With an inevitable digital future, wealth institutions must adopt an agile business model that will help their wealth managers meet ever-evolving client expectations. If wealth management firms want to capitalize on industry opportunities, they need to adopt trends like increased transparency, efficient communication methods for cross-functional teams, emotional intelligence, and advanced technology.
Clients are interested in leveraging technology to make informed, independent financial decisions. Success in the future means reimagining the operating model that defines client relationship. Firms are investing in an array of digital tools for wealth managers to turn data into richer conversations with clients. But data alone cannot solve this problem; we must enlist clients in conversations that encompass a complete picture of the goals they want to achieve. Education and financial literacy are areas where technology can help minimize resistance and produce insights, by analyzing sequences of advanced algorithms, wealth managers can unearth greater understanding and foster more relevant discussions about their clients' financial goals. This tremendous transformation changes the method of engagement from a customer acquisition-focused activity, to one that enables an engaged human experience, grounded in data, across the entire life-cycle of the client journey.
Future innovations need to concentrate on more comprehensive and interactive models that make the most of the available technology. There is a lot of enthusiasm encompassing robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), including their capacity to propel greater advancements in automation in wealth management as well as provide a better investor experience. Such advances will change the way wealth is managed.
We are on the cusp of the largest wealth transfer in history. It won’t be long before millennials gain control of a more significant portion of global assets. Innovative changes have been sweeping the wealth management industry as wealth companies equip themselves to engage and cater to a completely new breed of investors. The burgeoning interest in sustainable investing is expected to swell in the coming years, as more people are encouraged to back socially and environmentally conscious investments. Millennials have been dominating the consciousness campaign towards sustainable investing and its principles, resulting in a positive response overall.
As information on asset management and financial services become more accessible, people from all walks of life are opening up to the concept of investing and becoming more conscious of the state of their financial health.
At Mashreq, we have made significant investments into incorporating digital into our comprehensive wealth management offerings by refocusing our digital footprint to ensure that our clients can make the most informed decisions more efficiently. Unlike most financial institutions, we also offer our clients an open architecture that allows them to access a wide range of globally available products and services without specific portfolio or asset class restrictions. Instead of relying solely on the traditional relationship-based model, we have evolved into becoming more of an information partner for our clients.
We have revamped our ‘Products & Solutions’ division to enable us to offer our clients a wider variety of solutions when it comes to managing and growing their wealth through model portfolios, discretionary portfolios, fixed maturity plans, overdrafts against properties for investment, alternative structured solutions, insurance, FX, equity offshore funds, and lending across local and international assets (including real estate). As one of the oldest financial institutions in the country, Mashreq’s local expertise across wealth combined with global partnerships means, our clients get the best of both worlds. Through our Corporate & Investment bank, Mashreq Securities and the Mashreq Capital division in DIFC, we are able to structure products that cater to the individual and unique needs of our clients here in the UAE and abroad. Clients expect unique services tailored to their individual needs. They value modern, intuitive financial management platforms, and experienced professionals who can translate the strategies proposed by the systems to help them make an informed decision.
We help our clients realize their goals through insights and expertise, innovation and agility, operational efficiencies and next-level customer experience at each stage of their wealth journey. Instead of the traditional company model, we have become cross-functional, with all our teams constantly organizing and adapting by implementing agile principles into our business. We have a unique operating model that offers our clients a team-based approach to managing their wealth by providing them access to a team of specialists that include experienced relationship managers, qualified investment and insurance advisors, forex specialists, and client service managers.
At Mashreq, we are accepting that the terrain is evolving and that our customers expect a different kind of service, and so this is the direction we will continue to move in.
Subroto Som, Executive Vice President – Group Head of Retail Banking Group, Mashreq Bank