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Digital Disruption in Wealth Management

Why established firms should pay attention to emerging digital business models for retail investors


Over the past 10 years, numerous startup firms with digital business models have emerged within the Wealth Management (WM) industry. The disruptive power of digital technologies business models is creating opportunities for new firms to make a big splash in the wealth management industry. According to our analysis of over 50 WM startups, these firms are Business-to-Consumer (B2C) focused and primarily serve retail investors in three ways:

  1. Connect. Helping investors connect to their peers, multiple accounts and multiple sources of advice.
  2. Advise. Providing investors with advice tailored to their unique situations and delivered through a rich, digital experience.
  3. Invest. Providing access to esoteric investment opportunities and investment strategies similar to those used by professional investors and institutions.

Established Wealth Management firms that do not learn from digital startups and adjust their business models accordingly could find themselves at a significant disadvantage in the marketplace. On the other hand, incumbents that learn to use digital technologies to address unmet needs and deliver a superior client experience may be able to leapfrog the competition and capitalize on emerging market opportunities.

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