Global wealth management has evolved dramatically over two decades

From the downturn of the global financial crisis in 2008 to the rise of emerging Asian economies, the industry has undergone several disruptive events. Today, we are in the midst of a wealth management boom. 

The global financial landscape and the wealth management industry have undergone a seismic shift over the past few years. Some of it forced by the lasting impact of the pandemic; some by the accelerated adoption of technology and evolving client demands.

Despite the challenges posed by rising inflation and interest rates and growing concerns about shifting geopolitics, massive opportunities abound for the industry. Across Asia, the world's biggest wealth story is taking shape. Not only is it recording the fastest wealth growth of any region in the world, it is also poised to take over as the biggest wealth market globally. 

This report aims to highlight the wealth management opportunity and wealthtech landscape globally and in Asia, with a deep dive into Singapore's potential as a regional wealth powerhouse.

Gain perspectives from industry leaders, uncover trends shaping wealth management, and find out their impact on wealth managers, banks and emerging wealthtechs. The report also shares insights and key actions that wealth managers can consider for the next decade, to keep up with the evolving wealth management landscape.


Seizing the market opportunity

Singapore has become a key wealth management hub regionally and globally, with its reputation as a trusted financial hub and long-term socioeconomic policies attracting wealthy individuals. A well-established information technology (IT) infrastructure also makes the city-state an ideal locus for wealthtech start-ups and venture capital inflows.

Amid the increasing number of wealthtechs in Singapore, venture funding grew sevenfold from US$23 million to US$171 million between 2017 and 2021 — drastically outpacing Asia's twofold growth from US$1.1 billion to US$2.2 billion. This indicates a positive trend of increased capital inflows into Asia, a growing proportion of which is being directed to Singapore-based wealthtechs.

Asia and Singapore venture investments in WealthTech, 2017 and 2021

Trends shaping the future of wealth

Self-directed investing

Digitalisation will continue to shape investor independence and autonomy, as it empowers the ‘man on the street’ with the required investment tools. Free access to information will subvert the role of the traditional advisor, as investors place less reliance on paid advice amid greater financial literacy and changing lifestyle preferences. Provision of learning and insights will become part of the expanded value offering of wealth managers

Demand for lower fees and pricing transparency

Wealth managers will face increased pressure for fee transparency, with the expectation that higher-than-usual fees need to be justified by a tangible value proposition. Investors are less inclined to blindly accept a blanket approach to pricing. Competition by roboadvisors will also drive urgency to overhaul existing pricing approaches, as they offer a more direct and upfront fee structure with fewer hidden fees, such as a fee-only model. 

Enhancing the customer experience

Enhanced insights will redefine the customer experience, as the push for hyperpersonalisation continues. The ability to effectively leverage AI and data analytics to deliver better insights and recommendations based on individual needs and preferences will become the main differentiator for wealth managers. Digital tools will also become one of the primary channels to access financial products and services. In turn, privacy and cyber security concerns will become an increasingly important factor in the selection of wealth managers.

Shift in product demand

Tokenisation will become more widely adopted in a bid to offer niche products to retail investors. We can expect more partnerships between wealth managers and asset managers to increase accessibility. Digital assets, once an emerging asset class, is now mainstream among investors. As more safeguards are put in place by regulators, investor confidence and adoption will increase.


Actions for wealth managers

With the wealthtech scene in Singapore ripe to capture market growth, and amid emerging trends reshaping the wealth management landscape, here are four action points that wealth managers should focus on: 

  • Digitalising offerings to lower operation costs and reduce overheads which can be passed on as cost savings to consumers, allowing for effective price competition
  • Delivering the right user experience to customers with advanced data analytics and personalised recommendations
  • Having the right suite of products available and building niche products like private market investments
  • Establishing a robust system of checks and balances to ensure all necessary due diligence, building trust between wealth managers and clients


For more on key trends and steps to take to prepare for the next decade in wealth management, download our full report.


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