Technology in Wealth Management: Drivers for Adoption and Future Trends

Powered by

All the vital news, analysis, and commentary curated by our industry experts.

"Technology in Wealth Management: Drivers for Adoption and Future Trends", report provides a comprehensive analysis of how technological developments are affecting the wealth management industry, including both traditional providers and new digital entrants to the market. Among others, the report leverages findings from our Global Wealth Managers Survey and Mass Affluent Investor Survey.

Investing in technology has leapt to the top of most wealth managers’ agendas. The emergence of robo-advisors has triggered interest in changing investor demographics and new approaches to client segmentation. On the other hand, shrinking margins and pressure on cost-saving have fueled organizations’ internal needs to seek efficiencies, and these can be achieved with the help of technology. Although ultimately the human element will remain prominent in the world of financial advice, the industry will continue its technological advancement.

Specifically the report –
– Provides an overview of trends in the wealth management and wider financial services industry related to technology.
– Analyzes key drivers behind the adoption of technology and digital solutions in wealth management, looking at both external and internal factors.
– Examines how providers need to adapt to changing client behaviors and preferences in the HNW and mass affluent segments.
– Investigates the future model of robo-advice service and how hybrid digital-human solutions can help to grow business.
– Assesses how different software and tools, including big data and blockchain, can improve the operating efficiency of incumbent wealth management organizations.
– Identifies where the biggest investment gap in the wealth management industry lies, providing an opportunity for IT vendors.


– Lower returns increase investors’ price sensitivity, luring them into the arms of low-cost digital providers.

– Although the average robo-advice client falls into the mass affluent category, HNW investors will also recognize the benefits of digital platforms.

– With millennials building up their wealth, and intergenerational change on the horizon, financial advisors need to prepare themselves for a new generation of clients, while not abandoning their existing clientele.

– Combining the best of human and digital capabilities will lead to successful hybrid advice model development.

– Investment in technology is focused on the front-end, the back-office being lower priority.

– Adoption of technologies such as big data and blockchain remains low in wealth management, and the industry will wait for other branches of financial services to test the waters.

– Despite some high-profile partnerships between incumbents and fintechs, established IT vendors remain better positioned to work with large wealth management organizations.

Reasons to Buy

– Understand what has driven change in the wealth management industry’s approach technology.

– Discover key drivers and barriers for technology adoption in the industry.

– Learn about how changing client expectations and how you can prepare for the new digitally-savvy generation of HNW individuals.

– Examine the most successful robo-advice providers and reasons for their popularity.

– Recognize which key areas of operations within wealth management organizations can most benefit from technology, and how.

– Find out about the industry’s approach to the most innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain.

– Identify opportunities for wealth managers to work with established IT vendors, as well as fintech start-ups.

BNY Mellon
Deutsche Bank
Morgan Stanley
Credit Suisse
J.P. Morgan
Charles Schwab
Scalable Capital
Leodan PrivatBank
PHZ Privat- und Handelsbank
Julius Baer
Waymark Tech
SecureKey Technologies
Australian Securities Exchange
Standard Chartered
BNP Paribas

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. Adoption of technology in wealth management will accelerate 2

1.2. Key findings 2

1.3. Critical success factors 2


2.1.1. Private banking has traditionally competed upon the basis of relationships and alpha 9

2.1.2. Private banks have recently awoken to the need for digital innovation in their service delivery 9

2.1.3. Robo-advisors have lit a fire under the industry in regards to the utility of digital solutions 9

2.2. Wealth managers are investing in front- and back-office tech 10

2.2.1. Client-facing solutions have been seen as a higher priority, but back-office is still a focus 10

2.3. Understanding technology is essential in order to benefit from it 11

2.3.1. Other branches of financial services will continue to lead in technology 11


3.1. Drivers for technology investment have come from many different quarters 12

3.2. Lower fees and simplicity attract investors to digital platforms 13

3.2.1. Wealth managers once again need to adapt to a step-change in fee tolerance 13

3.2.2. Price-sensitivity fuels interest in low-cost, digital-only investment managers 13

3.2.3. User-friendly platforms are welcome among more hands-on investors 15

3.3. Intergenerational change is fueling the need for a shift in how wealth management services are provided 17

3.3.1. Wealth managers must incorporate digital services ahead of millennials coming into wealth 17

3.3.2. The current aging HNW demographic remain loyal to their advisors 17

3.3.3. As wealth is passed on, wealth managers’ client demographics will change 17

3.3.4. Wealth managers should not underestimate the utility of digital services to older clients 18

3.4. Large wealth management organizations struggle with costs 18

3.4.1. Expenses have been growing faster than revenues 18

3.4.2. Staff reductions require better advisor effectiveness 19

3.5. Regulatory requirements have weighed on the efficiency of many firms 20

3.5.1. Mounting compliance requirements have resulted in higher costs for wealth managers 20

3.5.2. The fiduciary rule in the US will encourage firms to invest in technology 21


4.1. Incumbent wealth managers feel the pressure from robo-advisors 22

4.1.1. Automated investment platforms will try to win private banks’ audience 22

4.1.2. Robo-advice platforms can complement wealth managers’ services 23

4.1.3. Digital players are yet to find their ultimate place in the market 24

4.2. Robo-advisors only really launched into the market following the financial crisis 24

4.2.1. Challenger brands are not able to compete with incumbents on reputation 24

4.3. Traditional wealth managers are venturing into robo-advice 25

4.3.1. Inclusion of the human element is key to bringing in significant AUM 25

4.3.2. Security and trust remain essential in investment management, making brand a key consideration 26

4.3.3. The roles of humans and technology are not fixed 27

4.3.4. Client segmentation and tailored targeting strategies are essential 27

4.3.5. There is HNW appetite for digital solutions 28

4.4. Hybrid human-digital offerings are the future 29

4.4.1. The hybrid proposition must not undermine a provider’s image, values, or core business 30

4.4.2. The right combination of human and digital elements will resonate with a wide audience 31


5.1. The industry invests in technology that allows savings 32

5.1.1. Wealth managers are investing more in tools supporting front- than back-office 32

5.1.2. Drivers of investment in efficiency tools have mainly been cost-related 32

5.2. Innovative communication platforms save time on travel and meetings, but will not replace human contact 33

5.2.1. Improving communication flow between clients and advisors has been the focus of North American wealth managers 33

5.2.2. Portfolio management software will be most beneficial in markets with low discretionary mandates penetration 35

5.2.3. Digital workflow tools support the administrative duties of relationship managers 37

5.3. Automating compliance work will trigger efficiencies 38

5.4. Big data analytics can help tailor products, but on the top level only 41

5.4.1. Analysis of investors’ history of trades provides information about their attitudes 41

5.4.2. Less than a third of wealth managers use big data 41

5.5. Blockchain remains untouched territory in wealth management 42


6.1. The wealth management industry presents an opportunity for IT solution providers 45

6.1.1. Emerging markets have been early adopters of innovative solutions 45

6.1.2. Wealth managers look for support in client acquisition and gaining efficiencies 46

6.1.3. The opportunity for IT vendors lies in developed economies with big established firms struggling with outdated systems 47

6.2. Fintech startups are seeking partnerships with bigger brands 48

6.2.1. In an industry that requires scale, start-ups have been eager to partner 48

6.2.2. Fintechs will struggle to attract wealth partners in North America 49

6.3. Established IT vendors have an advantage over fintechs 50

6.3.1. Upgrading is still a fraught endeavor for wealth managers, and they appreciate the experience and capacity of established suppliers 50

6.3.2. IT vendors should provide not only pure IT services, but also advice 51


7.1. Abbreviations and acronyms 52

7.2. Supplementary data 52

7.3. Definitions 66

7.3.1. Automated investment platform 66

7.3.2. CAGR 66

7.3.3. Developed (mature) economies 66

7.3.4. Emerging (developing) economies 66

7.3.5. High net worth (HNW) 66

7.3.6. Robo-advisor 66

7.3.7. Standalone automated investment platform (robo-advisor) 66

7.4. Methodology 67

7.4.1. 2017 Global Wealth Managers Survey 67

7.4.2. 2016 Global Wealth Managers Survey 67

7.4.3. 2015 Global Wealth Managers Survey 67

7.4.4. Mass Affluent Investors Survey 67

7.4.5. Level of agreement calculation 68

7.4.6. Exchange rates 68

7.5. Bibliography 68

7.6. Further reading 70


List of Tables

Table 1: Forecast growth in technology investment among US retail banks, by selected business segments 11

Table 2: The largest digital wealth management platforms in the US and Europe, by AUM 28

Table 3: Regional breakdown of countries covered in our Global Wealth Managers Surveys 53

Table 4: Survey data: Proportion of wealth managers investing, planning to invest, and not planning to invest in IT solutions facilitating administrative duties e.g. CRM, KYC 54

Table 5: Survey data: Proportion of wealth managers investing, planning to invest, and not planning to invest in digital tools for financial planning, portfolio development 55

Table 6: Survey data: Proportion of wealth managers introducing, planning to introduce, and not planning to introduce new digital channels for client communication e.g. video conferencing, online meetings 56

Table 7: Survey data: Proportion of wealth managers using, planning to use, and not planning to use big data analytics like IBM’s Watson to better understand clients and prospects 57

Table 8: Survey data: Proportion of wealth managers developing, planning to develop, and not planning to develop software to automate compliance work 58

Table 9: Survey question (2016): To what extent wealth managers agree that traditional wealth managers will lose market share to automated investment services (robo-advisors) in the next 12 months 59

Table 10: Survey question (2017): To what extent wealth managers agree that traditional wealth managers will lose market share to automated investment services (robo-advisors) in the next 12 months 60

Table 11: Survey question (2016): HNW clients are showing interest in services provided by standalone automated investment platforms (robo-advisors) 61

Table 12: Survey question (2017): HNW clients are showing interest in services provided by standalone automated investment platforms (robo-advisors) 62

Table 13: Survey question (2017): My firm has, or is looking to, partner with or acquire fintech start-ups over the next two years 63

Table 14: Survey question (2017): Co-operation with regtech will reduce wealth managers' compliance costs 64

Table 15: Survey question (2017): Digital access and channels are essential for wealth mangers serving HNW investors 65

Table 16: US dollar exchange rates, December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2016 68


List of Figures

Figure 1: Key drivers of technology adoption in the wealth management industry 13

Figure 2: Low fees are the major factor attracting HNW investors to robo-advice platforms 14

Figure 3: Entrepreneurs are likely to show demand for execution-only services 15

Figure 4: Price-sensitivity falls behind other factors driving self-directed investors outside the HNW segment 16

Figure 5: UBS has been reducing its workforce while growing AUM 20

Figure 6: In 2017 more wealth managers expect to lose market share to robo-advisors than in 2016 23

Figure 7: Barring Germany, the markets where digital channels are least important are offshore centers 29

Figure 8: Leodan PrivatBank attempted to build a friendly and amusing brand 31

Figure 9: Wealth managers are introducing new digital channels for client communication 34

Figure 10: The majority of wealth managers have already started investing in tools that facilitate financial planning and portfolio management 36

Figure 11: Digital tools that facilitate the administrative duties of advisors are most common 38

Figure 12: Compliance is currently more likely to be automated in emerging than mature markets 39

Figure 13: In markets like the Netherlands and the UK, wealth managers remain hesitant about the benefits of regtech 40

Figure 14: Adoption of big data is low in the wealth management industry 42

Figure 15: Wealth managers are not sure about the application of blockchain within the industry 44

Figure 16: Emerging markets are leading the way in technological developments 46

Figure 17: IT vendors have the biggest business opportunity in developed markets 47

Figure 18: Fintechs operating in the ‘product’ area attract most investment 49

Figure 19: China’s hot fintech market has the most wealth managers that are open to collaboration 50

Frequently asked questions

Technology in Wealth Management: Drivers for Adoption and Future Trends standard reports
Currency USD

Can be used by individual purchaser only


Can be shared globally by unlimited users within the purchasing corporation e.g. all employees of a single company

Undecided about purchasing this report?

Enquire Before Buying Request a Free Sample

Get in touch to find out about multi-purchase discounts
Tel +44 20 7947 2745

Every customer’s requirement is unique. With over 220,000 construction projects tracked, we can create a tailored dataset for you based on the types of projects you are looking for. Please get in touch with your specific requirements and we can send you a quote.

Sample Report

Technology in Wealth Management: Drivers for Adoption and Future Trends was curated by the best experts in the industry and we are confident about its unique quality. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer free sample pages to help you:

  • Assess the relevance of the report
  • Evaluate the quality of the report
  • Justify the cost

Download your copy of the sample report and make an informed decision about whether the full report will provide you with the insights and information you need.

Below is a sample report to understand what you are buying

See what our customers are saying

“The GlobalData platform is our go-to tool for intelligence services. GlobalData provides an easy way to access comprehensive intelligence data around multiple sectors, which essentially makes it a one-for-all intelligence platform, for tendering and approaching customers.

GlobalData is very customer orientated, with a high degree of personalised services, which benefits everyday use. The highly detailed project intelligence and forecast reports can be utilised across multiple departments and workflow scopes, from operational to strategic level, and often support strategic decisions. GlobalData Analytics and visualisation solutions has contributed positively when preparing management presentations and strategic papers.”

Business Intelligence & Marketing Manager, SAL Heavy Lift

“COVID-19 has caused significant interference to our business and the COVID-19 intelligence from GlobalData has helped us reach better decisions around strategy. These two highlights have helped enormously to understand the projections into the future concerning our business units, we also utilise the project database to source new projects for Liebherr-Werk to use as an additional source to pitch for new business.”

Market Analyst & Management, Liebherr-Werk

Your daily news has saved me a lot of time and keeps me up-to-date with what is happening in the market, I like that you almost always have a link to the source origin. We also use your market data in our Strategic Business Process to support our business decisions. By having everything in one place on the Intelligence Center it has saved me a lot of time versus looking on different sources, the alert function also helps with this.

Head of Key Accounts, Saab AB

Having used several other market research companies, I find that GlobalData manages to provide that ‘difficult-to-get’ market data that others can’t, as well as very diverse and complete consumer surveys.

Marketing Intelligence Manager, Portugal Foods

Our experience with GlobalData has been very good, from the platform itself to the people. I find that the analysts and the account team have a high level of customer focus and responsiveness and therefore I can always rely on. The platform is more holistic than other providers. It is convenient and almost like a one stop shop. The pricing suite is highly competitive and value for our organisation.

I like reports that inform new segments such as the analysis on generation Z, millennials, the impact of COVID 19 to our banking customers and their new channel habits. Secondly the specialist insight on affluent sector significantly increases our understanding about this group of customers. The combination of those give us depth and breadth of the evolving market.

I’m in the business of answering and helping people make decisions so with the intelligence center I can do that, effectively and efficiently. I can share quickly key insights that answer and satisfy our country stakeholders by giving them many quality studies and primary research about competitive landscape beyond the outlook of our bank. It helps me be seen as an advisory partner and that makes a big difference. A big benefit of our subscription is that no one holds the whole data and because it allows so many people, so many different parts of our organisation have access, it enables all teams to have the same level of knowledge and decision support.

Head of Customer Insight and Research, Standard Chartered

“I know that I can always rely on Globaldata’s work when I’m searching for the right consumer and market insights. I use Globaldata insights to understand the changing market & consumer landscape and help create better taste & wellbeing solutions for our customers in food, beverage and healthcare industries.

Globaldata has the right data and the reports are of very high quality compared to your competitors. Globaldata not only has overall market sizes & consumer insights on food & beverages but also provides insights at the ingredient & flavour level. That is key for B2B companies like Givaudan. This way we understand our customers’ business and also gain insight to our unique industry”

Head of Consumer Sensory Insights, Givaudan

GlobalData provides a great range of information and reports on various sectors that is highly relevant, timely, easy to access and utilise.  The reports and data dashboards help engagement with clients; they provide valuable industry and market insights that can enrich client conversations and can help in the shaping of value propositions. Moreover, using GlobalData products has helped increase my knowledge of the finance sector, the players within it, and the general threats and opportunities.

I find the consumer surveys that are carried out to be extremely beneficial and not something I have seen anywhere else. They provided an insightful view of why and which consumers take (or don’t) particular financial products. This can help shape conversations with clients to ensure they make the right strategic decisions for their business.

One of the challenges I have found is that data in the payments space is often piecemeal. With GD all of the data I need is in one place, but it also comes with additional market reports that provide useful extra context and information. Having the ability to set-up alerts on relevant movements in the industry, be it competitors or customers, and have them emailed directly to me, ensures I get early sight of industry activity and don’t have to search for news.

Senior Account Manager, TSYS
Financial Services
France Life Insurance Market Size and Trends by Line of…
$3,999 | June 2024
Financial Services
Wealth Management Trends and Themes in 2024
$5,250 | May 2024
Financial Services
Peru Insurance Industry - Key Trends and Opportunities to 2028
$1,450 | May 2024
Go even deeper with GlobalData Intelligence Center

Every Company Report we produce is powered by the GlobalData Intelligence Center.

Subscribing to our intelligence platform means you can monitor developments at Technology in Wealth Management: Drivers for Adoption and Future Trends in real time.

  • Access a live Technology in Wealth Management: Drivers for Adoption and Future Trends dashboard for 12 months, with up-to-the-minute insights.
  • Fuel your decision making with real-time deal coverage and media activity.
  • Turn insights on financials, deals, products and pipelines into powerful agents of commercial advantage.