Wealth Dynamix CEO Gary Linieres recently asked me, what one piece of advice would you give to a wealth manager for 2020 success? The article below is my response, which features in the latest e-book by Wealth Dynamix. Click here to get your copy of the full e-book. Hope you enjoy the article!

Apply the right technology, at the right time, and in the right place

Many wealth managers have struggled to keep pace with technological change amidst the heavy burden of regulatory change and economic uncertainty. Increasing pressure towards valuation-based fees for discretionary mandates, for example, and portfolio performance closely aligned with client suitability oversight are now calling for more agile and integrated infrastructures that safeguard business growth.

In 2020, winning wealth managers will connect mission-critical systems and processes to support client acquisition and ever-more sophisticated servicing requirements. “You’ve spent all that time reeling the prospect in and if you’re not able to deliver on the things you’ve talked through, it can be a big problem of building trust and loyalty” said Vanessa Oligino, director of business performance solutions at TD Ameritrade Institutional.

How can wealth managers grow their client base whilst accommodating the client requirements for suitability and a high level of service quality? And, how can technology infrastructure and business applications improve the friction often seen around client servicing?

New business development and relationship management teams spend a significant amount of time engaging potential new clients and completing the onboarding process. According to Celent, the goal is to shift the focus from administrative duties to client acquisition and personalised client service. Straight-through processing can offer vast time and cost savings through automation of repetitive processes, including KYC/AML, risk profiling, proposal generation, document gathering, digital signatures and form-filling.

In 2020, winning wealth managers will consolidate digital client and advisor portals with back-end system architectures and implement technology that facilitates personalisation and streamlined management of client bases. They will:

  • Upgrade legacy systems and optimise associated target operating models. For long-established wealth managers, the legacy technology that has underpinned operations for many years is costly and fragmented creating barriers to supporting diverse client requirements. Wealth managers cite tardy processes, lack of easy access to accurate client data and disparate systems which are hard to navigate leaving them feeling ill-equipped to deliver proactive and demonstrable client service. Challenger firms are unencumbered by the trappings of legacy tech and have every opportunity to get it right from the get-go.

In 2020, winning wealth managers will deploy secure and scalable cloud-based infrastructures for seamless access to information across the client lifecycle, speedy service and ease of use. They will rely on the integration of a multitude of systems spanning the client lifecycle to create one connected, end-to-end process offering a holistic client view.

  • Gain agility through digitisation. Remaining aligned with constantly changing client preferences and demands for diverse products is challenging. Communicating with clients securely, via the channel of their choice, is only the beginning. In addition to streamlining processes, making onboarding less onerous and time consuming is needed to allow wealth managers and advisors to engage more effectively and frequently throughout the client lifecycle, from client acquisition to ongoing management.

2020 will also see a step change in the adoption of predictive behavioural analytics. Artificial intelligence is firmly featured in the roadmaps of many wealth managers, now that these tools are proving value in anticipating future client behaviour, and building client-specific investment strategies. Many of the most forward-thinking wealth managers are deploying Next Best Action prompts and indicators based on machine learning.

  • Unlock the power of data. Business intelligence (BI) is coming to the fore as wealth managers recognise the value of consolidated data that provides unexpected insights and management information while also enabling the analysis of client-specific data promoting smarter decision-making.

In 2020, data-driven Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems will fuel personalized and targeted sales and marketing. Both clients and wealth managers will be able to interact with this data via user friendly, intuitive CLM portals, in more digestible formats that can be sliced and diced, to provide a 360-degree vista.Extended BI tools will capture, transform and visualise data more efficiently and flexibly for both wealth managers and business stakeholders.

  • Get to grips with compliance. Wealth managers must keep regulatory compliance front of mind to protect both clients and the firm – it is here to stay and unlikely to become less complex or reduce in scale. Balancing investment strategy governance and reporting requirements, especially in the context of convoluted manual compliance processes, creates servicing issues that can impact client satisfaction and firm efficiency.

In 2020, winning wealth managers will connect systems and processes that support this governance and provide organisation-wide oversight throughout the client lifecycle. Compliance data (e.g. KYC, AML and suitability) will be collected just once and shared across systems and departments; creating a frictionless experience for clients and enabling wealth managers to focus on service delivery.

By Natalie Levine, Chief Technology Officer, Wealth Dynamix

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