SunGard Recommends Three Ways Wealth Managers Can Use IT to Grow Their Businesses

21 April 2009

Blaine Maxfield, chief operating officer of SunGard’s wealth management business, has the following recommendations for wealth managers and registered investment advisors: “Address growth and demand for increased service levels by sharing data across business lines, service a broader group of investors, and provide tailored offerings to enhance the client experience.”

SunGard is helping wealth managers manage and grow their businesses as investment options become more complex, the market grows more volatile, and a growing segment of the population plans for retirement.

SunGard recommends three ways that wealth managers can use technology to enhance client service and guidance in turbulent economic times: 1. use an integrated advisor platform; 2. make use of aggregated data; and 3. provide online client self-service tools. These features give firms the ability to present one face to the client, and advisors the ability to view and service clients holistically.

Three Key Trends

• Convergence: financial services firms that may have traditionally held singular relationships with investors – such as through a trust, savings account, brokerage account, 401(k) plan or an insurance policy – are converging within the wealth management industry to expand their client relationships by offering financial advice along with a full spectrum of investment and trading options.

• Increased competition: boutique advisories, smaller banks and trusts, plan sponsors and plan service providers are growing or entering the wealth management arena, as investors worry over the stability of large wire houses and banks, and seek alternative sources of advice.

• Increased investor demand: investors will look for increased service levels, more visibility into the investment process, and online collaboration tools for managing all aspects of their accounts

John Deglow, senior vice president and director of wealth services and planning at Hilliard Lyons, agrees: “With SunGard’s integrated WealthStation solution, our financial consultants can more effectively and efficiently provide the best guidance to their clients and make better decisions.”

Robert Hegarty, managing director of TowerGroup’s Securities & Investments and Insurance practices, said, “We’re seeing an uptick in spending in the wealth management space, and firms have been clear that they want to get closer to their clients and get a better handle on their data and their needs. Despite the depletion of wealth in the marketplace, institutions are really gearing up to try to understand their clients better and understand how to service them better.”

Doug Sherratt, president of Smithfield Trust Company, says: “Our clients are sophisticated, deserving and expect both responsiveness and excellence in the personal service we provide, and SunGard’s WealthStation helps us to continue to deliver that to them.”

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