Technological developments combined with less than stellar financial performance may see some major integrated financial advice and financial product businesses being sold or otherwise changing their profile in the industry.
That is the assessment of Snowgum Financial Services principal and Certified Financial Planner, Matt Vickers, who has used a column in Money Management who has pointed to recent negative media scrutiny as continuing "to impact the value of institutions as providers of both financial advice and financial products".
"The continued advice and product failures by financial institutions has increased both consumer awareness and cynicism, especially when there is a vested interest by the institution in the financial advice provided," he said.
Vickers said this had given rise to a drive to improve consumer transparency and experience which in turn had driven wealth management businesses to explore alternative ways of differentiating themselves.
"Technology-focused investment platforms have emerged as a key battleground in the fight for market share," he said.
Vickers claimed that in the competitive investment platform market, agile independent investment service providers were driving down costs and providing improved service propositions without the legacy constraints of large institutions.
He noted that the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) was also emerging as a competitor to wealth management businesses via the growth of its mFund's settlement services and the growing availability of exchange traded products (ETPs) and listed investment companies (LICs).
"Elsewhere, financial consolidation tools developed for retail consumers are also picking up wealth management market share," Vickers said. "Pocketbook and MoneyBrilliant are two such providers that engage directly with consumers by consolidating financial data. Acorns is another provider that utilises behavioural psychology to target consumers by attaching savings and investing with the change from expenditure."
"These providers, in conjunction with the ASX developments, provide consumers more control of their finances and make financial management more accessible without the need for a traditional institutional intermediary," he said. "The value of Institutional incumbency is being eroded on all sides."