Clients are demanding more transparency and customization from their private banking wealth managers, according to a new poll by SEI.

Following the massive Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard Madoff, almost 70% of respondents say their clients want enhanced financial reporting capabilities from their wealth managers. As a result, 87.7% of wealth service firms have made delivering enhanced reporting a top priority.  An additional, 41.5% said that their firm intends to invest in client reporting over the next two years.

Forty percent of wealth managers told SEI that their top requirement in regards to client reporting is flexibility and customization, while 35.8% said better reporting is needed in order to create a user-friendly end-client experience

“We are clearly in an era that demands increased transparency,” said Joseph Ujobai, Executive Vice President for SEI's Private Banks segment, in a press release. “While it may be challenging for the industry to deliver on this rapidly emerging need, we are certain that wealth management organizations must move in this direction. The industry's near-term future is predicated on providing a heightened level of value for end clients.  We believe, in order to differentiate themselves, it will be vital for firms to present their customers with a comprehensive view of all investment information.

According to SEI's Quick Poll, 68.9% of wealth managers are pursuing portfolio aggregation, which can compliment end-client reporting services, with 81.1% of those polled saying they are anticipating their clients will push for portfolio aggregation in the next two years. The majority of private banking wealth managers see portfolio aggregation as an opportunity for additional revenue.

The Quick Poll was conducted at the annual SEI Connections Conference, which brings together private banking wealth managers and operations personnel who support wealth service firms across the United States, and was hosted June 7-9 at SEI’s Oaks campus. A total of 106 attendees responded to the poll.

As of June 30, 2010, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI administered $380 billion in mutual fund and pooled assets and managed $149 billion in assets.