The time for New Year’s resolutions is not over, as EY Global Wealth and Asset Management has set 10 resolutions that it says firm can use to be more profitable and efficient.

EY has aimed to address all aspects of a financial firm’s business from the back office operation, to the acquisition of clients, to how to make those clients happy, Mike Lee, EY global wealth and asset management leader, said in an interview.

“This is not a one-and-done campaign,” Lee said. “It is something that needs to be built into the DNA of the firm and is carried over into the future—it does not have an end point.”

Lee added, “All of the resolutions grew out of interactions EY executives and partners had with advisors and reflect many different views.”

One of the first things a firm needs to be sure of is that has a strong brand that defines who it is and what its team members can do for clients. “Firms need to clearly define their core purpose and use a strong brand strategy to defend their competitive advantages,” EY said in its report, entitled “Top 10 Resolutions for Wealth and Asset Management Success in 2024.”

Building a brand leads into another resolution to create a scalable business model that differentiates the firm from the competition and that can be used for future growth, EY said in the report, which was co-authored by Lee. Part of that differentiation will focus on involving the clients in determining what services should be expanded or added.

“Wealth and asset management customers across segments increasingly expect a holistic, bespoke service that is adapted to their needs and meets their requirements,” the report said. This is particularly true in the “severe market uncertainty” that has been experienced recently, which makes clients “seek greater guidance and reassurance.”

Advisors should try to draw in clients from a variety of demographics, including different ages, which can foster the long-term growth of the firm, the report said. One way to do this is to “offer products traditionally limited to wealthy clients to mass affluent and retail investors, such as providing access to alternative asset classes and direct indexing capabilities.”

As regulations continue to change and become more complex, advisor should reach out to their peers, and even to their competitors, to develop approaches to meeting the requirements, the report said.

Organization leaders should “maximize the value of new and existing talent through a strategic program of reskilling and upskilling” so that people are ready to embrace changes, EY said. Firms should make sure their teams are focused on areas the individual team members are interested in and areas where their best capabilities exist.

AI is one of the tools that is creating the most change in people’s personal and profession lives, and advisory firm leaders should make sure their staffs are capable of using AI to its maximum effect, the report said. AI can not only be used to tailor advice for clients, but it can also be used to transform middle-office operations, EY said.

Being able to use AI to its maximum benefit and keeping up with the advances in AI leads to two other resolutions: making sure all data systems are kept current and adapting technology to the firms’ and the clients’ needs. To do that, cloud-based technology needs to be integrated into the firm’s operations at the same time that the firm leaders make sure the systems are secure, EY said.

In order to keep up with the changing demands of clients, advisors need to develop transparent approaches to sustainable investments and make more choices in sustainable funds available to clients, the report said.

Firms should embed climate and environmental risks into investment strategies, EY said. This will mean firms will need to offer blended finance, which means blending public capital or funding with private capital. Blended finance “will be critical to increasing wealth and asset managers’ roles in the climate transition,” and offering choices to clients, EY said.

“In order to decide which resolutions are top priorities, firms will need decide what the firm’s goals are, and then do a self-assessment to see where the firm is on meeting those goals,” Lee said.

Additional information on the resolutions can be found here.