Mobile Applications for Advisors: A Study of the European Market

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12 June 2012


Increasingly, wealth managers believe that development of smartphone and tablet applications provides an opportunity for advisors to reach prospects and better service clients through a new electronic channel. Thus far, advisor app development among wealth managers has lagged app development for clients.

In a new report, Mobile Applications for Advisors: A Study of the European Market, Celent examines mobile application development in six markets: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The second of two reports on mobile app development in the European market, this report focuses on apps for wealth management advisors.

Fears of falling portfolio values have led to increased demands for advisor-client communication and active risk management strategies. As a result, advisors are being forced to do more, with less time. Mobile apps are not a panacea, but offer advisors the ability to conduct new and interactive client meetings and also monitor client portfolios or access research and CRM tools on the go.

“Mobile apps designed for wealth management/private banking services are still at nascent stages at firms. This is particularly true for apps geared toward the advisor,” says Alexander Camargo, Analyst and coauthor of the report. “However, survey results show an increasing number of firms entering planning and exploration stages of advisor app delivery. Celent expects to see a number of launches in the closing months of 2012 and in 2013.”

Celent expects that advisor apps will be launched almost exclusively on tablets rather than smartphones. “Since much of advisor app functionality is geared toward client meetings, a larger screen is necessary to share with clients,” says Isabella Fonseca, Research Director at Celent and coauthor of the report. “Going forward, there is likely to be greater use of both smartphone and tablet devices for distinct reasons. Smartphones will increasingly be used for certain functionalities such as mobile alerts and market data; tablets will be used for interactive client-advisor meetings and portfolio modeling/construction functionalities.”

In this report, Celent provides an overview of the drivers of mobility, trends in the European wealth management market from an advisory perceptive, and a comparative analysis of the six markets surveyed in terms of mobile phone, smartphone, and tablet penetration. The report examines the size of each country’s advisor population and takes a detailed look at each of the six markets, including the survey results for each country. These results will elucidate the maturity of each market in terms of wealth managers launching apps for the advisor.

The report concludes with an analysis of each market’s continuing growth opportunities as they relate to mobile adoption among wealth management advisors in the near term.
The first report in this series, Mobile Applications for High Net Worth Customers: A Study of the European Market, provides a similar analysis for each of the six countries, focusing on the high net worth client segment.