Dreaming of a Ledger-Free, Globally Connected Wealth Management Industry

By Anni Kristiina Salo

Marketing Communications Manager, FA Solutions

The last 20 years have shown us technology-driven disruption across a variety of industries: Amazon making online shopping mainstream; Netflix superseding traditional TV broadcasts; Airbnb enabling anyone to turn their flat into a tourist guesthouse; Uber redefining transportation… Meanwhile, the foundations of the wealth management industry have remained nearly the same since Harry Markowitz published his modern portfolio theory paper in 1952.

Disruptive businesses typically have the characteristic of simplifying previously highly complicated and costly operations. And this, as I see it, is the problem in the current wealth management scene. Operations are highly manual with heavy, complicated processes, resulting in high costs and inefficiencies, which in turn whittle away the investment returns. What is also a concern is that as long as there are institutions too big to fail, they do not have to develop truly customer-centric services. The industry will need to change – and will change – a lot during the next few years.

I would like to see the financial industry as a network of services, where each of the services are designed to work and integrate with other services, forming value networks. There can be bigger “umbrella networks” around a certain geographical location or industry, or bringing together multiple locations or industries, ...

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