Top 5 wealth management trends in 2017

January 13, 2017 by Alex Peter

Four diverse wealth management professionals sitting at a table discussing the wealth management trends in 2017

About the author:

Alex Peter

Product marketing strategist

Alex began his career at Advicent as a mid-market business development representative. He now divides his time between assisting his team and working with enterprise clients. Alex is passionate about FinTech and creating success for his team.

In 2016, we saw a lot of industry changes and the formation of other future trends including robo-advisors, uncertainty about the DOL fiduciary standard, new technology emerging, and more. So what will 2017 bring for our industry?

2017 wealth management trends

We believe the following five wealth management trends will receive high levels of focus in the coming year across the financial services industry.

1. Compliance with the DOL Conflict of Interest Rule

April will be a big change for financial advisors and the way they do their business. While there is no singular solution for firms to implement and become compliant, we believe the industry will increasingly turn to financial planning technology for their DOL compliance strategies. This regulation change will require many firms to truly understand and adjust their business plans and processes in 2017 and onward.

2. Generational wealth transfer

According to Berkley, life expectancy for people born in the 1940s and 1950s will be between 60 and 66 years old. That puts 2017 right in the midst of the largest generational wealth transfer that the world has ever seen. Now is the time for firms to make sure they have the strategies in place to onboard those who will inherit wealth. Most individuals who will inherit this wealth expect technology in their everyday life. These client expectations make an excellent digital strategy and client-facing technology tools even more critical.

3. Robo-advisors evolve to hybrid models

Automated investment platforms—or robo-advisors—have been in the news for a long time, but few of them have achieved the profitability that large firms want them to have. This is where the hybrid advisor comes into play. At the crossroads of traditional advising and automated advising, you will find the hybrid business model. This model will have financial professionals staffing call centers to answer questions about investment advice, accounts, and portfolios in a way that is both effective for customers and cost efficient for the firm. According to Financial-Planning.com, consulting firm A.T. Kearney believes that the hybrid model will become the dominating force in the market. A report put out by EY in 2015 reinforces the idea that offering both online and face-to-face interactions will ultimately become a driving force in profitability for firms.

4. Fee compression for traditional advisors

Competition from automated platforms makes it difficult to acquire new clients. They charge significantly less than a traditional advisor, keeping many advisors out of the competition based on price alone. Historically, this would not necessarily be a problem because the advisor would be able to sell a suitable product to offset the fees which they would otherwise be missing. However, advisors will experience fee compression through the new fiduciary standard. How will advisors maintain profitability with these two situations? The answer: Through the adoption of more efficient and engaging technology.

5. The Consumer Revolution continues

The industry was historically constructed in such a way that advisors would meet with their clients once or twice a year, gather new information, and provide the client with a new iteration of their financial plan or attempt to sell a new product. The Consumer Revolution has effected everything from the way we order food, to the way we consume media, to the way we travel. If a brick-and-mortar service is not willing to adopt to the demands of their clients, they will eventually lose that business. The financial services industry is no different. Consumers want their financial plan to be easily accessible and up to date; that means adopting technology to implement a solution to meet the needs of the client.

The bottom line

These five trends can be countered through the implementation of new strategies and technology. At Advicent, we understand that there is no single solution that will fit every firm for the challenges that they face, which is why we truly seek to form a partnership with our clients. This partnership allows us to understand and develop solutions for the unique needs of each firm, while offering world-class support and training. Let us know how we can help you with your goals for 2017. You and your clients will be glad you did.

Click here to learn more about how Advicent technology can fit into your business strategy in 2017?