July 22, 2015

European High-Net-Worth Investors Want Digital Services from Their Private Banks, Accenture Survey Finds

Nearly half are early adopters of technology

LONDON; July 22, 2015 – High-net-worth investors are avid users of digital technology for managing their finances and, despite often being older than the average investor, are just as likely as younger investors to demand digital wealth-management services, according to a new survey of high-income, digitally savvy European investors by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The survey showed that the vast majority (83 percent) of high-net-worth investors already use digital technology for financial services, two-thirds (67 percent) are weekly users of social media, and 41 percent consider themselves early adopters of technology. These high-net-worth investors are not only active and engaged users of digital, they also are motivated by new technology and willing to explore its newest offerings.

“Our findings did not align with conventional wisdom, which paints high-net-worth investors as merely casual users of digital services, generally reluctant to invest digitally and reliant on advisors for wealth management,” said Owen Jelf, global managing director of Accenture’s Capital Markets practice. “On the contrary, their responses were similar to those that we got from younger investors, although high-net-worth investors tend to prefer going online using their PC rather than mobile devices.”

The research shows that high-net-worth investors seek a unique and sophisticated experience from advisors and place higher value on channel options and online features than other investors. In fact, respondents listed 10 unique financial technology tools, such as education on long-term goals, 360 account views and auto asset allocation, as difference makers that high-net-worth investors use to drive decisions – all of which support advanced learning, planning and other long-term investing objectives.

While high-net-worth investors still expect – and prefer – face-to-face contact for discussing long-term planning and their future financial needs, they said they are very comfortable using digital technology for basic investment tasks such as account transfers, product research and scenario analyses.

Three-quarters (75 percent) of the high-net-worth investors surveyed said they were confident that digital technology would not limit face-to-face contact time or the quality of relationship with their financial advisers. And while two-thirds (65 percent) said they still want face-to-face contact, as many as one-third (35 percent) said that with digital tools, they could work perfectly well with their financial adviser without ever being in the same place.

“High-net-worth investors are very savvy about using digital channels and see digital as an essential part of the service they expect from a private bank or financial adviser,” said Alfredo Avila, managing director for Accenture Wealth and Asset Management Services in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. “And while the majority still want face-to-face contact, they are much more comfortable and confident in the value digital technologies bring to managing their portfolios and communicating with their advisors.”

Accenture commissioned an online survey of 1,200 middle- and high-income, tech-savvy investors located in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Turkey regarding their relationships with financial advisors as part of an integrated quantitative and qualitative study of investor attitudes and behaviours. Thirty percent of respondents qualified as high-net-worth individuals, with an average of US$1.4 million in investible assets (excluding property) and an average median income of US$225,000. This is a follow-up to Accenture’s 2013 Generation D study and 2014 Generation D Europe study, both of which are about the impact of digital tools on the behaviours of U.S. and European investors, respectively.

Read the full report to learn more: www.accenture.com/GenD

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 336,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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