While technology is clearly a crucial part of any wealth management business, it is still something which some senior management doesn’t pay enough attention to, according to a panel to technology and systems solutions specialists at the Hubbis Asian Wealth Management Forum 2012 in Hong Kong in early February.
For example, said the speakers, using mobile devices as part of the client experience, understanding the changing needs of the younger generation of wealthy individuals, and finding new ways to tackle the various regulatory and operational challenges, are among the key issues to consider when it comes to considering innovation and the role of technology in wealth management.
Growing in importance
Given the demands and expectations of clients, especially at the private banking level, technology is critical in enabling firms to deliver appropriate and relevant products and services, agreed the panel.
In particular, given the challenges the industry faces today, with firms under increasing cost pressure and a sharper spotlight in terms of ensuring suitability, technology needs to play a bigger role within daily operations. Further it should be seen as a key solution to help firms to cope with risks.
Technology should therefore be seen as an “enabler for the business outcome”, said John Vander Vennet, managing director for SunGard Wealth & Private Banking in Asia Pacific.
As part of making technology successful, the panel also highlighted the need for it to not only focus on front-office solutions, but also apply to the back office, too.
This means keeping records of client data and enhancing information security, explained Markus, Russ, regional manager for Finnova in Asia Pacific.
At the same time, ensuring scalability of existing systems and consolidating the technology components to be flexible in responding to clients’ needs are other requirements, added Roland Slee, managing director for Bravura Solutions in Asia Pacific.
Panel speakers also highlighted the application of technology via mobile devices to take into account the growing crop of younger high net worth clients.
Since the rich are getting younger and younger, catching up with their technology appetite is imperative, said Urs-Peter Oehen, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Expersoft Systems.
This means embracing the various mobile devices which are popular, and then looking at mobile banking as the next generation in a way which created new ways for clients to interact with technology.
However, the panel said that trying to raise management awareness of the role and advantage of technology is the first challenge for future innovation.
Regulation is another big concern. All software and functionality has to meet new compliance requirements, plus different jurisdictions have different rules.
As a result, making sure that the technology and coding are appropriately delivered to different markets is something that firms must bear in mind, warned Gerd Klask, sales director at Quartal Financial Solutions.
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