Wealth Managers Urged to Embrace Digital Technology

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Nume Ekeghe

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a professional services firm, has described wealth management as one of the least tech-literate sectors of the financial services industry.

Therefore, the firm has enjoined wealth management firms to accelerate the adoption of comprehensive digital infrastructure that integrates every aspect of their service offering to net worth individuals (HNWIs), if they must remain relevant.

Partner and Head of Tax & Regulatory Services, PwC Nigeria, Taiwo Oyedele, gave this advice while presenting the findings of a recent PwC report: ‘Sink or swim: why wealth management can’t afford to miss the digital wave.”
According to a statement, the forum, targeted at wealth managers and HNWIs was organised by the firm in conjunction with African Wealth Report (AWR).

The report which drew on interviews with wealth relationship managers, CEOs and FinTech innovators, and insights from a survey of 1,000 HNWIs, worldwide revealed that just a quarter of wealth managers offer digital channels beyond email. The forum was thus geared towards informing Wealth managers, family offices and HNWIs of the trend in Wealth management, the expectations of the market and the disruptive effects of digital technology to their operations.

“Africa is producing more wealthy individuals and families in recent times and maximising profitability and growth is the clear goal of institutions tasked with managing this wealth. The wealth management sector globally – at best, is however in the very early stages of the first ecommerce-focused wave. Very few wealth management firms have automated and digitised their back office and administrative functions and this is even more evident in Africa.

“On the other hand, we find that demand among HNWIs for finance-related technology is, surprisingly high across both younger and older HNWIs. They believe it is important for their financial advisor or wealth manager to have a strong digital offering. Ignoring this state of affairs is not an option. If firms do not respond now, they simply will not survive in the medium to long term,” Oyedele said.