Traditional wealth management is dying. People do not see it because these businesses are dying at a slow pace. In this episode, we discuss with our guest Yann Charraire, the Managing Director of One Wealth Place, the pressing need for digital transformation in the wealth management industry and the factors hindering this change.
A digital transformation cannot take place without cultural transformation. Yann firstly shares more about his experience in the finance industry and how large institutions like banks are hesitant to embrace digital transformation due to rooted workplace cultures. While many companies acknowledge the benefits of digital platforms, their successful legacy hinders them from embracing digital transformation. Furthermore, due to the sheer number of subsidiaries large institutions have, it is challenging to implement a significant cultural shift across the entire company. Hence, cultural transformation is a daunting task that larger institutions face.
However, Yann believes that a digital transformation should not be seen as the desired luxury but rather as an urgent need. While wealth management is one of the more traditional industries out there, financial institutions need to adapt to the new context they find themselves in. With more regulations being imposed on wealth managers in recent years, less freedom and time allow them to interact with clients. Additionally, clients are becoming increasingly used to digital interaction and expect wealth managers to provide these digital platforms. Therefore, the growing dissatisfaction of clients necessitates a change. With the onset of COVID-19, many wealth managers understood this need for change when they struggled to meet with clients during the pandemic physically. In a world where digital services became the new normal, the adoption of digital platforms was accelerated as financial institutions had to adapt or risk falling behind.
Finally, Yann explains how Fintech firms can facilitate digital transformation through smooth execution and digital solutions, making the uptake of technology less daunting. While Fintech firms handle the integration of digital solutions, Wealth managers are responsible for preventing overcomplicating the client experience with technology by working closely with clients to understand their needs better. Yann warns that professionals tend to think that they know their clients and provide them with what they want. However, until professionals have interviewed their clients, they will never fully know. Every client is demanding, and effort must be taken to understand the context of their needs to provide the most appropriate solutions. To this end, Yann commends B2C wealth techs for innovating with digital platforms and simplifying investment methods for clients.