Technology and Wealth Management | Associated Bank | WGN Radio
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THE OPENING BELL As Heard On WGN 720 AM Chicago

Technology and Wealth Management – And Security

More and more of the financial industry is turning to technology to make banking easier for clients. One area that's been slower to latch onto the tech trend is wealth management. And for good reason, according to Breck Hanson, Vice Chairman at Associated Bank.

  • Goldman Sachs recently announced their plans to offer a robo-adviser available for wealthy clients. The trend is one many banks have historically stayed away from.
    "When I read things like that … like I think about a lot of things, robots or technology is really a generational thing," Hanson said. "And a lot of the affluent investors are still people in their 50s, 60s, 70s even 80s. I truly believe they still like that personal touch."

    That desire for personal interaction hasn't gone away, but thinking about how best to incorporate tech is definitely necessary, Hanson notes.

    "They like to be able to pick up a phone and talk to somebody, whether that's trade or investment advice and that kind of input," Hanson said. "That being said, we're not too far away from the millennials and the Generation Xers and the people that really grab onto information and technology being in more of that affluent class, or that senior class, so it's something that you've got to pay attention to."

  • Rumors are swirling that retail giant Amazon is considering acquiring Capital One. That could have some interesting ramifications in financial sectors.
    "First of all, if you think about it, I think it makes a heck of a lot of sense," Hanson said. "If you look at the challenges that financial services companies have today, aside from regulation and aside from just the competition in the market, security, cyber security, the elimination of fraud – all the things that the Amazons and the Googles and the Microsofts have invested billions of dollars in money just dealing with technology – it makes sense that a financial institution that's tied to somebody with that kind of intellectual knowledge would create a safety net that a consumer would be really attracted to."

  • Security continues to be a big concern for all.
    "We're all at risk," Hanson said. "And I think when we look at security and bank systems, you can feel really good about (it when) the guy across the street got hit, but don't feel too good because it could very well be you today."

    Continuing to monitor technological advancements – and how they can improve banking – is essential, Hanson notes.

    "This is not a rest on your laurels business, it's changing so much," he said. "… It's not a comforting thing. And when you see historically what happened to a Target or what happens to somebody who's compromised with their accounts, don't get cocky."

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