Whilst innovation and increasingly digitised experiences will inevitably speed up and ease business processes, they will never fully replace human interaction for private client businesses where deep relationships with clients and families are and will remain crucial. Businesses which are able to digitise and streamline processes while still offering a human and personal service in the private client industry will prosper.

At present businesses are capturing more data than ever, but many are really only just starting to understand how to manage and control such data and few are maximising opportunities as a result of excellent data management.

Much of the private client industry is currently heavily reliant on relationship information and data which is held by individuals rather than through excellence in collecting, storing and managing data – this has to change in order to enable scalable growth and sustainable business. It is likely there will be a complete shift in this area in the coming years, where businesses will place huge reliance on meaningful data collection, they will make better use of the data they hold to enhance customer experiences, they will use AI in order to compliment personal service and to develop business, and those businesses which optimise their data management will succeed.

The combination of blockchain (or whatever technology may replace blockchain), international fiscal and regulatory cooperation will create true market transparency. Technology such as blockchain will greatly assist businesses in complying with increasing regulations and will assist the regulators with oversight. New client onboarding is one area that could be revolutionised by blockchain technology. Rather than individual businesses having to collate their own set of Know Your Customer information for every new client and request updated information for every trigger event, blockchain technology could be used to create a global database of biometric and fiscal data for individuals.  The data will have been verified and businesses and regulatory bodies will subscribe to access it and the onboarding processes for all businesses will become almost instant.

The opportunities that blockchain and excellent data management could create for the private client industry are exciting but we need to be very mindful that client experiences will continue to rely on high levels of professional and focussed customer service which cannot be replaced by technology.