When change occurs in an industry like wealth management, there is an opportunity to improve your digital transformation. Now, more than ever, it is an excellent time for the sector to do a pulse check and ensure you're setting up for future success.

The announcement of the upcoming changes of new KiwiSaver default fund providers is quite the event in the New Zealand market. The new default provider arrangements, which will take effect once the present providers' terms expire on 30 November 2021, could result in additional funds in retirement for people who join the system. This is due to lower fees and higher investment return criteria.

Approximately 381,000 New Zealanders are currently enrolled in a default fund which they were automatically assigned to when they started new employment. These default fund providers' changes now mean individuals need to decide whether to stay with the existing provider or move to a new provider.

Added to this factor is the increasing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing trend. This criterion is a set of operational requirements used by socially concerned investors to analyse possible investments. Environmental standards look at how a corporation behaves as a steward of the environment. Social criteria look at how a company deals with employees, suppliers, customers, and their communities. Various studies have shown that young investors are nearly twice as likely to invest in companies or funds that target specific social or environmental outcomes rather than just be a passive investor (one who does take an active role in their investment).

However, to do this efficiently and effectively, and to support your broad investor personas, you need to be digitally sharp to ensure you maximise your technology capabilities to provide excellent customer outcome every time.

Here are some technology trends that can help you grow your business and strengthen your customer relationships.


Wealth management organisations need to invest in modernising data architecture and approach. As part of this industry change, data remediation is key to winning default KiwiSaver customers, while ongoing business will depend on the accuracy and speed of the data being available.


Customer experience (CX) design in wealth management is changing dramatically. Organisations specialising in wealth management are being questioned on all elements of their operations. Digital channels and platforms that support your customer interaction need to be sophisticated to help combat industry change and allow for customer success and growth. Platforms such as customer relationship management (CRM), e.g. Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, and other digital platforms must keep pace with this change to ensure you are maximising your full potential.


Improve your cost optimisation strategy around your IT. When revenue declines due to a reduction in fees or cost increases due to demand pressures from servicing your customer base, it is now a chance to pivot and re-invent your operation through improved technology used to optimise your business processes.


Whether it is client engagement or operational efficiency, there are places along the value chain where wealth management and artificial intelligence (AI) collide. According to Gartner, three-quarters of businesses will have moved from the piloting to the operational phase of AI by the end of 2024. Early AI adopters in wealth management mainly have focused on risk and compliance.

In conclusion, the wealth management sector is facing a landscape of competition and compliance. To be successful, organisations need to leverage their current client base and create individualised offerings among their customers. This can be achieved by harnessing the power through your digital transformation journey.

Michael has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry in various customer-facing roles, payment systems, technology, and industry compliance across Asia-Pacific. This has been supported by extensive knowledge and understanding of financial services within the various segments and channels.

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