Providing comparable information is one thing. Can you genuinely improve in this way? What if the content of that information does not meet the need or expectations of those for whom it is meant?
Rather than comparing themselves solely with each other, the investment industry (which has been broadly built on the back of the baby boomer generation) could learn a thing or two from the firmly established consumer facing organisations, particularly those operating in the digital space.
Younger generations trust technology firms more than they do financial services firms. The investment management industry has a long way to go in order achieve that level of customer experience and trust. Added to this, many technology companies have the platform and potential to deliver to the new model investor.
Traditional firms, operating the traditional model, risk everything by being complacent or even ignoring the trend that is fast becoming reality. Investment managers need to swiftly get to grips with the digital experience and expectations of their end investors. Equally, due to the legacy operations of many such firms, they have invested poorly in their data management capability and the new skills needed. The result is that many have been unable to effectively exploit the sheer volume of data they collect every single day on their activities and interactions in the market and with their customers.
Right now it seems many firms are trying to invest in their own capability rather than outsourcing by either hiring people or acquiring other firms to enhance technology. There are though, many smaller asset management firms that are not constrained by decades of legacy. They are ripe and ready to embrace a new model and modern customer-centric approach.
There is no doubting that investment firms need to think differently if they are to engage and retain young investors. The fact is that the characteristics and skills of those hired by investment companies to deal with these challenges need to reflect the changing nature of the modern investor and digital technologies.
If they don't, investors will head towards the brands they do trust and have a connection with for their future investment needs. Google Investment Management, Amazon Funds anyone?
“The [Investment] association’s members have always been conscious of their responsibilities in looking after other people’s money and recent events should not put that in doubt,” Morrissey says. “The board reaffirms its commitment to supporting positive change in the interest of members’ clients. In particular, it will continue the work already done to ensure that consumers receive clear comparable information on which they can make good investment decisions.”