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What do investors want in an online advisory platform?

Online platforms are impacting investor communication, which needs to be in real-time after a market plunge, according to a joint study conducted by Scorpio Partnership and BNP Paribas.
What do investors want in an online advisory platform?

The study found that a shift in investor communication preferences “reflects a latent need for frequent investor updates from financial advisors. Unsurprisingly, clients worry that that any communications delays with advisors will negatively impact their portfolios”.

Real-time market updates may be desirable in daily interactions, but they become critical when an extraordinary event occurs.

Nearly 90% of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in Asia-Pacific with Japan surveyed state they would want advisor communication after the occurrence of a market event.

Indonesian and Malaysian HNWIs are the most anxious when they are left out of the loop:

The survey also found that 40% of 1,000 HNWI respondents view portfolio performance analysis as a vital tool. This position is strongest in Singapore (54%) and Taiwan (49%), where such features are often viewed as standard elements of an online wealth platform.

In addition, 40%-50% of HNWIs in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia believe that the option to conduct financial research must be offered by their advisors:

N denotes number of respondents

The study noted that HNWIs in the region already spend an average of 5.3 hours per week managing their wealth online, adding that 83% of investors say they would leave their wealth manager if they were dissatisfied with the online platform experience.

The study also found a strong demand for an holistic overview of the portfolio that would quickly clarify an investor’s market position.

“Online portals should be refashioned as investor hubs, with analytical tools, market data and investment information all readily available. Personal objectives should be captured on a cloud-based platform. Execution capabilities must also be offered,” the study said.

A number of industry players have been aware of the importance of having an integrated online advisory platform.

For example, UBS Wealth Management’s UBS Advice, which is an advisory platform that builds portfolios based on a client’s needs and risk profile, was launched in Asia in 2015. It was first launched in Zurich in 2013.

UBS Group has decided to bring the platform to market in a white-labelled version, Markus Egloff, UBS Asset Management’s managing director and head of wholesale client coverage for Asia ex-Japan, said in an earlier interview.

Credit Suisse launched its digital private banking platform in Singapore in 2015 and in Hong Kong in 2016, according to a statement from the firm. The platform provides clients with access to comprehensive information about their accounts, market insights and intelligence, tools to analyse their risk exposure and trading tools to respond to moving markets.

Most recently, Citibank launched a digital advisory platform for its affluent clients in China, which provides them with investment analytics under various stress test scenarios, as well as tools that assess a client’s portfolio diversification across assets, according to a statement from the firm.

Communication channels

The study also noted that many HNW clients are now switching to non-traditional channels of communication.

Although traditional engagement, such as face-to-face meetings, remains the preferred method of communication, clients now are using SMS and social media to communicate with their relationship managers.

For example, two thirds of investors in Malaysia and Singapore communicate with their private bankers via SMS, while a majority in Taiwan and three quarters in China opt for social networking messaging apps, according to the study.



Part of the Mark Allen Group.