When a Customer Is Getting Wealthier…

By Anna Sacha | 4 April 2014

With the increase in the number of millionaires the investment advisory service model is changing. One of the major trends is the use of modern mobile and interactive tools to service the richest customers.

Regardless of the financial market turbulence in recent years, high rates of return have contributed not only to a significant increase in the number of rich people, but also in their wealth. In 2012, the assets belonging to millionaires reached the top and broke records set in previous years. As shown in World Wealth Report, the global population of rich individuals had been growing continuously for 5 years and at the end of 2012 amounted to 12 million people. Moreover, the rising trend of assets should continue up to 2015, with the expected increase of 6.5% [1].

The rich customers’ expectations are growing

The increasing wealth of customers brings the need to change the way they are serviced. One can see that investment advisory services in the HNWI (High Net Worth Individuals [2]) customer segment are no longer just a monologue of advisors offering new types of investment to their customers. It is evolving towards interaction with customers, who find simple approval of investment proposals insufficient. Customers continually broaden their knowledge, gain new experience and have a growing need for personal involvement in the management of their assets. In the face of investment risk, which has been a real and possible threat since 2007, transparency and trust between the customer and the bank, or the wealth management company is crucial. It manifests itself in the quest for simplification of products offered to the customer as well as full transparency of fees and services offered by wealth management companies. Moreover, the wealthiest customers require regular and transparent reporting of their investments and online access to information on their assets [3].

Direction – mobility and interaction

All these changes make it necessary to develop technologies and IT solutions dedicated to customer service and investment advisory that meet the requirements of financial market regulators and the growing needs of the wealthiest customers. IT tools supporting analyses of various aspects of customer investments are becoming an integral part of building and maintaining positive and long-term customer relationships. In the next few years one expects bankers and wealth managers to focus on the commercial aspects of the technology – mobile and more and more interactive tools for customer service will become one of the main pillars of this business. With the help of technological development the advisory service in the HNWI segment can improve the efficiency of customer relationships in line with key regulations (MiFID) as well as investment monitoring and reporting. Besides, educational and simulation tools, which help customers in decision making as well as the simple and smart ways of data presentation are becoming more and more important in the communication process.

Millionaires with tablets

The use of mobile devices for handling customers in a private banking segment, combined with personalized services open the way for innovation in the area of communication and a significant increase in the advisor work performance. Mobility is a trend that no one can ignore. It is expected that in the coming years, the share of smartphones and tablets shall constitute up to 85 % of the entire technological infrastructure associated with asset management and reporting [4]. Such rapid development makes private banking and wealth management companies meet customer expectations as it is the hot issue they cannot ignore. It is worth noting that bank customers use tablets more and more willingly, whereas smartphones have already become an integral part of their equipment. The potential of different communication channels should be effectively used by private banking advisors and wealth managers. By adjusting their activity to the dynamic lifestyle of their customers, the advisors will be able to quickly meet their expectations.

By Anna Sacha - Business Solution Manager, Comarch SA 

[1] 2013 World Wealth Report 
[2] High Net Worth Individuals – individuals with assets over 1 million USD 
[3] Global Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey 2013 
[4] Global Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey 2013 

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