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Archive for the ‘High Net Worth’ Category

No WeChat? No Chance to Win HNWIs’ Hearts in China

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Today, China is home to the second highest number of HNWIs in the APAC region and its economy is expected to overtake that of the U.S. in the coming years - some even expect this to happen as early as in 2018. The huge growth of China’s FinTech industry, a major source of new wealth it is, too, is the third pillar of China becoming one of the most attractive and promising wealth management markets in the world.

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This is why we focus on the Chinese wealth management market in our new report on Digital Wealth Management in Asia 2017. The second emerging market that we look at in detail in this report, is India with similar growth patterns and opportunities for private banks.

Besides presenting comprehensive research findings on the Chinese wealth market and FinTech space, our report provides an in-depth view on existing digital offerings of the ten largest wealth managers in China. Our key finding is that WeChat is essential for wealth managers’ digital strategy if they want to succeed in this unique digital ecosystem. WeChat is reported to occupy 35 percent of the time spent on mobile phones in China, which makes the social messenger an inevitable platform not only for retailers. Digital financial services are deeply rooted into Chinese people’s daily lives - thanks to tech giants Alibaba and Tencent who laid the foundation for a financial market that is unique and highly digitized.

While we could observe some international wealth managers making the mistake to link their corporate Facebook and YouTube channels on their Chinese websites, we also came across some best practices in how to engage with HNW clients on WeChat. For example, Noah Holdings Limited, a domestic private bank, sets itself apart through a broad range of WeChat features such as the possibility to check account balances, book an appointment with an advisor or read speeches from well-known investors. Additionally, Noah’s clients are provided with articles and information about recent events.

This is only one facet of the level of digital service Chinese HNWIs expect from their wealth manager. Hence, private banks wo aim at entering the Chinese market, or want to strengthening their market position, inevitably need to roll out a digital strategy that is tailored to these unique requirements.

Grab your copy of our latest research report to get a detailed picture of the wealth markets in China and India. Additionally, you will be offered an overview of current dynamics in the APAC region as a whole plus insightful glimpses into cultural differences between the Asian regions and FinTech developments in Thailand and Indonesia.

 

Why serving “the millennial client segment” is a myth

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Our new report on the millennial generation “Reaching Millennials - the Next Big Opportunity in Digital Wealth Management” reveals why wealth managers who rely on a “one-fits-it-all” strategy will inevitably fail to attract younger prospects. Millennials or members of Generation Y are born roughly between 1981 and 1997 and face a range of prejudices that are fueled by an increasing number of generalizing articles, studies and speeches that gain a lot of attention on social media.

The aim of our report is to show that it is no option to perceive millennials as a homogenous group that can be targeted with a uniform strategy solution. Hence, we conducted sixteen in-depth interviews with very different representatives of this generation to find out if there are common values and opinions. Analyzing the information shared in the interviews, we could group them together into five archetypes that show huge differences in their psychological traits, behavior, attitudes towards wealth and their communication preferences. Based on this, our report works out a comprehensive set of strategies that empowers wealth managers to survive the generational shift.

Why should “millennial strategies” differ from traditional ones?

Many wealth managers probably ask themselves why it should matter at all to think about targeted strategies for younger client segments. There are many reasons which are discussed in our report but the main aspects include:

- They are becoming the major target group. Millennials already outnumbered the huge generation of baby boomers and it is estimated that they will inherit trillions of dollars in the next decades as older generations pass on their wealth to them. This shows that today’s millennial generation is actually the client segment wealth managers need to focus on to ensure future success.

- Expectations are changing in many ways. Digitization, technological development, alternatives on the financial markets, transparency and sustainability, the diversification of communication – there are so many factors disruptively changing consumer needs and expectations across all industries and, thus, the perception of how good a financial service is.

- Financial interest and the importance of transparency raise the bar for wealth management services. Re-building the trust that got lost during the past decade is a challenging task and combined with an increasing demand for transparency and sustainability, the need for an open communication and information provision is rising. Additionally, our interviewees turned out to be interested in financial topics and seek to grow their knowledge – their wealth manager should respond to this interest, as well.

What is the current situation in wealth management?

Many wealth managers and private banks host regular events to which they invite their clients’ children and younger prospects. Some events aim at growing attendees’ financial knowledge. Others focus on family business succession. Whatever the case, most wealth managers lack a digital component that enables participants to access related material such as webinars or further information. However, we are convinced that wealth managers who put strong efforts in supporting young people’s first steps into building their wealth must think much broader than just meeting them and inviting them to interesting events. This is a great start but nothing more. We found six very different examples of wealth managers who excel at attracting millennial clients through a digital component. Our report presents them in detail and works out valuable learning points for their competitors.

 

Only robo-advisors constantly pushing ahead for superior client experience will survive

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

The pioneer years of robo-advisors have come to the end and the market will separate the wheat from the chaff. Too many automated investment services target the same, growing - but still not sufficient - client segment to nurture all or most of them. Too few of the automated investment services see their platform through the eyes of a first time user, while many are losing sight of the need for sustaining a customer experience that will - ideally - last for years.

In our new report on the leading robe-advisors worldwide, MyPrivateBanking makes a series of recommendations on the basis of our benchmarking evaluation, among them:

Aiming for transparency is the best policy, especially when presenting the robo-advisor’s pricing and product and process information.

Automated investment platforms need to be subjected to rigorous user experience testing. Looking good is not enough - equally, content must be in-depth.

Robo-advisors risk side-lining themselves if they don’t recognize that clients need financial plans as well as investment portfolios. At least a basic financial planning offer should be considered for inclusion as part of the robo value proposition.

We foresee the need for leading institutions to be more radical and wholehearted in their automated investment initiatives in the next few years, even if this means starting over again with a second robo-advisor to replace their first.

 

New Report: Mobile Apps for Wealth Management

Monday, May 30th, 2016

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The question for wealth managers is no longer if they should have a mobile app, but how they can develop a winning mobile app to provide them with an essential competitive advantage.

Almost eight years ago, in July 2008 the Apple App store was launched and Google Play followed only a few months later. Since then the app market has grown, apps have become an essential part of our lives and the technical possibilities have developed a lot. The wealth management industry is typically not among the first movers when it comes to technical innovations but we have seen that the market of mobile apps for wealth management is slowly but surely catching up. In our latest study Mobile Apps for Wealth Management we have analyzed the mobile apps of 30 of the biggest wealth managers worldwide. We have found that in contrast to the previous years, the number of wealth managers that offer dedicated apps to their wealthy clients has increased (from 63% in 2015 to 82% in our latest 2016 study).

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New survey: Investors surprisingly open when it comes to robo-advisors

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Our new report on investors’ attitudes towards robo-advisors is based on a survey covering (mass-)affluent and HNWI in the UK and the US. The 600 respondents answered questions with regard to their awareness of robo advice, benefits and risks of automated investing, awareness of existing players and many others.

One of the main findings is that investors are generally very open to the new technology as more than 70% believe that automated advisory tools can positively influence their wealth manager’s advice and decision-making process. Particularly when it comes to onboarding processes, investors see huge benefits in automated online tools – 74% think that the technology is likely to speed up registration and, hence, lead to an increased efficiency and convenience.

Similarly encouraging, investors’ awareness of the robo technology is surprisingly high: 45% of the entire sample already heard or read about the concept of robo-advisors and 20% state to know quite a lot about it or even know it in detail. At the same time, the share of people saying that they don’t think to be using robo advice in the future is 20%, which is mainly driven by the older age segment with 55 years and above. Interestingly, the share of the hesitant appears to be more than twice as high in the US (28%) than in the UK (12%).

In the US, the largest share of respondents selected Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios as the brand they associate most with robo advice (43%) while in the UK, it is Nutmeg that leads the field, with the same share. This is quite interesting since original robo providers such as Betterment (18%) or Wealthfront (13%) seem to be far less known – this is a strong sign that it is a lot easier for established wealth management brands to promote their automated services.

Our new survey report elaborates on these and a lot more findings that draw a very clear picture of wealthy investors’ adoption of the robo advice technology. In addition to the general results, the report describes the main differences among the two focus countries, UK and USA, different wealth segments (mass affluent, affluent, and high-net-worth) as well as different age segments in order to derive valuable recommendations and learning points dedicated to wealth managers’ target client groups.

 

An ultra-luxury brand’s learning for private banks

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

In the course of our research for the forthcoming report on digital offerings for ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) we came across inspiring and challenging campaigns from non-financial ultra-luxury brands. In an effort to better promote their products while also inviting consumers’ feedback and suggestions, the Marc Jacobs fashion house challenged the public to send their offline form of feedback (graffiti their ads) via a Twitter photo (#StreetMarc) and get the chance to attend the fashion show staged by the luxury brand. This campaign also plays the theme of co-creation and linking the offline world with social media.

Connecting online and offline to create a multi-channel experience, luxury brands captivate elitist consumers’ attention by means of innovative ads and events followed by entertaining and less time-consuming quizzes to better understand consumer behavior, collect client suggestions and increase client retention.

There is no magic shortcut and no instantaneous Jamie Oliver recipe for success in engaging HNW/UHNW individuals but there are challenging opportunities for open-minded, passionate advisors and engaged private banks willing to make the best of the latest trends in FinTech, luxury industry or social media. From sharing a wealth of high-quality videos of successful clients’ stories/ case studies on the website or investing time in updating a Twitter stream or blog series as a high-level representative of the private bank, up to integrating indispensable features like a chat tool, digital vault, concierge-like assistance functions especially for the next generation of wealthy individuals, the pool of opportunities is unlimited.

 

Why wealth managers should consider to add Pinterest and Instagram to their digital portfolio

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

In our latest research report “Social Media for Wealth Management – Learning from the Best”, we analyzed the social media presences and their popularity of more than 200 wealth managers from around the globe. Our intention was to find out who is the most popular wealth manager on the main networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube) and to identify major success factors that led to high numbers of likes, followers, and subscribers. Additionally, we took a closer look at Pinterest and Instagram to analyze how wealth managers handle the visual social networks’ specific features, user base, and conventions. While most wealth managers nowadays have an account on Facebook and Twitter, only very few are active on Pinterest and/or Instagram. However, there are clear benefits derived from the industry best practices, they should not ignore:

(Potential) clients see their ‘human face’. Showing the staff, vernissages, branch openings, and sport events visually brings you closer to your clients – and those users who might be clients in the future. Online users like to get the full picture and look behind the scenes and photo and video sharing networks are great platforms that allow wealth managers to offer that.

Great customer support. We’ve seen terrific examples that offered helpful infographics on their Pinterest board, containing FAQs or information on mobile and online offerings. That way, customer support is expanded and presented in an easy-to-understand and engaging way.

Company updates. Posting news and upcoming events helps to keep clients informed about what is going on and makes sure that they don’t miss anything. Especially for HNW clients in might be highly interesting to meet with peers on their wealth managers’ events. Knowledge exchange and networking are additional advantages that help to strengthen your brand and reputation.

Actually, we found few but great examples of well-performing wealth management presences on Pinterest and Instagram. While Instagram is clearly U.S. dominated, wealth managers on Pinterest show a more mixed picture. You can find the case studies for the most impressing wealth management presences on Instagram and Pinterest in our latest report.

 

Citi Private Bank & Deutsche Bank – two different approaches for a mobile wealth management strategy

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Working on our new report on mobile apps for wealth management (see last year’s edition here) we came across many different ways wealth managers are seeking to meet the mobile needs of their high-net-worth clients.

From our 2014 survey on mobile disruption in wealth management and other continuous research, we learned a lot about wealthy clients’ digital behavior and one major insight is that they are using different devices throughout the day for different purposes:

When on the go, clients need a mobile app to look up their account balances, make easy and convenient money transfers to their friends, and quickly check their portfolios and watch lists.

In the evening when at home, they are mainly using their tablet device for checking and analyzing their portfolios, making payments and executing trades. Additionally, this is the right environment for reading comprehensive research materials and expert commentary.

The tablet is the preferred device when meeting with their financial advisor, as well – checking their investment portfolios with their personal advisor is a basic part of the meeting.

Two possible ways to address these behavioral patterns are shown by Citi Private Bank and Deutsche Bank. Citi Private Bank offers two complementary core apps: the Citi Private Bank In View app is a dedicated wealth management app, allowing users to view their accounts and comprehensively analyze their portfolios with the help of rich graphics. At the same time, clients benefit from deep informational content. For their daily banking activities including credit card account views, mobile payments and check deposits, they can switch to the Citi Mobile UK app.

A different strategy is offered by Deutsche Bank. As an exceptional example, the Meine Bank app contains all relevant core features, including portfolio analysis and trading while working on smartphones as well as tablet devices. Additionally, Deutsche Bank launched a dedicated app for the Apple Watch to complete their digital strategy.

No matter if offering separate apps or a holistic wealth management app, wealth managers are strongly recommended to offer a unified user experience and branding across all digital interfaces. Additionally, they should provide for a sensible channel integration, allowing clients to easily switch media – including social media presences, websites, and mobile apps.

Watch out for the upcoming report on mobile apps for wealth management 2015 for more interesting results – coming up mid June!

 

How technology is getting wealthy clients involved with their investments

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

One major finding of our report on Digital and Mobile Solutions for Financial Advisors 2015 is that vendors are increasingly targeting the end customer. For instance, while only half of the vendors we covered in the 2014 report offered apps that could be used simultaneously by advisors and end clients, this rate has increased to 88% in 2015. While, for example, eMoney Advisor’s client tool is actually a mobile compatible website, it offers interactive workshops to HNW clients for self-education, an electronic vault to store multimedia content, and screen sharing capabilities to enhance client-advisor communication.

The implication is that the market leaders have recognized that high-net-worth clients are becoming increasingly self-directed and demanding when it comes to tools for handling their financial matters. We are convinced that such tools will be an obligatory part of wealth managers’ digital offerings in the near future and, according to our latest findings, the leading solutions already excel today through extraordinary features like elaborate document management or screen sharing capabilities to collaborate with their financial advisors.

 

Apple’s electronic car and how it could change the ways we work, communicate and interact

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

With the unexpected level of success of the iPhone 6 generating record profits, Apple is said to be already ‘cooking’ up the next big tech sensation: the iCar. Apple’s shift into the auto sector would not mean the end of the iPhone business. On the contrary, Apple fans have come to devour anyiThing related to iPhones - apps, music, films and more. And that’s exactly the main idea behind the tech giant’s strategy: to captivate more prospects and clients with every new product into the Apple universe.

With Tesla already leading the electric car market one may wonder how is Apple going to compete against that given the company’s lack of experience in the strictly regulated automobile industry. Have the iBeetle and Google’s self-driving car not stolen the thunder away already? What new revolutionizing design or functionalities could the iCar bring? First of all, Apple has never played the race to first game, the iPhone was not the first smartphone ever seen and the iPad was not the first tablet on the market. Secondly, Apple’s strategy is strongly brand- focused on Apple being a product company and not a technology company like Samsung. The aim is not to come up with completely new products on the market but to make sure the products Apple brings to the market are well-designed and have cutting edge technology integrated. Therefore, the iCar project is going to take a few more years to be finalized. In the meantime, suggestions and rumors are unstoppable: the Apple car would connect to all its existing products thus creating an exciting Internet of Things (IoT) experience or it would enable unimagined ways of interacting through digital channels while driving. Imagine your car morphs into a full-fledged office. It will be another step to make clients and employees more independent of their physical surroundings. It will have implications for advisors and their clients, for the ways they work, meet, communicate and interact.

Electric cars and Apple definitely make an interesting combination but to take on the car industry will be a different kind of fight than everything Apple has done so far.

 
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