Top Customer Trends in Wealth Management

Writer Laura Campan

Shifting demographics, new clients’ expectations, stricter regulations, milestone developments in technology… Wealth management is undergoing drastic changes. But how to adapt to a market that is evolving quickly, if not revolutionizing?

Oliwia Berdak, VP Research Director at Forrester, gives us some hints.

Evolving trust

Businesses often strive for innovation and first-mover advantages but they should not overlook the value of building trust – even more in financial services, where people entrust you with their money and data. But how to overcome investors’ distrust – especially after the bankruptcy of several American and Swiss banks a few months ago?

Although the latest financial scandals obviously eroded public institutions’ reputation, public distrust also comes from the systemic risks that could affect all os uf – floods, tornados, pandemics, etc. – as well as the rapid advancement of technology and automation that may be seen as a new (and scary) episode of Black Mirror…

According to a research conducted by Forrester on 60,000 customers around the world, trust is mainly about accountability, confidence, consistency, dependability, empathy, integrity, and transparency. Although the results slightly vary from one country to the other, surprisingly, dependability and empathy always come first – and this is exactly where firms do most poorly… Which leads us to the second trend.

Hybrid CX

For Oliwia, firms must build a new engagement model that makes the best out of the digital world and human emotions.

Still according to Forrester’s research, the more complex the task, the more we want human help: “For transactional things – like checking the status of a payment, updating personal information – the vast majority of investors actually prefer digital channels because it’s quick, easy and efficient. But once we move down the level of complexity – like reviewing investments, opening a new financial product – investors really want to engage with a financial professional”.

A service difficult to finance though according to Oliwia since most investors do not want to pay for it. This is where hybrid CX comes into play, by enabling financial advisors with really smart capabilities that make them more productive but also building all these different tools for different stages of the customer life cycle.


Talking about ESG now, Oliwia brings a word of caution. Unlike what we may think of businesses’ ESG engagement, the data is not so great: only 17% of investors have sustainable investment products as of today, and the vast majority does not even know it… Which breaks down into what we would call impact-oriented investors and more conventional investors.

The ones who are impact-oriented prioritize EGS impact over investment returns, whereas the more conventional – who represent about 70% of investors in the UK – fiercely believe that growth will always be over any kind of ESG impact… “So, there is a big hurdle to overcome”.


Over the next two decades, baby boomers are expected to pass down trillions of dollars to charities and younger generations – particularly Millennials and Gen Xers. A global phenomenon known as the greatest wealth transfer in history that will drastically shake up the financial services industry.

For Oliwia, if financial advisors truly want to get their heads around it, they should take a holistic and personalized approach to the management of their clients’ wealth – and technology will arguably be a catalyst for change.