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Which trends to keep track of in 2022

Clients now expect their advisers to know them, their situations, life goals, and personalities. They also expect them to use this information to build a plan that accommodates all these aspects and considers how to deliver a memorable experience and success. 

Historically, advice models have been defined by the adviser and are often predicated on pre-set optionality. However, advisers will need to break down those mental models and consider how to evolve their propositions to be able to accommodate any number of different client needs and preferences.

Realising the potential of open finance

We expect that 2022 will also bring the further evolution of open finance across the supply side and the advice side. Many specialist fintechs are developing new innovations to accelerate the availability and effective use of more data, and businesses are also looking to meet the expectations of a changing client base. 

Adviser businesses have made good ground in recent years in delivering greater efficiencies through the combined use of data and technology. But there is still a long way to go, especially as advisers aim to drive deeper engagement, operate more dynamically and provide hyper-personalised advice services.

While it has yet to reach its full potential, open finance expands the availability and integration of end-client data across investors’ entire financial footprint and has the potential to be a big part of the solution. This data, from both individuals and small businesses, has the potential to help unlock huge value for advisers. But building and managing a modern data strategy and capability is a tremendous challenge. 

Using technology to deliver results

Undoubtedly, technology will play a vital role in adapting to a new generation of clients, delivering hyper-personalisation, and maximising open finance. It is vital that the technology truly serves these purposes and is not simply focused on creating efficiencies (though those are important too).

It is crucial that advice businesses are well-positioned to integrate and apply technology and data to enhance their practices. Specialist partners can provide critical insight, capabilities, and skillsets to help navigate what can be a difficult evolution for many businesses.

We can confidently say that these current trends will just be the tip of the iceberg beyond this year. As technologies continue to advance, advisers’ levels of sophistication will be what determines how well they can keep pace with client expectations.

Russell Andrews is global head of advice solutions – asset management distribution at SEI