Managing Assets in a Post-Corona World

10 Trends for 2021

2020 has been an exceptional year for asset and wealth managers. In March, the pandemic sent thousands of traders, analysts and portfolio managers out of the office at a time when markets were in a tailspin. This shift out of the office was managed well. Not only did business get done, but liquidity has kept flowing, giving the industry more opportunities to fulfill its role as a transformer of savings into investments.

Looking ahead into 2021, we believe the effects of the pandemic on the industry will only exacerbate a number of important struc-tural changes with executives in Swiss banking anticipating an accelerated development going forward. For example, new digital-only platforms are commoditizing large parts of the value chain, forcing incumbents to rethink and sharpen their value propositions. Moreover, clients are basing their remote-only experiences during the pandemic to advance new demands with respect to the immediacy, connectivity and ubiquity with which they interact with their providers.

Although the industry still enjoys growth in assets under management (mainly due to asset price inflation), the future is likely to become incre-asingly turbulent to players ignoring the structural changes taking place in the market while margins continue to fall. We expect the implications of the crisis to have a lasting impact on the industry, accelerate existing trends, and compel managers to take strategic decisions faster than anticipated. The structural changes are being driven by ten key trends that are already challenging the industry. These ten developments build the foundation of this report.

We hope you enjoy reading this contribution to the dialogue on Redesigning Financial Services, and invite you to share your thoughts with us.