Dec. 7, 2010
SEI (Nasdaq: SEIC) today released the fifth in a series of special interest papers, entitled 'The Information Age,' which looks at the value clients place on the dialogue they have with their wealth adviser and the expansion of technological tools within the market that enable open-channel communication.
The paper examines the importance of innovative communication strategies within the client-adviser relationship. It defines an effective communication strategy as one delivered with clarity, simplicity, focus, and relevance. Respondents to the survey indicated that they chose their wealth adviser, at least in part, for the ability to filter the "white noise" of the investment markets. Respondents also highlighted the point that communication must be understood, not just heard, in order to be effective.
In addition to the need for straightforward information, there is an increasing expectation for online reporting. More than 88 percent of clients expressed the importance of moving to soft-copy communication via email or company-developed web portals. Many wealth management firms are now transferring their reporting processes onto web-based platforms in response to this demand. Though the trend towards online reporting may seem predictable, alarmingly, 80 percent of the firms surveyed reported they lack the integrated systems required to achieve effective online reporting without significant human intervention and the associated costs.
Joseph P. Ujobai, Executive Vice President, SEI Global Wealth Services, comments:
"What is clear from these survey results is that private clients have a real appetite for new channels of communication from their wealth managers. It is proving necessary in the current investment environment to establish a communication strategy across different media to enhance client relationships.
"As the industry becomes increasingly accepting of online communication, those wealth managers who recognize the trends and demands of their clients are leading the way in becoming early adopters of innovative web strategies. These help enhance understanding, facilitate transparent reporting, and respond to the changing nature of the developing wealth manager role."