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KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The wealth management industry continues to be at a crossroads as a result of regulatory scrutiny, political and market uncertainty, cost pressure, digital disruption and innovation, and a shift in client demographics. Wealth management firms are addressing these changes through the implementation of sophisticated, comprehensive, and fully integrated end-to-end solutions. Wealth managers are better able to serve clients from the mass affluent (MA) through ultra-high net worth (UHNW) through platforms that combine back office efficiency with sophisticated front office features and multichannel support.
Today’s wealth management platforms aid in the automation of processes across the value chain, reduction of business costs, management of risk, protection of data, and segmentation of clients in an efficient and targeted approach. Vendors are offering scalable single technical infrastructure solutions that enable workflow automation, transparency, global reach, and a client-centric experience, and can support discretionary, advisory and brokerage businesses on a single platform across multiple back offices through customization, scalability, and flexibility. Additionally, wealth managers and vendors are heavily focused on providing consistent, attentive, and superior customer service.
Celent created three distinct categories in order to compare vendors across a standardized, apples-to-apples scale:
This report examines the leading North American vendors of front-to-back office platforms. The following vendors are included: Broadridge, Comarch, Objectway, SEI SS&C Advent, and Temenos.
A few items of note:
A wealth management platform seeks to provide the infrastructure to support wealth management operations and processes across the front, middle, and back offices. Celent has identified 11 components that compose a wealth management platform. Front office components support the advisory process, from acquisition to ongoing maintenance and retention, in a single workflow. These components include client relationship management (CRM), financial planning, portfolio management, and portfolio monitoring. Reporting straddles across front office and back/middle office operations. Middle/back office components focus on the advisor’s link to the home office and provide functionality support for investment managers, risk managers, and operations staff. Key components include reporting, portfolio construction (analytics and modeling), model administration, workflow management, compliance, document management, and central data repository.
This study uses the Celent ABCD Vendor View, which shows at a glance the relative position of vendors in the following categories: Advanced technology, Breadth of functionality, Client base, and Depth of client services on two separate X/Y scales.
Figure 1 represents Advanced Technology and Breadth of Functionality measures, and
Figure 2 represents the vendors’ Customer Base (number of financial institutions and advisors served) and Depth of Client Services.
It should be noted that for all measures, all vendors scored well, so scaling reflects small differences, not an absolute scale.
The Breadth of Functionality category (X axis), was based on the number of modules/components available (for example, whether each vendor had a financial planning module, a customer management module, a reporting module, etc.), as well as the depth of functional support within each of the platform module/components.
The XCelent Functionality winner is Broadridge.
In terms of Breadth of Functionality (X axis), little separated the vendors, but ultimately, Broadridge came out on top. Broadridge Wealth Solution is a true front-to-back solution offering robust modules. Broadridge allows clients to integrate with best-of-breed financial planning solutions to promote firm planning strategies and behaviors, thus better serving their predominant client base: the mass affluent. Broadridge demonstrates a dedication to developing its digital proposition and empowering the advisor and client through, for example, its three-prong implementation approach of AI and strong mobile apps.