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HNW RESEARCH: WORLD’S MILLIONAIRES ACTIVELY ENGAGED WITH FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGIES

LONDON – According to a study released by SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC), NPG Wealth Management and Scorpio Partnership, 92% of the world’s wealthy are using digital solutions extensively to inform their wealth management transactions.

The research, entitled The Futurewealth Report 2014: Upgrading the service delivery, is the second paper in a four-part series on the wealth management customer experience. The paper explores the factors that enhance a wealth management transaction for 3,025 of the world’s wealthy with an average worth of USD2.9 million. It finds that while they believe that the advisor is the linchpin of a great wealth management transaction, they are still actively using financial technologies to support their purchasing decisions.

More than half of them are attracted by the knowledge gathering potential of their online account. The most popular online activities are reviewing markets, finding information about securities and undertaking performance analysis. In fact, over 50% of respondents log on at least once a month to carry out these activities [Figure 1].

Niche activities are also undertaken online; 43% of the Futurewealthy check out risks and restrictions online every month, while a third of them assess their tax efficiency online in the same timeframe.

Marc Stevens, CEO of NPG Wealth Management “The research emphasises the importance of a personal delivery in the wealth management transaction. But it also highlights that, for customers to be truly satisfied, their human contact at a firm must be supported by digital capabilities and efficient processes.”

Figure 1: Frequency with which the Futurewealthy use the online account of their primary wealth manager to view the following

graph2

The findings also demonstrate that the younger generation are re-orienting the transaction experience further away from the advisor and towards digital solutions. When asked to grade different elements of their transaction at a firm, respondents under 40 place more focus on digital elements than their more mature counterparts. 

For example, the under 40s give the ability to customise online portfolios an importance score of 46 out of 100, approximately 20 marks higher than peers aged over 60. By contrast, the under 40s score the experience level of their advisor at 58, compared to a mark of 79 among the oldest Futurewealthy.   

“The definition of what constitutes a wealth management relationship is evolving. Actually, delivering delight to the future customer will require shifting digital capabilities from their supporting role further into the value proposition,” remarked Sebastian Dovey, Managing Partner of Scorpio Partnership. “The findings indicate going forward the wealth management industry needs to think about more effective online engagement.” 

“Understanding each phase of the customer journey is critical to the success of wealth managers, and with this paper, we’re diving deeper into what matters to the world’s wealthy after establishing a relationship with a wealth manager,” added Alfred P. West, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SEI. “By identifying which factors the Futurewealthy find important in the customer service experience, we hope to provide wealth management organizations with a better understanding of how they can upgrade their service delivery to better attract and retain these valuable clients.”

Other selected findings

  • Customers who have more than 75% of their cash with a single provider place the highest value on the advisor when making purchasing decisions. The experience level, market knowledge and understanding of their personal contact at a firm get importance scores of over 70 points out of 100; 10 marks higher than those who hold a smaller proportion of their wealth with their main manager. 

  • A majority of customers feel their main wealth manager is delivering a good transaction performance on both a digital and a personal level. In fact, at least 88% of the Futurewealthy believe that they are supported by an advisor with the right knowledge, experience and compatibility. What’s more, around 83% of them felt that their money manager provided a good online overview and this rises to 94% among customers with more than 75% of their cash with a single provider.  

  • Almost 70% of those aged under 40 review the markets through their online account at least once a month, while two-thirds also examine information about securities. But, the usage of digital solutions is not limited to the young. Almost 45% of those over the age of 60 are checking up on their portfolio performance over the net at least once a month. 

Notes

  1. In total, 3,025 individuals took part in this fifth global poll of the Futurewealthy. The average level of wealth among these individuals was USD2.9 million.

  2. Geographically, 47% of the sample group live in Asia Pacific, 34% live in the Americas, 14% live in Europe and 5% live in other countries around the world. 

  3. The research covered four different phases in the wealth management relationship, the first of which has been included in this paper: 

    • The search for a wealth management 

    • Important attributes when carrying out a transaction

    • Reasons for staying with a wealth manager

    • Referrals and recommendations in the wealth management relationship

  4. The research was conducted using an online survey. Participants were identified using profiling techniques to determine their likelihood of qualifying as Futurewealthy candidates. They were contacted directly by email.

  5. The research was conducted by Scorpio Partnership in collaboration with NPG Wealth Management, and SEI.

  6. Scorpio Partnership is a pioneer in the art of translating the complex needs of wealthy clients into practical, innovative and profitable solutions to target these customers. This award-winning firm has surveyed over 30,000 millionaires and billionaires worldwide to collect opinions on what they will need next. With this knowledge, the firm has implemented strategic research, practical consulting and business innovation projects in over 35 countries. Scorpio Partnership is part of McLagan, an AON Hewitt Company. 

  7. NPG Wealth Management is a leading provider of European cross-border life assurance solutions standing for excellence, transparency and compliance in the (Ultra) High Net Worth and High Affluent business. NPG Wealth Management’s operations are based in Luxembourg, Ireland, Gibraltar and Bermuda. From these 4 jurisdictions, the Group provides compliant wealth management solutions with active presence across 11 core Pan-European markets. Over the years, NPG Wealth Management has built a solid reputation of service excellence with its insurance intermediaries and clients with in excess of 5 billion euros of assets under management. For more information, visit www.npgwm.com

  8. SEI (NASDAQ:SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, fund processing, and investment management business outsourcing solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of December 31, 2013, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $559 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $232 billion in assets under management and $327 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit www.seic.com

In the UK, what percentage of HNWs believe they receive value for money from their financial providers?