Operational Resilience in Wealth: The Impact of COVID-19

Kenn Taylor, Tom Williams

Operational resilience has been a hot topic in Wealth Management since the FCA released Consultation Paper 19/32 in December 2019. Through internal audits the Regulator determined that Wealth Managers often underestimated the level of operational risk their firms faced, and as such set out the increased expectations for businesses in this space.

The COVID-19 pandemic has represented the ultimate Operational Resilience challenge for wealth manager systems and processes, and many firms faced the unprecedented challenge of transitioning to a fully remote working environment whilst trying to improve business resilience to meet the new regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, it is likely that this rapid transition may have left these businesses with a higher level of operational risk as a result of:

  • An increased risk of data leakage
  • Heightened risk of external threats
  • Reduced levels of infrastructure due diligence
  • Exponential growth of the technology landscape

In addition to regulatory scrutiny, wealth managers would face significant reputation risk and a loss of customer trust should a data breach result from the remote exchange of sensitive customer information.

Alpha has significant experience in supporting asset and wealth managers with the design, review and implementation of Risk and Operational Resilience frameworks to provide senior management with the assurance they need to fulfil their responsibilities and improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. Through our learnings in this space we have developed a tried and tested strategy framework to support asset and wealth managers with accelerating this process.

Feel free to check out our strategy framework in the placemat below, or if you are interested in finding out more about how Alpha can support, please get in touch.

About the Authors

Kenn Taylor
Director, Head of Wealth Management

Kenn is a Director at Alpha and leads our Wealth Management Practice. He is a senior business adviser having led consulting teams with Grant Thornton, Navigant and Troika, and has been a member on the Board of Prudential Financial Services. His experience within the investment industry comprises strong asset management, wealth and retirement business experience from leading critical assignments for the leading UK Wealth & Asset Managers, Retail and Workplace Platforms. His consulting experience covers Wealth, Pensions and Investment operations and outsourcing, particularly proposition development, supplier assessment, operating models, business case development and deal negotiations.

Tom Williams
Associate Director

Tom is a Risk Management and programme delivery expert with experience across a large variety of Financial Services clients. He focuses in the Asset Management sector where he specialises in Enterprise Risk Management, Operational Risk and regulatory change. He has 10 years of consulting experience and is experienced in leading expert teams integrated with clients to overcome complex problems quickly, both on international and local projects.