Offering an in-depth look into the wealth management business, the survey includes data from over 200 respondents from family offices, wealth management firms, private client services firms, and registered investment advisor firms. Based on its findings, Trust & Estates reports that despite one of the most turbulent economic environments in recent history, leading wealth management firms and family offices continue to invest in automation and outsourcing as a way to increase focus on their expertise and improve client service, while striving to reduce overall costs.
While respondents said they plan to trim expenses in other areas during the next 18 months, 49% said they will actually invest in IT systems, while only 6% said they will cut IT investment. Firms said that they plan to invest in automating a variety of functions including trust accounting (13%), client communication (10%), and performance reporting, compliance, billing, asset allocation and trust accounting (9% each). Not surprisingly, respondents identified market volatility as the top challenge facing wealth management firms (56%).
Nearly half of the survey respondents use outsourcing for one or more functions within their firms. Those who do outsource report significant benefits that make them more competitive, including a sharper focus on core competencies as well as lower risks and costs. Two-thirds of firms that use outsourcing say it has âallowed us to focus on our area of expertise,â which is essential to furthering the top business drivers identified by respondents: improving client service and attracting and retaining both clients and staff.
âSponsoring this survey gives Advent an important opportunity to look at the current challenges that our clients are facing in this uncertain economic environment, and how they are addressing these challenges,â said Peter Hess, President of Advent. âFor 25 years, Advent has been a leader in providing mission-critical solutions that help investment management firms work more efficiently. Weâre pleased that this survey confirms that wealth managers view technology as the best lever for achieving greater operational efficiency and managing costs.â