Digital needs of both asset and wealth managers

Digital needs of asset and wealth managersDigital needs of asset and wealth managers

TJ Jetnil, Factset Insight | There is increased demand from the financial services industry to efficiently and effectively engage and communicate with clients. Two primary audiences in financial services are trying to solve different but related challenges: asset managers and wealth managers. While asset managers are typically lagging in terms of their adoption of digital technology compared to wealth managers, investors themselves are pushing the industry to accelerate the shift to digital. Both communities are looking for the tools, content, and capabilities they need to address their emerging business challenges during this digital transformation.

Asset Managers Are Playing Catch-Up on Digital

Asset managers are looking to distribute performance reports and their own thought leadership to their clients. This group has traditionally required portfolio analytics, performance, and associated market data to service their clients. However, today their clients are demanding much more insight and information from them – and they want it on demand. They want to understand how the fund manager is managing their assets without having to pick up the phone or send an email every time they have a question about a number in their traditional, static reporting. Asset managers are beginning to recognize that they need to provide their clients with a digital factsheet, enabling their clients to dig deeper and better understand how their assets are being managed.

Wealth Managers Can Use Technology to Increase Client Engagement

Digital solutions are enabling advisors to take wealth management to the next level to help them better serve their clients. They are using technology to enhance and grow client engagement, create efficient communicate channels, and provide a personalized user experience. For wealth managers, human interaction is a key component of the advisor-client relationship. While many advisors perceive digitization to be in direct opposition to the high-touch proposition they offer, their clients believe that technology can give them instant access to research ideas, investment information, and expertise.

Last year, FactSet worked with Scorpio Partnership to poll nearly 900 high net worth investors around the world to get their thoughts on the digital transformation of the wealth management industry. The results of that survey provided a number of critical takeaways for wealth managers. Most importantly, while the human component is important, we found that wealthy investors are hungry for more digital interactions.

Today, wealth management clients are instinctively reaching for their mobile devices to check their accounts, digest content, access proactive advice, and to carry out transactions. 82% of those surveyed expect their primary advisors to enhance their online capabilities in the very near term. 46% of investors say that real-time performance analysis is the most urgent improvement needed to their advisor’s portal, with real-time reporting not far behind.

Our research also finds that the Ultra High Net Worth and High Net Worth segments are surprisingly underserved from a digital perspective compared to their retail counterparts. In fact, two-thirds of the Ultra High Net Worth investors that participated in our poll feel their digital experience is generic and not tailored to their needs as compared to the investor operating on a self-directed retail platform.


Asset managers and wealth managers alike are realizing the benefits of embracing digital technology. Firms increasingly need to deliver the transparent, personalized experience their clients are demanding as well as what their next generation of clients will expect as the transfer of wealth accelerates

About the Author

Shaun Riordan
Shaun Riordan is Director of the Department for Diplomacy and Cyberspace in the European Institute of International Studies and a senior visiting fellow of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, “Clingendael”. He is also an independent geopolitical risk consultant. A former British diplomat, he served in New York, Taiwan, Beijing and Madrid, as well as the departments of counter-terrorism and the Eastern Adriatic in the Foreign Office. Shaun has taught at diplomatic academies in the Dominican Republic, Spain, Armenia and Bulgaria. He is the author of “Cyberdiplomacy: Managing Security and Governance Online” (Polity, 2019), “Adios a la Diplomacia” (Siglo XXI, 2005) and “The New Diplomacy” (Polity, 2003). He maintains a blog ( and can be followed at @shaun_riordan