Fully 100% of the 25 private clients who SEI interviewed said that wealth management is not transparent, yet 100% of the 25 wealth management firms SEI spoke to believe transparency is important to rebuild client confidence.
The main finding of the research highlights that clients seek openness that focuses on how and why decisions in portfolios are made, and how they fit with their goals. Yet, most believe they are sent siloed, complex information on transactions, fees, taxes, products and services.
The wealthy investors said that rather than a complete overhaul of their wealth advisers’ businesses, they would appreciate a change in style, tone and language to begin a transparent relationship.
“Since the onset of the financial crisis, the rules of client engagement have changed,” said Joseph P. Ujobai, executive vice president of SEI’s private banks division. “It is therefore important for wealth management to join the transparency debate as we believe that clients will increasingly demand better information about the products being recommended to them. Wealth managers [need to] offer information and insight—not just data.”