We are in the midst of the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history. The wealth management industry is expected to grow nearby $230 trillion worldwide by 2030, Intensify competition and innovation to achieve greater reach. This wealth transfer had a significant impact on a wide range of stakeholders – from advisors, clients and senior management teams to banks, broker-dealers, private equity firms, registered investment advisers, pension companies, wealth managers and wealth techs. In addition, these stakeholders must also master strategic challenges across the board economic uncertainty, geopolitical risks and talent/skill availability.
That being said, the long-term prospects for PE interest in wealth management look good: while the limited partners have signaled their intention to either maintain or increase allocations to the wealth management industry, the general partners have done so $3.6 trillion worth of dry powder that could be used to take advantage of opportunities in this area. Industry key players are positioning themselves for the future, from seeking strategic partnerships – with PE or adjacent industry partners – to improving their digital capabilities.
Organizations at the forefront of leadership and transformation are those that align their culture and organizational structure to enable and nurture modern leadership traits. These perspectives are backed up by our psychometric analysis of leading wealth managers worldwide.
Existing wealth leaders exhibit modern leadership traits
Today’s wealth management leaders are already well equipped to envision and drive change. They are also well suited to being successful because of their personality and leadership skills.
First, these individuals perform quite similarly to digital transformation leaders. You are innovative and have a tendency to generate new ideas; ambitious and bold in driving change; and socially proactive and tailored to the needs of different target groups. The combination of a drive to learn and develop and a desire to take others with them on the journey makes wealth management executives well-placed to strengthen their business to meet the changing needs of clients.
Second, wealth leaders exhibit several characteristics that differentiate them from broader financial services leaders and enable them to lead wealth companies through the changing market landscape. These guides are:
- Empathetic to Customers and Colleagues: These leaders are aligned for the “great good” and demonstrate an overwhelming desire to do what is right for customers and colleagues
- Commercially oriented: Strongly commercial and eager to make financially sound decisions that position the business for continued success
- Collaborative and extrovert: Dynamic, energetic and magnetic, wealth managers attract and position others to effectively engage a range of clients and stakeholders throughout the change process
To build on their existing strong positioning while positively impacting their broader organizations to unlock future growth, wealth management leaders must be culturally, organizationally and technologically well-prepared to create digitally-enhanced financial planning experiences in an increasingly personalized and digitally-led environment .
The future of the modern wealth management leader
Modern wealth management executives are well-equipped to navigate the fast-paced changes in the industry. This is supported by our proprietary psychometric analysis, which shows that top-notch, modern wealth management leaders exhibit the following complementary characteristics:
- Innovative in mind, bold in driving change and with social acumen to engage others, and exhibiting many of the same qualities attributed to digital transformation leaders.
- “Productive disruptors,” suggesting that they are not only equipped to deal with change, but are likely to be change agents as well.
In the future of wealth management, therefore, industry leaders—executive and non-executive—need to take an honest look at whether their talent, culture and organizational structure are well positioned for the changes ahead. In evaluating their businesses, asset management firms should consider the following:
- How are their leaders performing in terms of transformative leadership?
- How does their current culture and organizational structure enable leaders to be successful?
- How do you know what your customers are looking for? How does that affect your decisions?
- Do they have the required digital skills? If not, how do you develop or acquire them?
- What do they do in M&A situations to improve, strengthen or maintain the culture(s)? How do they evaluate new talent and create an environment for different styles to thrive?
While we believe the future of wealth management looks bright, the current landscape does not offer a clear path to success. To ensure they don’t lag behind some of their more advanced competitors, wealth managers must not only develop their digital skills, but also equip their talent bank to culturally, organizationally and technologically capitalize on the opportunities ahead. Those that succeed will do so by enriching existing talent, cultivating a culture and organizational structure for success, and optimizing strategic partnerships to unlock competitive advantages for market share growth. In short, they must be modern leaders.
Read The Modern Wealth Management Leader white paper >>
Megan Bowen leads the search for C-suite executives in consumer banking, commercial banking and wealth management and uses her research expertise to source top talent for each leadership position. Based in New York, Megan has a diverse client base of financial services firms that provide executive search services to global money centers, regional banks, wealth managers, registered investment advisers, and payments and lending companies. Some of her successful placements include companies in finance, operations, treasury, marketing, product, compliance and risk, and customer experience. Megan developed research expertise in her previous role as a research associate for a large international executive search firm. There she worked closely with consultants on recruitment for C-suite, senior executive and board positions. She also worked at Ariel Investments as a Marketing and Client Services Associate, advising more than 50 global clients. Megan has a BA in Politics from Princeton University, where she was also on the Ivy League women’s basketball team four times.
Megan Bowen will be speaking at WealthStack in Florida May 21-24, 2023. Learn more about WealthStack 2023 >>