Are you on top of the technology demand?

September 11, 2014 Categories: The Art of Advising
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Bee on flower

Every businessperson knows that adaptation is one of the keys to continued relevance. Having a clear vision, a strong brand and a valuable offering is essential, but at the end of the day the “adapt or die” mentality does hold some truth.

Consider the case of the simple honeybee. If a bee’s hive is moved – even only a few yards – the bee will try to return to the same spot where the old hive was. They become disoriented and stay in the place the hive used to be… some may even die. Bees live by a set of assumptions about the world relative to their home, and can’t process this kind of change in a way that allows them to adapt.

Humans may be smarter than the average honeybee, but it can often be just as hard for us to adapt to changes in our environment if we aren’t paying attention or planning ahead. I think a great example for financial advisors to consider is the issue of keeping up with technology and opportunities to provide interactive digital capabilities to investors.

As many advisors begin to consider the “next generation” of clients, this will only become more vital – but interactive technology may be more important to your current clients than you might expect.

Digital or die

The 2014 World Wealth Report reported that nearly 80% of high net worth individuals under the age of 40 would consider leaving their current wealth management firm if an integrated digital user experience was not developed.1

While Millennial investors were certainly the most demanding in this regard, over 60% of investors in their 40s and 50s and nearly 50% of investors over age 60 shared this sentiment.2 A 2010 Pew Research study supports this point, showing that in every generation a greater proportion of people believe technology makes life easier.

So what is a digital user experience? According to the BCG Global Wealth Report 2014, between 40-60% of investors working with financial advisors are looking for video chat capabilities with their financial firm.3 In addition, 60% of investors are pushing for investment recommendations and portfolio analysis delivered online.4

No matter the age of the investor, the explosion of the internet presents advisors with a potential opportunity to add value through the development of digital client experiences. Developing a digital strategy is important both in terms of how you engage clients and also in how you present your business, to help build your brand and attract potential clients.

The bottom line

Just like honeybees need to reorient themselves to their surroundings to locate their hive and survive, advisors must continue to evaluate changes in the environment and investor preferences that might help them serve clients even better.

If investors are valuing the “digital experience,” what might you do to help meet that address that interest? There is no doubt the answer to that question will continue to be important as the next generation of investors emerges, but consider what you might begin to do now to meet this demand.

Nick Russell is an Intern for US Private Client Services Marketing.

1 Chugh, S., Karri, N., Sriyapureddy, B., & Costanzo, C. (2014). Transforming Wealth Management in a Digital Age. 2014 World Wealth Report. Retrieved from

2 Taylor, Paul, and Scott Keeter, eds. (2010). Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to change. Social and Demographic Trends. Pew Research Center. Retreived from

Beardsley, B., Becerra, J., Burgoni, F., Holley, B., Kessler, D., Muxi, F., … Zakrzewski, A. (2014). Global Wealth 2014: Riding a Wave of Growth. Boston Consulting Group.

4 Leibel, Michael. (2014, June 24). Tech-savvy investors want digital solutions, but firms lag behind. Reuters. Retrieved from


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