Future wealth industry a digital hybrid


By James Dunn

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New research from National Australia Bank (NAB) digital hub NAB Labs has sought to “reimagine the wealth management industry of the future”, envisaging a heavily digital orientation to wealth management through platforms able to work hand-in-hand with traditional financial advice.

The NAB Labs white paper, “Empowered Wealth: Exploring the wealth management models of the future”, argued investors were increasingly demanding greater value, variety, transparency and enhanced accessibility from financial services providers.

The paper found the differing needs of disparate groups of customers were changing the Australian wealth management industry.

“Wealth models of the future need to support a range of solutions that are both personalised and accessible to a broader range of customer personas,” it said.

It delineated three key investor personas that it said were key to understanding what different types of advice clients wanted.

The three personas are the ‘delegator’, who knows the importance of wealth management but is too time-poor to do it themselves; the ‘validator’, who wants support to help manage their wealth, but does not have an adviser; and the ‘self-directed’, who understands the investment strategies available to them and does not want an adviser.

NAB executive general manager of wealth Matthew Lawrance said while the majority of clients were content to manage their own wealth, their sentiments could change depending on their circumstances.

“Research shows us the largest number of customers identify as ‘self-directed’ – particularly pre-retirees and those aged 30 to 44,” he said.

“The reality is that customers switch between personas, sometimes when seeking help, guidance and advice for the same product or service.”

Lawrance said the bank’s customers wanted more targeted support across banking and wealth management, and understanding the investor personas would help to more effectively understand and engage with them.

“We need to continue to invest to develop new and innovative solutions that give them the ability to engage us – whenever, however and through whatever means suits them, whether it be digital or face-to-face,” Lawrance said.

In light of that, digital and traditional advice models were “no longer an ‘either-or’ proposition”, he added.

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