Wealth managers not prepared for end of lockdowns

Australia’s wealth management industry should look to the UK and Europe for how to handle its post-lockdown transition, according to two industry consultants.

Adam Salzer, Whitewater Transformations chair, said many wealth management organisations were only striving to get back to where they were before lockdowns.

“By contrast, savvy wealth managers are preparing for the acceleration in business that has come with the ending of lockdowns in other countries,” Salzer said. 

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“Leaders of UK and European wealth businesses were surprised by how fast the economic recovery was there. 

“The industry in Australia should be learning from what has happened in other, quicker opening markets, as what is happening in the UK now will likely be happening in Australia in three months.”

Salzer said wealth management industry leaders needed to prepare to be able to react quickly to emerging challenges.

“Many wealth mangers are restarting stalled projects, realising this is an opportunity to move ahead of those that are slower to respond,” Salzer said.

“Others are adopting emerging technology for an advantage, and as investors have grown used to doing more online.

“Many organisations are seeking transformational leaders – to be able to better adapt to change – and there are not that many in wealth management.”

Cathy Doyle, Super Recruiters and SR Network chair, said people were beginning to move jobs in Europe if their employer did not continue to offer flexibility of working a trend that was expected here. 

“Employees have seen the benefits of flexibility and they don't want to lose that and will move; this includes some executives,” Doyle said.

“This is leading to a war for talent in the UK and Europe and we expect it to repeat here. Each company is working out how to address this for themselves as their markets come out of lockdown.

“Australian wealth management leaders could be, should be, learning from the experience in the UK and Europe. Australia will be where Europe is now in just three months. We can learn from that.”

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