Nine out of ten of the world’s wealthy are using digital tools to inform their wealth management transactions, according to the findings of a new survey.
The second instalment of the Scorpio Partnership’s 2014 Futurewealth series, conducted in conjunction with NPG Wealth Management and SEI, surveyed over 3,000 millionaires with average assets of $2.9m (£1.7m).
It found that while many high-net-worth individuals still believe that a good adviser and a human contact point is essential to a great transaction, 92% of respondents use digital solutions to further inform their decisions.
More than half of respondents said they used such tools to review markets, securities and analyse performances.
This use of technology is especially prevalent among the younger wealthy, the study found. Respondents under 40 said they place more focus on digital elements than their more mature counterparts.
“The research emphasises the importance of a personal delivery in the wealth management transaction,” said Marc Stevens, chief executive of NPG Wealth Management.
“But it also highlights that, for customers to be truly satisfied, their human contact at a firm must be supported by digital capabilities and efficient processes.”
Sebastian Dovey, managing partner of Scorpio Partnership, added, “The definition of what constitutes a wealth management relationship is evolving.”
“The findings indicate going forward the wealth management industry needs to think about more effective online engagement.”
The first Futurewealth report, published in February, argued that wealth managers need to better engage with clients in order to understand their personal values and investment motives, or risk them becoming “unstuck”.
When asked if there were specific circumstances leading to their reason for beginning a new relationship with their main advisers, 16% of respondents listed the failure of a former financial provider as a reason. This figure rises to 25% among those worth over $4m (£2.4m).
The findings suggested that wealth managers have to fully understand what motivates every client, as sustainable, responsible and ethical investment gradually becomes more mainstream.