Covid-19 will reshape the wealth management industry

  • Author : Dave Howard
  • Date : 6 Apr 2020

Dave Howard is Chief Technology Officer at Novia Financial

Covid-19 will have lasting and profound effects on the wealth management industry that are here to stay. Remote working and Zooming will be the new normal for operation support and investor interaction. Fraudsters will try find new ways to identify and exploit victims, but these can be defeated with a combination of education and technology. Platform providers need to adapt at a pace that was unimaginable just three weeks ago and assist advisers and investors embrace secure electronic engagement.

What have we learnt:

  1. We were all unprepared for Covid-19 but some countries were better prepared than others.
  2. How precious is the NHS and the selfless nature of those who serve – we salute you.
  3. Science and technology companies left to their own devices will be more effective than government interventions. Brilliant example of small companies coming to the rescue through rapid innovation and open source design sharing.
  4. Advisers and investors have adapted new ways of working far quicker than anyone could have expected – enjoying and making it work.
  5. Big platforms have struggled to adapt and have not been able to man the phones whilst smaller more agile platforms have adopted remote working with no loss of service.
  6. The lockdown hasn’t deterred the nutters, thank God, and 5G conspiracy theories are swirling around along with quack remedies.

What this means for the future:

  1. There is no way back. Covid-19 will be the biggest accelerant for end-to-end digital journeys. So-long paper, wet signatures and cheques.
  2. Platforms that enable advisers to effortlessly engage with their customers and offer peace of mind through enhanced security will be the winners.
  3. Remote working is here to stay, the impact on transport infrastructure spending, expensive office accommodation, business travel via rail, planes and automobiles will be profound with big wins for the environment.
  4. Lockdown is estimated to be costing the UK £2.4bn a day and not sustainable. Hard choices will have to be made about restarting the economy vs saving lives. Testing, contact tracing and proof of immunity will be the key to achieving this. It’s inevitable that personal privacy will be traded-off against the common good of increased disclosure and more invasive surveillance.
  5. This will be a recurring battle as the virus mutates and remerges, but we will acclimatise and once the immediate threat has passed, the nimble and agile with thrive as new ways of working will sweep away struggling businesses that lack the DNA to adapt.
  6. History has shown that staying invested during recessions is the best strategy for wealth preservation.

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