Adapting to a brave new world
Asset and Wealth Manager Survey 2021

RBC Investor & Treasury Services’ (RBC I&TS) global asset and wealth manager survey indicates that manager fortitude will continue to be tested going forward.

77%

of UK/European managers view increased regulation as a top challenge

43%

of Canadian managers see returning to the workplace as a top challenge

71%

of Asian managers rank increased client expectations as a top challenge

79%

of managers chose improving efficiency as a top priority

61%

of managers selected digitization as a top technology investment

ESG

is more important in the UK/ Europe than in Canada and Asia

Foreword

Photo of Richard Street

The past year has been challenging for asset and wealth managers as they confronted COVID-19 and the almost overnight shift to digitization and working from home, as well as growing cyber threats and heightened investor focus on sustainability. This has compounded already significant pre-pandemic pressures, ranging from increased client expectations and stiff competition, to new regulation.

To better understand these pressures and the approaches to manage them, RBC I&TS conducted our inaugural global asset and wealth manager survey, expanding the previous Canadian survey. This report presents insights from 112 managers obtained through an online survey and interviews. 

The results show that, in the midst of ongoing market volatility and persistently low interest rates, alternative investments are an increasingly popular tool for investors to diversify their portfolios and generate additional income. Managers are digitizing manual processes and leveraging advanced technology such as artificial intelligence and data analytics to improve efficiency and enhance the client experience. Furthermore, middle office outsourcing is expected to grow as managers look to improve oversight, reduce overhead and provide scalability for growth. 

While these are challenging times, asset and wealth managers are adapting quickly to the “brave new world” in their pursuit of continued growth and resilience. A leading asset servicing provider, RBC Investor & Treasury Services looks forward to partnering with managers throughout their journey.

We hope you find the report informative and welcome your feedback.

Signature: Richard Street
Richard Street
Global Head, Client Coverage

About RBC Investor & Treasury Services

RBC Investor & Treasury Services is a financially strong partner1 that provides asset and payment services to corporate investors and financial institutions globally. Trusted with CAD 4.7 trillion in assets under administration,2 clients are at the heart of our service offering. With offices in 16 countries, our focus is on safeguarding client assets as we leverage data and technology solutions to deliver meaningful insights, simplify our clients’ operations and support their growth.

CONTACT US

Richard Street
Global Head, Client Coverage
Richard.Street@rbc.com

Jeremy Albrecht
Head, Client Coverage, Europe
Jeremy.Albrecht@rbc.com

David Giannone
Head, United States
David.Giannone@rbc.com

Andrew Gordon
Head, Asia
Andrew.Gordon@rbc.com

Johan Lindberg
Head, Client Coverage
The Nordics
Johan.Lindberg@rbc.com

David Linds
Head, Asset Servicing
Client Coverage, Canada
David.Linds@rbc.com

Pat Sanderson
Head, Client Coverage
United Kingdom & Ireland
Pat.Sanderson@rbc.com

  1. 1 Standard & Poor’s (AA-) and Moody’s (Aa2) legacy senior long-term debt ratings of Royal Bank of Canada as at August 24, 2021
  2. 2 RBC quarterly results as at July 31, 2021

Unless otherwise indicated, currencies are shown in their source denominations and percentages illustrate the proportion of respondents who have selected a particular option.

Where provided, the aggregations of Asian manager responses should be considered directional only due to the relatively small number of respondents (7) and have not been included in the detailed online survey results.

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