking business unit, Edward Lopez, commented: "The region’s wealth management institutions are not investing enough in services and channels that are a vital part of the industry’s future".

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