MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
The build-up in spending will help financial services firms cope with market regulations and stay competitive amid an environment of increasing numbers of mass affluent investors, Datamonitor says.
The rise in the mass affluent segment is fuelling growth in new services and distribution options, which will require a more sophisticated approach to technology. Datamonitor defines mass affluent as individuals holding $60,000-$500,000 in onshore liquid assets including cash and deposits, equities, bonds and unit trusts.
For technology vendors, the opportunities lie in providing IT needs of private banks, retail banks, insurance providers, independent financial advisors, retail asset managers and retail brokerage houses.
ôWealth managers, private bankers and retail banks are no longer talking of standalone strategies for wealthy individualsö, says Jaroslaw Knapik, London-based financial services technology analyst with Datamonitor and author of the study. ôThe trend is towards integrated financial solutions, revolving around cross-selling banking, savings and investment products wrapped with advice.ö
Effective front and middle office tools, such as portfolio management, financial planning and analytical customer relationship management system, are crucial to wealth management operations, Datamonitor notes.
ôClients, particularly the more active new money segment, are demanding a more hands-on approach from their relationship managers,ö Knapik says. ôThis creates a need for advisors and front office staff to have access to more agile, automated analytical tools and presence technologies that enable client interactions to be more effective from a cost and time perspective.ö
A key priority within distribution channels will be continuous delivery of high-quality face-to-face advice while providing customers with internet-based transactional capabilities in tandem, Datamonitor notes. Retail banks looking to target this group are extending their offering beyond traditional retail banking services, including more product building, stronger and multi-channel customer and advisor service options and deeper understanding of customer data.
The presentation of data has always been amongst the top priorities of wealth managers, as data reporting often determines whether a client will stay with the company. However, increasing pressure to reduce cost is causing focus to shift to back-office improvements, such as infrastructure and governance.
Investors still favour private equity assets for their higher growth, better governance structures, and diversification potential.
The recent focus on greenwashing has put bond issues under greater scrutiny. However, some market participants believe this risks paralysis by analysis.
The AU$85 billion ($61.6 billion) Australian super fund has some exposure to indebted property developer Evergrande. Meanwhile, China’s construction finance is part of its core strategy in real estate.
Investors are seeing the risks, but also the opportunities of the logistics sector. Warehousing their fears for the moment, they can see it's a good conduit to high-growth assets.