Higher client expectations is top challenge facing Canadian asset managers: poll

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Copyright : Aleksei Todosko // 123RFCanadian asset and wealth managers are facing increased expectations from clients, according to a poll by RBC Investor and Treasury Services.

Those surveyed identified the rise in client expectations as the top challenge for the year, followed by increased regulation, which held the top spot in 2018.

As well, about a quarter (23 per cent) of asset managers said they’re extremely confident they can adapt to the changing business environment, up from 15 per cent who said the same last year, the poll found.

As for technology investment, the poll found this continues to be a top priority for managers. Process automation and managing client relationships were tied as the top two priorities in this regard. Data analytics is also increasingly important, with 15 per cent of managers saying they’re focusing on it, up from 11 per cent in 2018.

Data is also helping to improve back-office efficiency, as well as helping managers develop better informed distribution strategies, the poll found.

Data does prove troublesome in some ways, with 20 per cent of managers saying that finding quality and accurate data is challenging — although this is down from the 36 per cent that said so last year.

“The global asset and wealth management sectors are experiencing a number of significant shifts as the business environment continues to evolve, and our survey shows that Canadian managers are not exempt from this reality,” said David Linds, managing director and head of asset servicing in Canada at RBC Investor and Treasury Services, in a press release. “Managers must strive to be flexible and responsive to their clients’ evolving needs which means providing and leveraging technology, products and solutions in new and innovative ways to meet increased investor expectations.”

The poll reflects aggregate responses from 89 managers across Canada.

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