October 25, 2011

The majority of investors want to receive financial statements online, but wealth managers are failing to provide them and instead 9 out of 10 are insisting on face-to-face meetings.

According to research by SEI Global Wealth Services, despite the fact that today email is perhaps the developed world's favorite form of communication -- only 1 in 3 wealth managers rank email communication as a primary tool.

The report found that only 4% of wealth managers said online communication, via a web portal, is an organizational priority.

Further, the majority of wealth managers see the client advisor as the primary communication channel, supported by paper-based reporting and marketing materials -- although 3 in 4 investors said they want more targeted communications.

Overall, investors expect the wealth managers to provide them with the means to access information and services how and when they want, the report found. For those wondering how to do that, investors simply recommend that wealth managers take cues from Apple, Google, and Amazon in rethinking their communication strategies.

It's not all bad: Wealth managers do get some recognition in the report, which notes that they have made progress in providing investors with easy-to-understand information.

But if they could provide it in the format investors want, and get more technologically savvy, they would overall earn a much more glowing report -- and win over many more investors.

Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...