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This year was full of great moments, meetings, partnerships, and breakthrough insights. Before we close this chapter and start the new one, it’s worth looking back at 2018 from the WealthTech perspective.

When we first started, we didn’t foresee that WealthTech Club would go so far. We had begun to search for answers on how the WealthTech industry operates, and thought it would be nice to share our findings. It all became possible thanks to those of you who contributed thoughts, and to our fruitful collaboration. Now, it’s clear we’re not alone in our appetite for industry insights. In the coming year, we hope to continue providing you with handcrafted content worthy of your attention.

Hot topics

This year I traveled a lot and met brilliant people. We discussed ways to build successful WealthTech solutions and identified hallmark elements of quality development—or what we could term a FinTech Engineering Approach­: technologies and architecture, processes and workflows, team structuring, and financial domain knowledge. On top of that, we talked about key trends driving the industry and the most captivating topics of 2018.

End-to-end integrations

Tools usually cover separate parts of the wealth-management cycle—financial planning, portfolio building, rebalancing, reporting, billing… There’s so much to manage. That’s why the most successful platforms, such as AdvisorEngine, strive to eliminate the issue by integrating with as many other platforms as possible.

Here are our guidelines on how to build such platforms:

Human touch in giving advice: Necessary or not?

The rise of automation led to stormy discussions around human touch. Lots of experts feel that advice should be left fully to machines, while others suggest that it would be wrong to remove humans from the process. Meanwhile, several experts highlight a shift in the wealth advisor’s role towards financial goal-based planning.

Refresh your take on the issue while reading these stories (in case you missed some):

Squeezing costs force companies to add more value

The domination of automated platforms has given rise to competition around costs. Don’t you agree that a 0.25-0.5% of robo-advisors charge is better than 1-2%? Experts claim that to bill >=1% of AUM advisors have to offer additional value: end-to-end UX automation, including mobile experience, financial goal-based planning, smart analytics, etc.

Here are some articles on how platforms can help their clients add value:

Investors demand customization

Investors are getting smarter. They’re searching for more personalization and diversified options for investments. Experts agree that providing a great client experience is vital for advisors—sometimes even more so than performance, which forces platforms to build in customization capabilities.

Top 3 must-read articles on the issue:

AI & ML prospects in WealthTech

The WealthTech industry is still searching for ways to apply AI effectively. Although there are several solutions that utilize this technology in their defense strategies (FinFolio, Huygens Capital), such products are still difficult to sell. Thus, experts are betting heavily on behavioral analytics and client segmentation.

The discussion is still open. Check out these stories to keep up to date:

Wealth transfer and millennials

While some experts claim that the buzz around wealth transfer represents a bubble that’s likely to pop, others emphasize that it will change the way users treat investments. Attracting the younger generation still seems to be an overly long term and expensive strategy—only a few players can afford to monopolize that market.

Consider the wealth-transfer issue from a broader perspective while reading this:

Key events

We partnered with several FinTech events to help experts get a better insight into the industry while listening to authorities on the subject. Recently, I personally visited two such events—Benzinga FinTech Summit and In|Vest West 2018. Also, I’m very proud to restate our partnerships at previous events, such as Canadian FinTech & AI Awards, Blockchain for Finance Conference, Blockchain Expo—North America, The Summit of Performance, Risk & Attribution, and Sign Wealth 2.0.

We’re also partners of FinovateEurope 2019. We appreciate these opportunities to be part of such global industry meetups!

Afterword

As the current year ends, new opportunities will open for us all. Let’s hope these changes will lead us to better solutions and make our customers’ lives easier. As Stephane Dubois described with regard to the near future, some changes may go not the way we expect, but they will lead us to enhanced services:

“From a technology and service standpoint, things will never be the same. […] There will be a much higher level of service delivered at a much lower cost throughout the industry; better financial health for millions of people; and a higher-performing, more efficient economy as a whole.”

I hope you meet your boldest aspirations and surpass expectations in the upcoming year. It’s so great to be connected! Let’s build the biggest WealthTech community together!

Stay tuned to get more valuable insights in 2019.

WealthTech Flashbacks

How to Win Advisors’ Loyalty and not Break the System?

How to Win Advisors’ Loyalty and not Break the System?

How to build efficient and useful WealthTech software? Should you add as many features as possible or add every feature requested by clients? Do financial advisors need a whole bunch…

Bridging Product and Engineering Teams in WealthTech

Bridging Product and Engineering Teams in WealthTech

The WealthTech industry evolves much more dynamically compared to other areas. What should teams do to efficiently collect all necessary information about their tasks and stay in sync with the…

Open APIs as the Key to Growth in WealthTech

Open APIs as the Key to Growth in WealthTech

Open APIs are having a significant impact upon the entire wealth management industry. With leaders of DriveWealth, MyVest, Trizic, Vestwell, Folio Institutional, Hydrogen, we discussed the API landscape and the…

Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in WealthTech Software

Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in WealthTech Software

Will wealth managers be able to find financial decisions that are most appropriate to their customers? We have spoken to a number of industry experts and gained an insight into…

Digital and Robo in Wealth Management: What’s the Difference?

Digital and Robo in Wealth Management: What’s the Difference?

During our ongoing discussions with top-notch industry leaders who are reshaping the wealth management landscape, we often touch on digital advice. Here, we present some of our picks in terms…

Wealth Management: Looking into the Industry’s Future

Wealth Management: Looking into the Industry’s Future

We continue to explore the changing landscape of wealth management by gathering opinions of industry influencers regarding the future of the WealthTech sector. What will the industry look like in…

Automation, Integration, or Innovation? Setting Priorities in WealthTech

Automation, Integration, or Innovation? Setting Priorities in WealthTech

Each financial company has decided to use technology in the way that suits its business the most, putting emphasis on one of several pillars of progress—i.e., automation, integration, and innovation.…

Challenges: Yet Another Opportunity for WealthTech to Rise

Challenges: Yet Another Opportunity for WealthTech to Rise

Wealth management has seen the tremendous transformation over the past decade, but this has also come with a number of challenges. With so many market players leveraging the power of…