Wealth management firms tend to make a virtue of taking the long view.
Not following the latest investment fad or stock market darling pays dividends over time, so the argument goes.
That approach may work well when it comes to managing assets but it is certainly not the case with rapid technological change.
While the financial services industry in general has embraced new financial technology, wealth managers have all but ignored it.
Here, disruptive new market entrants targeting the same finite base of lucrative investors mean wealth managers face unprecedented competitive pressures.
In particular, the inexorable rise of social media has driven sustained and irreversible change in the way customers stay informed, how they make decisions and how they interact with business. Clients now expect real-time responses from wealth managers, who must quickly adapt or face obsolescence.
Social media is already influencing investment decisions and market stability. For example, 2013, activist investor Carl Icahn tweeted his announced purchase of Apple stock. This simple social declaration went viral and reportedly pushed the stock’s value up by $17 billion within an hour.