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Future of Asia Wealth Management: Re-imagining engagement

Why wealth management success in Asia requires step-change improvements in mobile- and human-channel design—with next-gen technology front and center.

July 28, 2023

In brief

  • Wealth management firms in Asia have ambitious growth goals for both assets under management (AUM) and revenue.

  • Higher AUM correlates with client satisfaction—which in turn maps to clients’ experience with mobile and with their relationship manager (RM).

  • To meet their goals, firms should re-imagine the design of digital channels and the RM role, leveraging next-gen tech to unleash performance.

For firms, it’s time to re-imagine the mobile app and the RM role

Receiving digital-led, RM-assisted advisory remains a key requirement for investors. Asia’s wealth management firms are today falling short on delivering it.

Despite this, Asia’s wealth management firms want to grow assets under management (AUM) 1.6x by 2026 and revenues 1.4x. Our research concludes most likely won’t succeed unless they focus on improving the client experience. In turn, this means:

  • Revamping their digital channel–particularly by focusing on mobile delivery, which is a crucial part of their offering.

  • Re-envisioning the RM role to ensure this person, whom clients rank as the most important at the firm, can do their job effectively.


Wealth firms’ Asia AUM growth goal for 2022-26


The number of attributes that investors identified around value proposition, channel, and journey


Affluent investor wealth in Asia in 2022. Ten percent is attributable to ultra-high-net-worth individuals (US$30m+), while a further 75% is controlled by affluent (US$100k-$1m)

Understanding what clients want

Firms want to grow AUM and revenues. Clients want a better customer experience. Our research shows these two are directly correlated—the more satisfied the client, the greater the proportion of assets they hold with their primary wealth management firm. When we asked investors what drives satisfaction, 37 attributes stood out. Those that matter most to investors relate to the firm’s digital channels, which underwhelm (particularly when it comes to advisory), and to their RMs’ service, which is unsatisfactory according to our survey.

Making data-driven decisions

Accenture Wealth Insights Navigator is a holistic and comprehensive data asset providing a unique opportunity to engage in extensive competitor benchmarking and to generate granular insights into what investors want from their wealth management firm. Covering data from over 4000+ affluent clients in 12 markets, it provides a user-friendly dashboard with trended data, granular filters, and powerful visualization. It also covers themes such as investor profiles, relationships with banks and relationship managers, investing goals, and investment allocation.

Fix the E2E client journey …

A high-quality channel experience outranks every other consideration when clients choose a firm. For this reason alone, overhauling the digital channels—particularly mobile, which ranks joint-first with the online banking portal—is fundamental in building a true end-to-end client journey.

… Focusing on the mobile app

The mobile app is the most-used channel regardless of investor demographic, wealth band or market. However, most apps score badly for a range of reasons including poor journey design, capability coverage, bugs, speed, a lack of personalization, and missing asset classes. Proactive firms will rethink their mobile app to provide services clients want, including hybrid mobile-RM support.

Investors in our survey rank the mobile app joint-first with the online banking portal. Proactive firms need to rethink their mobile app to provide services clients want, including hybrid mobile-RM support.

Our business remains human-led, but strongly supported by powerful digital services in order to bring the best of the firm and the RM to our clients.

– ARNAUD TELLIER / CEO Asia Pacific, BNP Paribas Wealth Management

And rethink the RM role …

Our research found firms expect RMs to drive the bulk of their AUM and revenue growth. But unless they re-envision the role to improve productivity and allow RMs to focus on revenue-generation and value-add, that won’t happen. The keys to success are narrowing RMs’ job scope and giving them the digital tools and skills that they need to meet clients’ expectations.

While most firms grasp the problem, only a few seek to truly transform the RM role. A disruptive approach would see firms redefine the role and the skills that RMs need, reassess talent sourcing (including upskilling existing staff), invest in digital enablers like a digital cockpit (as well as using technologies like automation, AI, and generative AI), and redesign the firm’s wealth operating model.

… ideally using a disruptive approach

This approach would fix the broken RM model. It would boost productivity and could unlock higher loading ratios and halve RM costs, which typically comprise 60-70 percent of the overall cost base. It could bring a 20 percent rise in the client service experience, which correlates directly to higher AUM capture. It would also resolve another key pain-point for clients, RMs and other wealth management staff: the lack of useful investment content, and the inability to measure what clients use.

The relationship manager (RM) is a key player in the success of any wealth management firm. However, re-envisioning the RM’s role, which is vital, means this role will end up looking very different.

Our aim is to offer a digital wealth suite that supports RMs in adopting various archetypes to support clients in their decision making.

– MARC VAN DE WALLE / Global Head, Wealth Management, Deposits and Mortgages at Standard Chartered Bank


David Wilson

Associate Director – Wealth Management Lead, Growth Markets

Nicole Bodack

Managing Director – Capital Markets, Growth Markets Lead

Soichiro Muto

Managing Director – Capital Markets, Growth Markets Lead