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Building future foundations

As part of our 'Leading forward: The future of wealth' video series, Sanjay Sharma, Global Head of SEI's Private Banking and Wealth Management unit, speaks to Alex Twiss. They discuss the demographic shifts that will drive the future of wealth management and why firms need to focus on getting their foundations in order to enable future transformation.

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Sanjay Sharma
Hello, I'm Sanjay Sharma, Global Head of SEI's Private Banking and Wealth Management business. Today, I'm joined by Alex Twiss, Managing Director of our UK client Connor Broadley. Today, we are going to discuss about future of wealth. So Alex, over the last 10+ years, the industry has gone through so many changes, on the business side, on the consumer side, on the technology side, as well as on the regulatory side. So the whole environment has gone through significant changes. So the question is what do you think the next 10 years will look like for wealth?

Alex Twiss
I think, when considering this question, there are a number of different avenues you could go down, but probably the nearest term one is almost demographic. So, you know, looking at the UK, by 2025, some 60% of wealth is likely to be in the hands of women as opposed to their male counterparts. I think that has a really important impact on the future of wealth management and how we as a wealth management industry have to react to that. Studies show that typically, women care much more about their holistic wealth, about the goals and experiences that can achieve and that wealth being able to care for a wider group of people as compared to men, who typically have a preference for short-term investment performance and longer-term raw asset gathering. And so the challenges that places on the wealth management industry is to be able to provide a service that tailors to that, and it actually is a better quality of service. It's a broader view on what wealth has to achieve, and as a result, it's a broader project to plan how to get there. So that's the first thing, I think it's that demographic shift, and then underpinning so much to this, I think to your point about the regulatory change, about the consumer change, about the technology change, is how do you as a business- how are you able to build out that service proposition in an efficient but highly attentive way? And that's an interesting next challenge.

Sanjay Sharma
What do you think would be the critical milestones or could be the phases leading up to the next 10 years in terms of the future of wealth?

Alex Twiss
Well, I think we're in the first phase, which is that businesses are grappling with getting their foundations in order. So that means getting their systems aligned, having their databases and their data in their domain, the ability to integrate through all of their various business units, and have oversight and control of all of them. Really leveraging the technology that we've had over the last 10, 20 years, but maximising it. There will be the advent of AI and how that impacts our business models, but equally, none of that will be possible unless we have those solid foundations, that solid data, to be able to train our models. And equally, I think AI has often been talked about as this risk to our business and actually, I think in most cases, the technological advancements over the next 10 years are not going to disintermediate the people side of our business. Actually, I think they're gonna enhance them. And, you know, we've seen with the advent of robo-advice, and actually, some of its difficulties in becoming successful is that we're still dealing with people who have a real emotional connection with their wealth and assets and goals and have shown a need to have that personal connection in the management of it. So I think technology, that first milestone is to allow businesses to take away all of the bottlenecks, all of the inefficiencies, all of the drags on their practitioners to free them up to then be able to give that highly personalised, 

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