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Refinitiv Wealth Management Report – The Race for Digital Differentiation – Highlights the Growing Needs of Self-Directed and Advisory Clients


63% of wealth platforms show significant digital capability gaps compared to investor expectations.

Advisory clients have higher expectations for fees paid and expect a premium experience; 20% are open to switching providers.

80% of clients expect dynamic content integrated into their digital experience.

NEW YORK, 19 April 2021 – Refinitiv today released the findings of its Wealth Management report titled ‘The Gold Standard: The Race for Digital Differentiation’. The report is the second in a two-part series and examines how investors’ trading activities, data needs and digital expectations have changed and continue to evolve.  

‘The Race for Digital Differentiation’ report is based on research commissioned by Refinitiv that surveyed 1,030 self-directed and advised mass affluent investors, located in nine global financial centers: Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and U.S.

The study finds that self-directed and advisory clients’ needs are rapidly changing in this new, more digitally oriented operating model. In the future, they will need new data and digital capabilities to take advantage of promising investment opportunities and avoid potential risks, supported by more advanced tools that allow for better digital collaboration and personalisation of the experience.

Key findings of the study include: 

  • Only 37% of investors globally give their platforms top scores for the digital experience 
  • 20% of Advisory clients will consider switching providers compared to 11% of self-directed investors
  • 43% of investors use mobile applications to access their investments and 72% of investors say better integration of news updates is a key area for improvement by platforms
  • 80% of investors say real-time data would enhance their analysis and 20% of investors are not receiving alerts they would find helpful

Charles Smith, Head of Digital Solutions
, Wealth at Refinitiv, said: “The consequences of COVID-19 have emphasized just how vital it is to have a robust, customer-centric digital experience enriched with deep insights and analytics. Rather than settling for digital transformation progress in 2020, platforms need to set their sights higher and deliver a digital experience that meets and exceeds expectations.”

Ashley Longabaugh, Senior Analyst, Wealth Management Practice at Celent, said: “The wealth management industry is at an inflection point between serving NextGen clients and creating innovative platforms for a NextGen workforce—all against the backdrop of an accelerated transition to remote and digital service models. As we move through 2021, we will see wealth management firms accelerating their digital initiatives by prioritizing proven technologies while adjusting their business models to serve a breadth of clients more effectively on a scalable platform. A key takeaway from engaging in a remote-only wealth management experience was the realization that the client journey was an area of improvement for many FIs.”

April Rudin, CEO and Founder at The Rudin Group, said: “The era of hyper-personalization in wealth management is here to stay, and in the minds of investors, financial advisors are only as good as their last client experience. Refinitiv’s latest report shows that only 37 percent of investors give their digital experience top marks. This means that there is significant room for improvement, and wealth platforms must accelerate their efforts in order to win ‘The Race for Digital Differentiation.”

Will Jan, VP & Lead Analyst, Outsell, said: “Client investors have become more selective in choosing wealth managers and investment platforms, in search of those offering the best recommendations and insights. Digitalization has become more critical in delivering and enabling the understanding of information quickly, thus a powerful competitive differentiator among institutions serving these clients.”

For a copy of the Refinitiv wealth management report titled ‘The Gold Standard: The Race for Digital Differentiation’, please visit:

This report is the second in the “Gold Standard of Wealth Management” thought leadership series commissioned by Refinitiv. The first report titled: ‘Redefining Investor Data Needs’ focuses on the investors’ need for new data sources to take advantage of promising investment opportunities and avoid potential risks. For a copy of the Refinitiv wealth management report titled ‘The Gold Standard: Redefining Investor Data Needs’, please visit:

Refinitiv has a rich history of servicing the Wealth Management industry from front to back office. Over the last two years, the firm has invested heavily in the business and is committed to bringing the most advanced solutions to market. The ongoing transformation includes building out the firm’s solutions through strategic acquisitions such as Scivantage and the launch of Refinitiv Digital Investor and Refinitiv Workspace for Wealth Advisors. Refinitiv wealth management solutions empower firms with faster time to market for digital properties while offering a flexible framework consisting of web-based components, pre-built pages, APIs, mobile apps, and collaboration tools such as video, co-browsing and secure chat that can be precisely configured for clients. A developer toolkit provides an additional level of control for in-house teams to design new and enhanced digital solutions.

About Refinitiv

Refinitiv, an LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) business, is one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure. With $6.25 billion in revenue, over 40,000 customers and 400,000 end users across 190 countries, Refinitiv is powering participants across the global financial marketplace. We provide information, insights, and technology that enable customers to execute critical investing, trading and risk decisions with confidence. By combining a unique open platform with best-in-class data and expertise, we connect people with choice and opportunity – driving performance, innovation and growth for our customers and partners. 

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