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Big four firm warns of new disruption risks

Katarina Taurian
26 May 2016 — 1 minute read

One of the big four firms has produced research which suggests practitioners will face growing client retention challenges if they do not respond to emerging advice trends.

EY’s The experience factor: the new growth engine in wealth management report found that one in four clients are now willing to switch professional wealth managers, and embrace new technology-driven advice models.

“Australian clients also indicated an increasing willingness to embrace new technology, with one in four open to investing via automated advice services, such as robo-advisers. In this environment, wealth managers will need to differentiate themselves around customer experience if they want to capture market share,” said EY Oceania wealth and asset management leader, Antoinette Elias.


Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Ms Elias said she believes the risk of clients moving on to new practitioners has increased in recent years.

“There’s an increasing willingness for clients to move,” she said.

“The fact that 73 per cent of Australian and global clients have relationships with multiple wealth managers says it all. If they have already got more than one relationship, the impetus to move is much higher than it is when there’s only one relationship. We’ve seen this a lot in the Australian market,” she said.

The report also noted that clients are eager for a “new level of transparency” that includes rating their advisers and connecting with similar clients in public forums.

Further, the report said financial advisers may 'morph' into “financial therapists” in the long run, helping clients with spending habits or reaching life goals instead of having a focus on standard asset allocation advice or other activities that could be automated.

“In an industry where advances in technology, new types of competition and client expectations are changing rapidly, firms that challenge traditional norms while remaining true to their core value proposition will be better positioned to succeed,” said Ms Elias.

“The rules of the game have changed. In order to attain growth, managers must now learn to compete with man, machine and hybrid-based firms to retain and attract assets. Delivering a comprehensive client experience is the linchpin that will make or break a firm in this new wealth management landscape,” she said.

Big four firm warns of new disruption risks
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