Majority of wealth managers lack a coherent strategy; few perform robustly across all digital channels
Nov. 01, 2016
Only banks and wealth managers firmly establishing digital as a strategic priority for their respective wealth businesses will succeed in winning and engaging clients in the future. Today, even the digital leaders among the global wealth managers are still providing an uneven digital experience, performing well on one channel, but not as well on others. There is a general lack of a coherent, overarching cross-channel strategy for serving clients.
This is a key finding of the report “Digital Leaders in Wealth Management 2016- Empowering Clients and Creating an Innovative Culture” for which we analyzed and ranked the overall digital performance of 20 leading global private banks and wealth managers. The report ranks the 20 firms across all digital channels, and specifically for websites, mobile apps and social media. A separate ranking identifies the top 10 for digital strategy and delivery. The results are illustrated by featuring core elements of the digital presences of the best ranked wealth managers.
Digital Leaders for Cross-Channel Performance: UBS, BNP Paribas, DBS
Looking at the ranking of the 20 best wealth managers across mobile, website and social media channels, the best performer in the MyPrivateBanking ranking is UBS with 582 points (out of a maximum of 736 points), with its mobile channel counting as the bank’s main strength. BNP Paribas is ranked second with 556 points, showing a balanced and excellent performance across all three channels. DBS claims the third rank with 555 points, earning the accolade of best website of the Top 3 in an aggregated ranking for cross-channel performance. The full rankings of the 20 banks and wealth managers across all channels are detailed in the report.
Our research shows that the leading banks and wealth managers are driving toward multi-channel transformation at varying paces and in their own unique ways, but with a common goal of positively impacting the client experience. These firms have learned more about the online behaviors and needs of HNWIs than their peers, yet there are still major gaps before a truly omni-channel offering can be achieved, which are identified in the report.
One striking finding from our analysis of wealth managers’ performance across multiple digital channels is that there is a huge variation in website, mobile and social media offerings. Even within a channel, websites for example, most firms demonstrate an inconsistent level of capability between domestic and international sites. As a consequence, only five of the top 25 global wealth managers according to assets under management make it into MyPrivateBanking’s shortlist of the top 10 digital leaders, and just over half feature in the ranking of top 20 cross-channel performers. In our view, this is far too large a proportion of clients for whom their wealth management relationship is under-digitized and the pace of change is too slow.
Digital Leaders for Digital Strategy and Delivery: Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Investec
In a special additional assessment, the report explores which firms demonstrate strong digital organization, leadership, industry participation, and targeted wealth solutions. As a result, the research report classifies the top 10 leaders for digital strategy and delivery and provides detailed case studies of the top 10 and an analysis of what makes them unique. The following three top the ranking as strategic leaders:
- Merrill Lynch, which excels with its unique, client-centric strategy and solutions.
- BNP Paribas, with its consistently top-performing digital tools offering a plethora of best practices.
- Investec’s entrepreneurial DNA has clearly had an impact on its digital strategy, helping it to get all the key elements in place.
We see a traditionally conservative culture within many firms, and to overcome this we found that an outside-in approach to innovation is popular. However, our digital leaders are typically engaged in two different modes of collaboration with FinTech startups and entrepreneurial communities, such as accelerator membership or hosting their own hackathons. The report’s data appendix evaluates the digital strategies and delivery of the top 10 along 17 criteria in five areas: innovation, digital strategy, organization and leadership, branding and segmentation, cross-channel integration
Digital leaders reach out for innovative input and give digitization top priority in organization and client service
Based on the analysis of the aggregated results of MyPrivateBanking’s benchmarks, but also assessing the overall digital strategy and innovation approach of the top 10 ranked firms, the report derives in-depth strategic and practical recommendations for engaging and winning wealthy clients through digital channels. MyPrivateBanking sees, among others, some common traits that these digital leaders share:
- There is defined accountability for the wealth management businesses’ digital agendas in the form of a Head of Digital/Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and/or ringfenced digital resources.
- Leaders are high profile advocates for digital transformation in the industry, actively participating in the evolving start-up ecosystem. But there is still more to do, especially in the area of robo-advice and differentiation from other consumer segments, such as retail.
- Leaders are not afraid to experiment; they have introduced agile development and customer experience methods and are exploring new propositions with FinTech.
- The digital offerings of the leading firms generally empower clients to act, through a powerful combination of insightful and actionable tools.
About the report:
The report “Digital Leaders in Wealth Management 2016- Empowering Clients and Creating an Innovative Culture” analyzes the overarching digital performance of 20 leading global private banks and wealth managers. Based on a core set of MyPrivateBanking research reports conducted over the past eight months, the results for all major digital touchpoints are factored into this report. The data for the 20 best performing firms are featured in this analysis, with a focus on the top 10 ranked leaders. In a special additional assessment, the report explores which firms demonstrate strong digital organization, leadership, industry participation, and targeted wealth solutions. Based on this benchmarking data and case studies, the report derives in-depth strategic and practical recommendations for engaging and winning wealthy clients through digital channels. More info.
Analyzed Wealth Managers:
ABN AMRO, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Charles Schwab, CITI Private Bank, Credit Suisse, Danske Bank, DBS Bank, HSBC, ING, Investec, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, RBC, Société Générale, UBS, UniCredit, Vontobel, Wells Fargo