As we have had the opportunity to see in previous articles, in our analysis Insurance, broker: results and outlook for 2021 (in French), or our infographic Management company and Covid-19 (in French), the entire financial sector has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
Internal processes and the entire commercial relationship, from the first point of contact to after-sales service, have been digitized. For example, in the context of the relationship between insurance inspectors and brokers, contacts have become highly digital. Today we will study the effect of the covid-19 crisis on wealth management advisers (PMCs).
The management of the crisis by the WMAs in France
The first question to ask is how the WMA adapted during the key moments of this unprecedented crisis. In its 14th WMA market barometer with Kantar, BNP Paribas Cardif revealed that for 90% of its wealth management advisers, the priority was to reassure and support their clients.
The same report confirms that this unprecedented period allowed the acceleration digital tools and teleworking. Respectively, 85% and 90% of BNP Paribas Cardif’s WMA confirm these comments.
In an interview published on Club Patrimoine in October 2020 (in French), Anne-France Gauthier, Commercial Director of VIE PLUS explains that the company has launched webinars on various themes for its WMA, attesting that, like the advisor – client relationship, the BtoB relationship has not struggled to go digital.
However, it will take some time to be able to measure the consequences of the currennt health and economic crisis on the sustainability of WMA, despite the fact that, due to their size, the smaller structures are more worried.
As a whole, the market remains relatively confident, as evidenced by the data published by Argus de l’assurance in its article “WMAs are pitching, but are resisting the epidemic” published in September 2020: 85% of firms have not requested the State Guaranteed Loan and 40% of WMA are not or little worried about the effects of the health crisis. For its part, the survey conducted by Kantar with BNP Paribas Cardif shows that almost one in two firms with fewer than two people anticipate a loss of at least a fifth of its turnover.
The crisis from the point of view of savers
One of the key elements for the future of the industry is how consumers cope with a crisis. The observation made by experts in the field is that savers have not panicked. Indeed, unlike the 2008 crisis, the financial sector was not the source of the crisis, but is also a victim. The WMAs testify that they played a very strong support role during the crisis aimed in particular at reassuring their customers and also updating the risk profiles.
Many investors, whether institutional or not, have had a reflex: sell the securities in the portfolio to go for “traditional” assets such as gold. However, several French and international asset managers have noticed a second trend towards responsible investments: ESGs (environment, society and governance). Amundi, the largest European asset manager, asks the question in a publication entitled “Is Green the New Gold?”. The attractiveness of responsible investing for investors therefore seems to be confirmed. We will have to wait until 2022 in order to confirm this trend, although, as revealed by Morningstar (in English) in March 2020 during the stock market crash, ESG funds outperformed the MSCI World stock index, the index of the world’s largest companies.
In France, as Argus de l’assurance (in French) revealed by quoting Pascal Perrier, Director of CGP Networks – Brokers & E Business of BNP Paribas Cardif during Patrimonia, more and more WMA intends to offer more and more ESG funds to their clients.
How the CGP will be digitalized?
As we have discussed, WMAs have been able to digitize their customer relationship and even continue to train online, thanks to webinars offered by asset managers and business associations. In addition, a large number of studies agree that consumers are interested in these digital relationships and will continue to use that medium. However, in their internal organization, the digitization of processes is not so obvious, and even is deteriorating. Aïda Sadfi, managing director of the research and consultancy firm Aprédia, testifies in the specialist magazine Investissement Conseils, “30% of firms under the age of five are not equipped with data aggregators in 2019. They were 20% in the same situation in 2017”. At the origin of this regression, the increasingly high costs of digital solutions.
Without being able to equip themselves, asset managers can support their WMA partners a little more. Digital solutions, such as Particeep Finstore, allow asset managers to offer online subscription to their investment offerings and provide a dedicated space for WMA so they can manage their clients’ investments. Contact our team to find out more at email@example.com.