Do HNWIs want to be served by robo-advisers?

The ING partnership with online wealth manager Scalable Capital will work in the retail market, but would it be a good fit for HNWIs?

ING made the news this week by announcing it will partner with online wealth manager Scalable Capital, a fintech in the European robo-advice market.

Together, ING and Scalable will offer a fully digital investment solution to ING’s retail customers in Germany.

I’m sure this will work in the retail banking market, but will the same proposition work for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) who are accustomed to face-to-face personalised service from a dedicated relationship manager?

ING said the partnership fits its strategic priority to create a differentiating customer experience that is personal, seamless and relevant.

Nick Jue, CEO of ING in Germany, said: “Scalable Capital’s online wealth management enables us to offer our customers a highly attractive and comfortable way of investing.”

Customers of ING in Germany will be able to register in less than 15 minutes through an entirely paperless process. With a minimum investment of €10,000 they can monitor their portfolios and all account details, such as performance and fees, on both Scalable Capital and ING mobile apps and online portals in Germany.

ING’s global Head of Fintech, Benoit Legrand commented: “Solutions like Scalable Capital has developed, are exactly what customers are waiting for, offering a seamless and effective experience.”

When approaching wealth managers for investment management, HNWIs are more likely to opt for discretionary mandates over other services, according to GlobalData.

According to a Global Data’s 2016 Global Wealth Managers Survey,  52% of millionaires’ investable assets are managed on a discretionary basis globally but the level of interest in such services varies significantly between markets.

The research also found that discretionary portfolio managers will also experience competition from digital providers, which have traditionally been conceived as appealing mostly to self-directed investors.