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Client trust is lowered , either because of declining players’ reputation, conflicts of interests with product business, or volatile markets. Consequently, clients double think before investing into financial markets.
Global wealth is still in expansion and this growth tends to accelerate (+14.6% in 2013 reported BCG – banks who grew less than that were actually losing ground). But how much wealth is not in the hand of private bankers anymore but in real estate, art , etc.?
Additionally, as a consequence of changes in origin of wealth, entrepreneurial mindset and social giving spirit, we see more and more assets flying away to direct investments and philanthropy .
In its last research, Credit Suisse calculated that in Switzerland non-financial assets accounted for 44% in 2014 (growing from 38% in 2006).
Should private bankers build revenue streams from these trends too? Or should it just be a free add-on to their standard services?
Banks and wealth managers are struck by disruptive technology at a time where their cost/income ratio is not at best to invest. Initiatives such as Watson project from IBM may well bring a revolution to Asset management and Advisory. FinTech may change the way clients interact with their banker and the price they are willing to pay for value, especially in the commoditized transaction and custody fields.
Last but not least, digital age transforms clients DNA forever , simply because, in their day-to-day life, they can get everything, everywhere, anytime. Furthermore, most innovative players make it easy and sometimes even free.
How long will it take before the new global, mobile, knowledgeable, time sensitive client says to his banker « why don’t you do that as well? ».
Service design and Design thinking put clients at the very beginning of new developments and private bankers should embrace this approach.
Fortunately, technology also brings opportunities such as better understanding of clients, multiple contacts points, data driven lead generation thanks to Big Data, as well as process streamlining and mass personalization .
In the world of trust and personal interactions by essence, some private banks like UBS and CS already developed such a technology infrastructure that it is even part of their commercial pitch! In addition, they understand that technology should be customized to markets’ and clients’ needs: infrastructure is built globally, application is developed locally; wise.
Technology is a major chance to cope with changes as long as you make it totally agile and transparent for clients and internal users.
It has the power to reconcile product centricity and client centricity . It might not be one or the other, but it could be both.
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