Are wealth managers keeping up with progressive clients?

6 key learnings for today's new normal

What clients want from wealth managers is changing fast. After many years of business-as-usual, the pandemic has boosted client demands for a better digital experience, paired with a good old-fashioned personal touch. Regulators also have new requirements, but they also present a number of new opportunities. In our study, we canvass the views of ultra-high-net-worth investor (UHNWI) advisors and analyse our database of ultra-wealthy entrepreneurs. This research confirms that it’s time for wealth managers to adapt – indeed, they may need to do so quickly to stay abreast of competitors.

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Key learnings

The beginning of a revolution

The wealth management industry is in flux. COVID-19 is changing customer needs just as competitive pressure from technology companies is intensifying. It’s essential to simplify and digitise business models and develop smart solutions.

Customers know what they want

Customers’ expectations have changed significantly in recent years. They’re demanding more end-to-end digital contact and mobile solutions, as well as self-service and autonomous investment options.

New asset classes on the rise

After a wild ride for digital assets, institutional investors are following early adopters and bullish investors. Our study shows that 94% of client advisors believe UHNWIs increased their allocations to digital assets in 2021, while 83% foresee them doing so in 2022.

Regulations: turning burden into opportunity

Understanding the interdependencies and flexibility in implementation of regulations provides advantages over the competition. In this way, regulation turns from burden to opportunity. 

Are you an ESG strategist?

Our survey results suggest that sustainable investing has become extremely important for UHNWIs. 92% of them have increased investments and 93% reported that ESG factors have become more important in their investment decisions.

Time to act

Wealth managers must adapt to equip themselves for today’s new normal – wealth management’s new era. It’s time to develop true hybrid solutions, streamline onboarding, focus relentlessly on the customer and improve IT infrastructure – partly by implementing a cloud strategy.

About this study

First report in a series

Welcome to the first report in our new wealth management series, drawing on the research conducted by the Wealth Management Centre of Excellence, at PwC Switzerland.

140 advisors surveyed

We conducted a survey of 140 UHNWI advisors between November and December 2021 to discover how their clients’ demand for investment products is changing.

Our ultra-wealthy database

To understand how green technologies and crypto assets are generating UHNWI wealth, we analysed PwC’s ultra-wealthy research database, covering more than 2,600 ultra-wealthy entrepreneurs from 43 countries.

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Contact us

Patrick Akiki

Patrick Akiki

Partner, Financial Services Market Lead, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 25 19

Beresford Caloia

Beresford Caloia

Partner, Assurance Financial Services Market Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 98 28

Andrea Colosio

Andrea Colosio

Senior Manager, Wealth Management Expert, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 79 587 30 35

Monika Narel

Monika Narel

Senior Associate, Financial Services Consulting, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 76 573 51 94