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4 WealthTech Predictions for 2022

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What You Need to Know

  • The shift to a unified managed household approach to client and prospect engagement will continue to gain momentum.
  • Once this platform is in place, advisors can understand the relationships between people more clearly.
  • Automated insight delivery will enable advisors to take action in real time.

The disruptions and uncertainty of the past two years have taught advisors and their firms to expect and embrace the unexpected. Amid this ever-changing environment, advisors find themselves in an endless quest for technologies that offer a competitive advantage as they race to deepen relationships with clients and increase the assets they handle.

With this in mind, we expect these wealthtech trends to come to the forefront in 2022:

1. The household view will become the industry standard.

The shift to a unified managed household (UMH) approach to client and prospect engagement will continue to gain momentum. By looking at a client’s entire “household” —  that is, organizing data in a way that captures the financial lives of all associated individuals — the advisor and their team easily can see the business story they need to succeed.

For advisors, understanding the constituents of a household provides a basis for having a comprehensive goals-based financial conversation.

In dealing with clients, methodologies that identify related accounts automatically (prior to confirmation by the clients themselves) often is a means to impress them with the firm’s sophistication, and thus facilitate further asset gathering.

By contrast, asking people to perform such identification is often perceived as ignorance on the part of the firm. Therefore, developing and maintaining logic for grouping accounts into households is a critical activity.

Financial services companies are hampered by data providers that report financial information at the account level. And simplistic determination of household relationships using tax identifiers, surnames, addresses and/or marital relationships often does not grasp the nuance in identifying broader financial relationships. Related accounts may be a mix of individual accounts, business accounts, and accounts for entities such as trusts or estates. They also may  include both immediate family members and members of an extended family.

2. High-quality data integration will separate the winners from the losers.

Integrated technology has the power to drive exponential growth, but outdated and inflexible platforms can hamstring advisors. In an increasingly competitive space, advisors need accurate, up-to-date, complete information to allow for faster decision-making.

Indeed, the only way to realize the promise of a UMH approach is to have in place an integrated data backbone that synchronizes financial and personal information uniformly across multiple account types and investment vehicles.

Once this platform is in place, advisors can understand the relationships between people more clearly, consider the overall performance of a financial portfolio and make recommendations with the entire household’s objectives in mind.

The challenge of integration is not new, but the need has never been greater. The tricky business of having technology and data play well together remains an extremely difficult proposition. “Swivel chair,” or having to go from one technology platform to another to collect and process data, is still one of the greatest pain points for advisors. But there’s a race underway among fintech firms to solve this.

3. Automated and embedded analytics will drive more decision-making.

Analytics traditionally has been descriptive in nature, showing what has already happened. It evolved to become predictive, demonstrating what is likely to happen next. And now analytics is becoming prescriptive, recommending what organizations should do next based on historical data and machine learning techniques.

But rather than forcing users to seek out those recommendations within the environment of an independent analytics platform, a rising trend is the automated delivery within users’ workflows.

Automated insight delivery enables advisors to take action in real time. Humans teamed with machines can deliver outcomes that marry mechanized speed and precision with human intuition and curiosity, creating a winning combination for clients.

4. Increased use of automation and AI will help to tame data complexity.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can help wealth managers do more in less time and with fewer resources by recognizing patterns, anticipating future events and creating rules, so advisors can make informed decisions and communicate better with others.

In 2022, there will be a shift to global data management, which makes managing data quality and integration a center point, beyond simply managing file stores and content.

With today’s automation and AI-enabled technologies, streaming in from hybrid and multi-cloud environments can be handled more effectively. The result is that firms can verify, reconcile and analyze data quickly, helping to enhance the investor experience.

Truly integrated technology platforms rely heavily on these innovations to make sense of the massive volume of data that comes into firms, reconciling and cleaning it into a seamless and unified fabric of information. With AI and automation, commonalities across data objects can be mapped and reconciliation processes can be automated and standardized. And all needs to happen fast.

Jed Maczuba is chief technology officer of Advisor360°, a SaaS provider that builds, integrates and delivers technology for wealth management firms.


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