Private banks and wealth management firms across the globe are tuning up for a fundamental shift towards the delivery of more innovative and personalised client engagement from their advisers. Wealth Dynamix is only just over seven years old. However since its creation in London in 2012 has been helping banks and wealth management providers set new standards for client lifecycle management. WDX launched in London with offices in Zurich and New York. Moreover, it opened in Singapore in late 2018 and brought in Dominic Gamble as Head of Asia Pacific to spearhead the firm’s Asian expansion. He met with Hubbis to demystify the WDX solutions and define its strategies for the region.
Dominic Gamble, Head of APAC, Wealth Dynamix
“We are a client lifecycle management (CLM) firm that is centred around an industry leading CRM” Gamble begins.“ End-to-end CLM is only possible with a strong CRM. Without the correct storage of prospect and client data, they cannot start to contemplate efficient digital onboarding, let alone machine learning and AI. Many institutions have not mastered this, and have data stored across multiple different systems and in different data models. In this case they can forget AI is never going to work to its true potential. In other words, there needs to be a focus on getting the data foundations right. Once that’s in place, the exciting innovations can be deployed.”
From the first touchpoint…
To summarise, he explains that WDX’s product, called WDX1, starts with prospecting. “From the very first touchpoint that an institution has with a prospect. For example, a private banker meeting a high net worth client at an event, making the data capture robust but also really simple for the advisor is key. In addition, the advisor is then able to scan that business card through his or her phone, or leaving meeting notes via speech that WDX1 transcribes to text. This is an example of a user experience that advisors love. It makes their life a lot easier. But crucially it creates a prospect record in the CRM and the data capture journey begins from there.”
Every scrap of data then on that prospect then gets fed into a marketing suite that is offered as a module of WDX1, including tools such as campaign management, workflow rules, email and messaging automation and lead scoring. “Then,” Gamble expounds, “every interaction between the prospect and the institution, whether by email or message, accepting or rejecting event invitations, discussing likes and dislikes, digital savviness, whatever it is, then gets stored against the prospect record which then powers and nurtures more tailored marketing. In short, it means the institution will convert more of their prospects and will reduce their cost of acquisition.”
One of WDX1’s key advantages when it comes to boosting operation efficiency, is the ‘capture-once-use-many’ philosophy, Gamble elucidates, explaining that the product’s modular journey has huge advantages when it comes to digital onboarding. “If those steps are handled properly from the outset,” he says, “client onboarding becomes somewhat easier because it is just another sequential and integrated step in the client lifecycle. Forms are prepopulated and the client does not need to start rekeying, which is a waste of time and resource. So, we facilitate the digital onboarding the orchestration of all the KYC going out to third party companies, all automated, the orchestration of all the workflows internally.”
Whilst the advisor is completing the account opening forms, in whatever format, the information is available in the WDX system real time. Subsequently real-time tasks are allocated across all the teams, which in turn dramatically compresses account opening times, he says. “This is a huge pain point for private banking in Asia,” he adds. “For lower wealth segments, such as priority banking and wealth advisory, onboarding itself is less of a pain point, but the integration of onboarding to the prospect journey and client journey thereafter, is where we make the difference.
Piloting the client
And the next step, he explicates, is about making all that information on the client productive. “We do that by building personas using the data and that can then result in tailored recommendations to clients,” he reports. “Advisers can sit at their desk, get alerts from the system on what products are suitable for this client, which incidentally we call ‘talking points’. It both increases conversion rates and makes clients feel happier. This client management cockpit – all of the emails, the activities, the tasks, the appointments, recommendations – for the day are all sitting in that suite.”
Gamble closes his overview of Wealth Dynamix’s solutions with what he terms the final bit of the jigsaw, servicing. This involves seemingly mundane tasks such as changing a client address, updating their records, making a transfer payment request and so forth.
“This is the really simple day to day stuff that can often cause so many headaches,” he observes. “We have a client that had incorrectly marked an Austrian down as an Australian and it took months to correct it, whereas in our system that would just never happen, as it is allocated across the operations, legal and compliance to check. These seemingly petty changes can cost so much time, headache and money.”
A running start
Gamble explains that Wealth Dynamix delivers global solutions for many very large private banks, giving the firm a head start, a client base in Asia. “Rather than being a start-up here, we began with some critical mass,” he reports. “As we are already fortunate enough to be delivering our solutions in banks based in the region, which is a great springboard for us to really start to build a more regional, local business here.”
Gamble sees great potential in Asia. “The private banking sector is maturing,” he observes. “While our product was born out of private banking and we are now in broader wealth management sectors, for example, priority banking, insurance, the IFAs. We are also looking at cross segments now, so for a large institution to be able to show client relationships across their divisions, for example, retail and corporate, it all becomes very interesting. It is those types of conversations we are evolving here.”
Gamble notes that Singapore’s tight regulatory regime suits Wealth Dynamix, as the firm was born out of the mature regulatory regimes in the UK and Switzerland. “That is actually a bonus for us,” he adds.
Both sides of the P&L
The implications for cost efficiencies for Wealth Dynamix clients is a key selling point. “The effect is on both sides of the P&L, actually,” he comments. “We drive operational efficiency, but we also drive additional revenue. We can quite drastically improve the efficiency of compliance teams because of our orchestration, because of our automation. And on the client management side, we can achieve major operational efficiency gains through CRM.”
Gamble says that when he talks about CRM with many private banks in Asia, it soon becomes evident that this is not an area they are in control of. “We often get blank faces and murmurs,” he says. “But it is dangerous from a regulatory and compliance perspective to not have this sorted well and also makes the job of an RM a lot harder.”
Gamble adds that the power of the Wealth Dynamix system flows through to achieve tailored content based on what the client likes, delivered through a mobile app, or web portals. “This is the next most important evolution in private banking and wealth management over the next few years,” he says, “namely the provision of a truly tailored service.”
Ahead of the curve
As to other trends in Asia, Gamble observes that for Singapore, regulatory compliance is an ongoing requirement taking a lot of time and focus for the wealth management providers. “It is weighty,” he says, “there is no respite from it, across all institutions of all sizes. We are extremely well placed to deal with that, as our DNA dating back to 2012 in the UK is deeply rooted in the demands of the regulatory environment creating the necessity for technology solutions to try to ease that burden and we built a business around that. We are ahead of the curve here in Asia.”
Gamble closes the discussion by noting the sheer scale of the potential market in Asia. “Step by step is our approach out here,” he says. “Our priority is our home market here in Singapore and the nearer ASEAN markets around, so Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand and also Hong Kong. Our product is extremely sophisticated, so we need to refine depending on the market and the market appetite. There is a whole range of different appetite. A whole range of different sophistication in this region. However we know that there is a deep pool here of potential customers.”
Interview By Hubbis