Report

State of U.S. Wealth Management Technology 2021

Aligning Firm Strategy with Technology Decisions

Using Technology to Unlock Growth

  • Understand how wealth management industry participants are making decisions about WealthTech
  • Learn how leveraging technology can increase the efficiency of advisors, improve the client experience, and unlock organic growth
  • Gain insight into the ways industry participants are buying, building, and renting technology
  • Evaluate the WealthTech addressable market

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Jeremy Fodaski

Jeremy Fodaski

Account Manager

Summary

Wealth management firms have increasingly turned to technology to increase the efficiency of their advisors, improve the client experience, and unlock organic growth. This report will examine how wealth management industry participants, including broker/dealers, RIAs, bank wealth managers, and financial advisors, are making decisions about WealthTech. The report will include an original survey of WealthTech decisionmakers to understand the decisions of these participants to buy, build, or rent technology and how this differs by type of tool.

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A Note From the Author

The Wealth Technology Opportunity

Bing Waldert

Bing Waldert

Managing Director, U.S. Research

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Bing Waldert

Bing Waldert

Managing Director, U.S. Research

Bing Waldert leads Cerulli’s U.S. Research team comprising seven research practices that cover all elements of the U.S. asset management, wealth management, and retirement markets. He has authored Cerulli reports on the wealth management industry, high-net-worth market, the annuity industry, and retirement markets. He is a frequent board-level and C-suite speaker and well-regarded industry thought leader. He has spoken in front of the Investment Company Institute (ICI), the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC), the Investments and Wealth Institute (IWI), and the Money Management Institute (MMI).

He has worked on client projects on emerging manager expansion strategies, independent registered investment advisors (RIAs), multi-family offices (MFOs), investment platforms, and the outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) industry. In addition, he has advised multiple private equity firms on acquisitions in the wealth management space.

Full biography here.

It is clear technology will play a more significant role in the asset and wealth management industries. Relative to other industries, the asset and wealth management industries have historically not felt the same impact from disruptive technology. This is in part due to the heavily regulated nature of the asset and wealth management industries. However, this immunity from disruption is poised to change as the pandemic saw major wealth management firms aggressively acquire smaller tech providers to upgrade their client experience and deliver on the seemingly impossible challenge of balancing scale and personalization in a regulatorily compliant fashion.

Wealth management firms need to consider their forward-looking strategy and avenues for growth when building their tech stack. Factors for consideration include the importance of advisor recruiting, desire for M&A, target clientele, and the need to attract younger investors. These factors will dictate the vendors and capabilities that will support this forward-looking vision.

Wealth technology firms should carefully consider the right market for their solutions—not every wealth or asset manager will be on the market for a third-party solution or has the budget/resources to devote to large, multi-year implementations. In fact, we identify a segment of approximately 2,000 wealth management firms controlling approximately $10 trillion in AUM that will use technology to optimize their tech stack and have the scale to do so.

Wealth technology opens the door for better service delivery across the entire advice delivery value chain—our latest report, State of U.S. Wealth Management Technology 2021: Aligning Firm Strategy with Technology Decisions, examines how. As Cerulli’s first annual report covering the market for middle- and front-office technology in the wealth management industry, it provides insight into market segments that offer the greatest opportunities for technology providers and evaluates how wealth management firms can better leverage technology as a differentiator as traditional investment offerings become commoditized.

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