2015 was an exciting year for the global asset management industry. The popularity of robo-advisors, the rise of Millennials and the growth of ETFs were just a few drivers of change in the asset management sector in 2015.

At Kurtosys, we’re thrilled about the new trends and transformations that will shape the industry in 2016, so we asked digital marketers in asset and wealth management to weigh in with their predictions for the new year. With the exception of one participant (thanks Brad from Smith & Williamson!) all participants decided to remain anonymous. Surprisingly, all of the answers received were unique — giving us some valuable insight into a variety of the most important initiatives for asset managers this year.

Disruptive influences

If you thought 2015 was a transformative year for the industry, imagine what 2016 has in store. FinTech will continue to be an influencing force in the industry with more asset managers looking to these innovative start ups and organizations to help them cater to the digital demands of clients.

We asked our audience what they thought would be the most disruptive force in asset management.

What do you think will be the biggest disruptive influences in the asset management industry in 2016?

“Other ways of reporting and making data available”  — Netherlands-based asset manager

The world of reporting and data will change in 2016. Asset managers will focus on new automation platforms that will help make reporting less time consuming, less erroneous and more transparent. This goes in hand with making more data available to investors and finding ways to personalize the client experience by using data that’s already available to the asset manager.

 “ETF pricing” –New York-based investment manager

ETFs are on the rise. The industry saw the value of ETFs exponentially increase to a worth just shy of $3 trillion globally at the end of 2015. As ETFs gain popularity and become the entirety of many investor’s holdings, the ETF providers must meet the expectations of the investors they’re marketing to by providing transparency on pricing and risk.

 “Big Data: making a connection between marketing dollars and sales dollars” — Global asset manager

Big data is used by retail giants to better determine buyers habits and make predictions to boost sales. Now, the investment management industry has started looking at ways of utilizing big data, for example analyzing Twitter for trends to improve portfolio management.

BNY published a great white paper on Big Data and Investment Management.

“Split strategies in investment management companies”  — Multinational investment manager

Some firms will adopt cloud as a hosting strategy and focus on oversight of data and access security and service assurance, others will state cloud as high risk and focus on internal hosting and improvement of services and commercialized offering.

“The emergence of non-traditional finserv players entering the marketplace” — Brad Hancock, digital marketing strategist, Smith & Williamson  

There will be an emergence of non-traditional finserv players entering the marketplace like Apple, Amazon and Google in 2016. These tech giants will appeal to a new demographic of investors — Millennials — more so than traditional banks. According to a previous survey conducted by Scratch, 73% of participants would be more excited about a new offering in financial services from Google, Amazon, PayPal or Square than from their own bank.

Digital technologies

At the end of 2015, fund marketing departments were making their case for their 2016 budgets. Investing in new digital technologies to improve on processes and service clients better is top of mind for many fund marketers.

In 2016, which digital technologies will Fund Marketers invest in most?

  • Robo investing
  • Platforms that assist in data collecting and aggregating in order to make connections between marketing and sales process
  • Distribution data management and digital provider oversight and assurance
  • Marketing automation and CRM/data warehouse. – Brad Hancock, Smith & Williamson
  • Internet of Things

Client servicing

There will be new demands from distributors and clients in 2016. The participants of the survey provided a short list of the incoming challenges they expect on the client servicing of asset management in 2016.

Asset management experts chimed in with their thoughts on the client servicing end of the business.

What will distributors and end clients seek most in terms of client servicing from their asset managers in 2016?

  • State of art digital reporting
  • Returns
  • Relevant information — Don’t bombard clients with “everything”. Always be one step ahead of their interests and make recommendations based on those interests.
  • Better access to information on multiple business and industry platforms with synchronized messages, format and data
  • The continuing rise of self-service. Users increasingly value convenience and speed. UX is just as, if not more important, than CX. — Brad Hancock, Smith & Williamson

Where do you see the asset management industry going from a marketing and client servicing perspective in 2016? Share your thoughts below.

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Luke Hinchliffe

Head of Digital Marketing at Kurtosys Systems
Passionate about digital marketing and design for financial services.
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