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Future Of The Wealth Ops Workforce

Matt Short

28 December 2023

With technology and other elements of work changing rapidly, wealth managers must naturally wonder what the working environment in their sector will look like. So much has changed already. To try to make sense of this is Matt Short, business manager at Consumer Duty and a greater emphasis on vulnerable customers, ops functions within wealth providers must ensure that the customer is at the heart of everything they do. 

Given that more and more customers will go through an automated process with no human interaction, it will be imperative that processes are suitably designed, and staff trained to look out for signs of vulnerability. Having a more multi-skilled workforce which sees more of the end-to-end customer journey may help with this challenge.

Hybrid working could be here to stay
Exacerbated by Covid, there has been a seismic shift in the use of tech within wealth ops, enabling people to work from home in areas that have traditionally been office based. We have already started to see a shift towards hybrid working. 

There are benefits on both sides to allowing some home working. 

From a business perspective, it will lower their cost base if they reduce the number or size of their offices. It also allows firms to attract talent from a wider geographical pool. Staff may be more engaged as it allows for a better balance between work and home responsibilities. 

From an employee perspective, most have come to expect an element of flexibility with home working and might be put off by firms insisting on full-time office working. Less travel saves time, money, and stress. 

There are some downsides as many companies will struggle to impart their culture. It may be more difficult to spot personal problems employees are having, and building relationships with colleagues and stakeholders becomes more demanding. This is another reason why hybrid working feels like a sensible balance between the two.

Benefits of tech advances
If used in the right way, AI could make employees' lives easier by doing a lot of the heavy lifting that previously would have been done manually. Due to their repetitive nature, those tasks could be at risk from human error. AI can be complementary to human tasks rather than a threat. 

In general, the feeling during the event was that staff recognise the benefits humans bring to the party and AI is just another part of the evolution of financial services.

In summary, tech advances will change the world of wealth ops. Tech and AI will revolutionise the way we work, but people are vital.          

Wealth firms may need fewer people and skill sets will change – forcing businesses to adapt to a different strategy – but if firms embrace this, it could lead to more efficiency, fewer errors, and an engaged multi-skilled workforce which is able to create a better customer experience. It is an exciting time to be in wealth management.

About the author
Matt Short previously worked at HSBC for 19 years in Wealth Operations, projects and primarily in a contact centre, running the centre for the last seven years, where he serviced HSBC’s Life, Pensions and Investments customers.