Celent Wealth Management Research Agenda

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2019 Outlook


Regulatory, market, and technology developments are likely to pressure wealth management margins in 2019. At the same time, institutions’ need to generate fee streams will further cement the business’s strategic importance. Innovation, including around AI and distributed ledger technology, will be led by both fintech startups and incumbents. Forward-looking and pragmatic, our 2019 research agenda looks at ways wealth managers can advance their competitive positions in line with the five themes below.


Digital Wealth

The concept of digitization meansreplacement of manual processes and paper with automation and service delivery in real time. What are the opportunities and pitfalls firms face around the transition from legacy architecture to client-centered tech? Our research will assess the ways CRM and other desktop tools can scale the reach and effectiveness of the advisor, while a series of ABCD reports will compare provider solutions across the front to back office.

Advice Alpha

Prioritization of client objectives and life goals over portfolio manufacturing and maintenance supports greater advisor effectiveness. Celent will look in 2019 at tools supporting de-accumulation, financial planning, and wellness, as well as account aggregation technology. The evolution of hybrid digital advice from a segmentation play (“Call me when you’ve got a million, Mr. Client”) to a more seamless “co-pilot” model will be explored as well.

AI Everything

Natural language processing, natural language generation, and other artificial intelligence technology are game-changers in that they augment human-driven advice. AI-driven analytics are another focal point. The foundational role of data and data preparation requirements in enabling insights and action will be considered in depth.

Ecosystem API

The evolution of infrastructure from a series of loosely connected point systems to end-to-end platforms to unbundled technology solutions has implications for products, pricing, and delivery models. Celent already has observed the rise of industry utilities for sharing and consolidating client data. What other forms of partnerships are likely to emerge in this dynamic environment? Lastly, what new types of services will be enabled by the API?

Outsource the House

The need to rationalize costly delivery models and improve user experience heralds increased operations outsourcing. Processes and people that were once sacred cows are now exposed to the chopping block. What functions will be consolidated and outsourced as the historic “offshore” model becomes a more sophisticated proposition, and what will be the contribution of digital ledger technology, or blockchain?

To access a more detailed outline for our 2019 plans, Celent Clients can log into the website and download the full Research Agenda.