Efficiencies Through Tech, ESG Scrutiny And Open Finance – What 2024 May Bring

Raphael Bianchi 10 January 2024

Efficiencies Through Tech, ESG Scrutiny And Open Finance – What 2024 May Bring

The author of this commentary considers what are important topics for wealth managers during this year.

The following article, exploring themes for 2024, comes from Raphael Bianchi, a senior partner at Synpulse, a global management consulting company, and chief executive of Synpulse8, a global professional services provider to major banking and insurance institutions.

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Social, economic, and geopolitical disruption which has hit newspaper headlines has impacted portfolio management in the last two years. 2024 though looks promising for a new area to boost trends which have been gaining traction within the industry for years and are now picking up pace. From digitalising operations to modernising the customer experience, here are five trends I’m watching as we head into 2024.  
Millennials take the driving seat 
The largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history is underway and will continue through to 2045. Over the next few years, Millennials will become the majority group in wealth customer bases, with the first Gen Zs also becoming eligible for wealth services. Both of these generations are demonstrating different priorities compared with those from previous generations. While bespoke customer service and individualised advice will still remain core to the wealth industry, adapting to changing communication and experience preferences will become vital.   

Seeking efficiencies through technology 
A careful application of emerging technologies will be key for wealth managers to keep up with the changing communications preferences of customers in 2024. While many firms begrudgingly moved to more digital communications and the use of CRM systems during the pandemic, now is the chance to shift mindsets from necessity to opportunity.  
As trusted advisors to their clients, wealth managers can comfortably claim space in channels which clients find convenient, such as WhatsApp or text messages. But the challenge then becomes keeping track of communications, avoiding overwhelm or duplication in order to maintain a truly bespoke experience. Firms that get this right will successfully position themselves as both exclusive and available. 

Continued scrutiny of ESG investing  
One of the major trends in wealth management which the younger generations of clients are driving is ESG investing. This trend is not going away any time soon. In recent years, wealth managers have been wary of greenwashing risks and this has been reflected in service and offer strategies. To keep ahead of the curve firms will need to push for greater clarity in this space in order to design and put forward new propositions for clients with confidence.  

Open finance will create new business models  
Beyond implementing more digital technologies, the wealth management industry is likely to feel the pressure to become more integrated in the next year. This will lead to the rise of open standards, such as those proposed by the OpenWealth Association. As the industry moves towards a clearer shared understanding of what an open finance strategy could look like, new use cases and even totally new business models will emerge.   

Competition in the space is likely to increase  
Part of the shift towards an open finance model for the industry will create new opportunities for cooperation and competition between established firms and fintechs. As well as exploring new combined capabilities, accelerating innovation across the industry as a whole, there is also the chance to drive efficiencies too.  

About the author
Bianchi’s work includes the initial setup of Synpulse's footprint in Asia and the expansion into nearshore capabilities. He focuses on projects in the area of open finance business models and is responsible for initiatives such as the Open Wealth Association.

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