Wealth management providers must evolve products and services to meet consumer demands

TORONTO–Wealth management firms are facing more pressure to meet consumer demands as 44% of Canadian clients say they’re planning to move money from existing providers within the next three years, according to the EY 2019 Global Wealth Management Research Report.

“Canada’s wealth management sector isn’t immune to changes in consumer behaviour,” says David Hurd, EY Canada’s National Wealth & Asset Management Leader. “Canadians are seeking advice from an average of four different sources, and often turn to niche providers to solve specific problems. There remains a large opportunity for firms that can put themselves at the centre of clients’ financial ecosystem.”

The report shows increasing digitalization of wealth management activities and the rise of self-service offerings is empowering more Canadians to seek out top desired attributes like competitive pricing (33%), personalized and connected solutions (30%), 24/7 access to their wealth management portfolio (28%) and more personal advice and planning (27%).

The untapped opportunity for wealth management providers lies on the sidelines, where roughly half of Canadian consumers express interest in financial advice and planning but state they don’t currently receive any. This is especially true for major life events, including leaving a job (67%), inheriting or receiving money (64%) and having a child (63%).

“Wealth managers must engage with clients and become trusted advisors during major life events or risk them changing providers,” says Hurd. “To do that they need access to timely and relevant information from internal and external sources. With more data points, advisors and firms can provide personalized, custom-tailored services that appeal to clients at various life stages. That means asking questions and being responsive to their needs and wants every step of the way.”

To maintain trust, win new customers and retain existing ones, wealth managers must take full advantage of technology and analytic solutions that can listen, learn, process and anticipate customer needs — not just for basic transactional activities, but also to manage wealth and deliver financial advice.

“Providers shouldn’t underestimate their clients’ comfort and desire for digital engagement regardless of wealth level,” says Hurd. “With mobile availability being table stakes for consumers, wealth managers need to differentiate themselves by moving quickly on the next wave of technologies. Voice enabled tools and digital assistants are emerging as valued features that will take the industry into the future.”

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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