One of the most immediately apparent outcomes of the pandemic has been the exponential rise in the use of technology in both our professional and personal lives.
Whether it be new efficiencies in both front and back-office processes, enhancing methods of communicating with peers and clients, delivering more efficient advice models or cybersecurity, the tech sector has provided solutions.
This growth will only continue over the years to come. New applications for hybrid advice models are already appearing, as is more help on access to markets for retail investors and the ever-increasing need to keep our businesses, clients and employees safe and secure.
As the world changes, so must the way we do business, reorienting in response to change, whether internal or external. This means developing new business models, strategic objectives and ways of working.
While some organisations are already reaping substantial rewards from their digital technology investments and rapidly advancing towards more sophisticated implementations, some are still struggling to get started. When it comes to actually adopting transformational tools and technologies, many organisations are still quite hesitant, whether due to budget, IT readiness, or skills constraints.
While in 2021 companies were focused on reinventing themselves for the post-pandemic digital age, 2022 will be the year we find out whether or not these transformational efforts actually deliver value.
Fortunately for our wealth management and advice businesses, the UK has one of the world’s leading fintech industries. Our tech start-up and scale-up ecosystem is valued at £463.6bn – 120 per cent more than in 2017 – and more than twice that of our nearest competitor, Germany, at £217bn. Current estimates suggest there are more than 2,500 fintech companies based in the UK alone, with this number estimated to more than doubled by 2030.
That is a lot of candidates to sift through, with many businesses not necessarily knowing where to start in their search for a provider and struggling to understand which technology solutions to prioritise in this congested marketplace. The reverse is also true, with fintechs often experiencing difficulties in accessing a market that is still searching for a path through this new technological landscape.
To help remedy this, Pimfa, with the support of Morningstar, is delighted to be launching our own WealthTech platform in the first quarter of 2022. Pimfa WealthTech will enable fintechs, other established tech, wealth management and advice businesses to actively engage and collaborate on digital solutions that will enable wealth managers and advice companies to digitise their operations and enhance client service, while accelerating cost-efficiencies and generating new revenues.
The platform will be supported by specialist industry providers such as the Boston Consulting Group, augmented by an advisory board comprising some of the leading wealth management companies in the UK, including Rathbones and Tilney Smith & Williamson, to explore developments in 20 specific market segments including blockchain technology, robo-advice, data challenges and much more.
The pandemic has taught us all that we can work differently through the use of technology and 2022 will see a marked acceleration of this. Clients want greater access to a growing number of markets and more flexibility in how and when they have contact with their wealth manager or adviser, among other things.