Digitally empowering relationship managers key to growth of wealth management business, Accenture research finds

Despite ongoing macro-economic volatility, the size and growth of the underlying client base of the wealth management business at banks and wealth firms in Asia appears extremely robust. In addition, their goals for 2022-26 remain ambitious: to increase assets under management (AUM) by 1.6x and to grow revenue 1.4x according to Accenture’s Future of Asia Wealth Management report. However, they will struggle to attain these goals unless they significantly improve client experience by digitally empowering relationship managers (RMs) and revamping their digital channels.

The report is based on a survey of 3,700 affluent, high-net worth and ultra-high-net worth investors across 12 markets in Asia including India. Accenture also surveyed nearly 600 RMs and interviewed 20 CXOs of wealth firms and banks operating across Asia.

The report finds that the total investor wealth available in Asia is about USD 216.6 trillion. Affluent individuals i.e., those with USD 100k-1 million of assets comprise by far the largest proportion – some 854 million people, or nearly 99 percent of the total wealth segment. They control 75 percent of the assets available, worth USD 163.5 trillion. High net worth investors with assets between USD 1 million and USD 30 million control 15% of the assets available, worth USD 32.2 trillion. Lastly, ultra-high-net worth investors – people with assets over USD 30 million – control the remaining 10% of assets that are worth USD 20.9 trillion.

RMs are burdened with low-value, manual administrative work

The research found that while RMs are key to the wealth business’ growth ambitions and clients value their hands-on counsel, their workdays are tied up by operational and repetitive tasks that could be automated, leaving less than half (44%) of their time for revenue-generating activities. This also impacts the level of service they can provide, as 50% of clients surveyed say their RM’s service quality could be improved.

Wealth management firms and banks need to empower RMs using technologies – notably AI, generative AI and intelligent automation. In addition, digital enablers such as an integrated RM cockpit with single-view dashboards can support the end-to-end client lifecycle – from prospecting and onboarding to sales planning, advisory, and servicing. Giving RMs the necessary digital tools and automating non-revenue-generating work could boost productivity, free up their time for wealth planning. and unlock higher loading ratios. This can potentially contribute upto a 20 percent rise in the client service experience, which correlates directly to higher assets under management (AUM) capture.

Differentiated omni-channel experiences key to client relationships

The report revealed that even as RMs continue to be important, creating a compelling digital client experience is crucial for the wealth business. In fact, just half of surveyed investors said they enjoy an end-to-end omni-channel experience.

However, successfully targeting investors across the affluent, high-net worth and ultra-high-net worth segments requires different approaches including digital self-serve, omni-channel and RM-assisted channels. For instance, investors particularly in the affluent segments require a smart, digital-first omni-channel approach aligned to moments that matter i.e., “turning point” activities that influence their decision to act. On the other hand, even though ultra-high-net worth investors greatly value mobile and digital capabilities for convenience, firms must also provide them with sophisticated RMs and other human intervention.

Revamping digital channels – particularly mobile apps is crucial

Surveyed investors across wealth bands ranked mobile apps as the most important digital channel provided by their wealth managers. However, less than half (47%) said they were satisfied with their firm’s mobile app and were critical of its experience – including around performance, usability and robustness. Secondly, while the apps delivered on customer expectations of investment execution, serious gaps exist in the advisory coverage and asset classes supported on mobile apps. Around 75% of all assets in Asia including equities, fixed income and private equity are not fully supported by the app despite client demand.

Executive Commentary:

Sonali Kulkarni, Lead – Financial Services, Accenture in India said, “With growing investable wealth in India, banks and wealth management firms have a huge opportunity for growth. It is imperative that they digitally empower their relationship managers using generative AI and intelligent automation so they can significantly step up the value they bring, augment customer experience and thereby, deliver higher assets under management. In addition, they need to go beyond an ‘one size fits all approach’ and adopt differentiated channel approaches – be it digital self-serve, omni-channel or RM-assisted – for different wealth segments.”


For the report, Accenture conducted two surveys — one of approximately 3,700 investors and nearly 600 relationship managers at private banks, captive wealth firms, retail banks and independent wealth firms in 12 Asian markets — and interviewed more than 20 CXOs at wealth firms and private banks operating across the region.

The surveys were conducted in December 2022 and January 2023, and the interviews were in late 2022. Investor respondents worked with at least one wealth management firm and had investable assets ranging from at least USD 100,000 to more than USD 30 million. Forty percent of investor respondents were affluent (with investable assets of USD 100k-1 million) while 60 percent fell within the high-net worth (with household assets of USD 1 million – 30 million) or ultra-high net worth stratum (with household assets above USD 30 million).

Respondents for both surveys were from the following markets: India, Australia, China (mainland), China (Hong Kong SAR), Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

Accenturewealth management
Comments (0)
Add Comment