The New Work Order: Opportunities for Wealth Managers in the Age of COVID-19

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27 May 2020


It took just a few days this March for a booming US economy to stop in its tracks, and a few weeks to end a 10-year bull market. As markets cratered in response to COVID-19, wealth manager attention turned from profit and earnings to survival. Banks, brokerages and insurers ramped up control room functions such as cybersecurity and internal and external communications, including to regulators. Capital investments were abruptly shelved. A large number of firms announced salary and hiring freezes, as cost pressures radiated outward to the ecosystem of industry contractors and consultants.

Today, three months into the COVID-19 crisis, significant uncertainty remains. What is clear is that core elements of our personal and professional lives have irrevocably shifted in the wake of the pandemic. Indeed, the lockdown has spurred an acceleration of the digital learning curve at all levels of the enterprise. Years have been compressed into months, as staff from the CEO down has been forced to move online. This process will be difficult to unwind and heralds a massive boost in productivity, one around which wealth managers must capitalise.