Conduct risk in wealth management: why technology is part of the answer

Drawing solely from his firm’s experience, Gary Linieres of the software firm of Wealth Dynamix, which was sponsoring the event, said that only 25% of wealth management firms had conducted serious conduct risk assessments and only 15% had actually evolved an IT-related strategy to address the issues. Moreover, 88% had told the firm that this regulatory change was not justified and almost 80% were finding the extra workload of dealing with these regulations difficult or very difficult.

As a result, according to figures from Compeer that the chairman, Bruce Weatherill, quoted, 75% of wealth managers are planning to increase the budgets of their compliance departments in the next 12-18 months, with 44% seeing it as an opportunity to introduce positive strategic change. This formed the backdrop to the morning’s discussions. Michael Bennett, the chief operations officer at Charles Stanley, spoke on the subject of demonstrating suitability, saying: “Our first relationship manager (RM) has just completed his full book last week – the champagne’s going ’round!”

Emily Morris, Acanthus Consulting mentions, “Conduct risk is about getting the client at the heart of the business model. The marketing is very much designed to deliver that profitably. In principle these things should be very much aligned. A lot of the wealth management market has been sales-led for the last few decades rather than marketing-led, but this is changing. Conduct risk and marketing cultures need clients to be well understood and for that understanding to permeate the whole business and I think technology plays an important part in doing that.

On the basis that we have to collect far more data than we used to, I don’t think it takes too much to push out the boat a little further than that and use a lot of their systems and processes that are used for conduct risk for effective product governance and suitability. To actually lose all that, to actually re-engage with clients and really understand their needs, very much with an eye to attention on being thorough because at the end of the day client retention is the life-blood of all these businesses.”

Gary Linieres looked back at the inception of his firm in early 2013: “Clients have been seen as the RMs’ intellectual property rather than part of the actual firm themselves and I think we saw the regulations that the Financial Conduct Authority was coming out with around conduct risk and suitability as something of a real game-changer in terms of CRM [customer relationship management] solutions. Client relationship data is a fundamental part of everything that conduct risk is about.”

Bruce Weatherill, Chairman of Clearview Publishing mentions, “How do wealth managers prove to clients and regulators that they are not just complying with the rules, but providing better customer service when it comes to conducting risk? By way of explanation, Vanita Ramtri, the head of conduct risk at Barclays Wealth, persuaded a delegate to walk out of the room and walk back in again. Her explanation for this amused the audience.

I guess you all know the answer. How do you actually prove something? The simplest way is to actually do it, so how do you prove to a regulator or a client that you comply with the law? The best way to prove that you provide clients with the best possible services is to provide them with the best possible services. Ultimately, you need to be doing this day in day out.”

She then enumerated three steps towards this goal.

Step 1 – outline to your organisation what is and what is not acceptable, telling everybody that it is definitely not acceptable to “tweak relationships to make a profit for yourself.”
Step 2 – when you are changing a proposition, or changing a relationship, or doing something else, make sure that you can give examples of your decision-making, logging such details as: “I thought of how to minimise the consequences of something going wrong and did this, then I thought of making the experience more flexible for the customer and therefore changed that.”
Step 3 – try to make it easy for people to do the right thing by realigning incentives and pay structures.

Line of technology code on macbook pro white

Bruce Weatherill then asked Vanita’s victim a philosophical question, to general laughter: “How do you prove that you walked out of the room?” Another panellist said that in the regulator’s eyes, even the testimony of someone who watched it happen “is not enough,” adding: “it’s all about evidencing that.”

Mark Spiers of the Bovill compliance consulting group, which has built its team up to an impressive 40 fee-earners, said that his firm was finding that the FCA had taken to asking such questions as “why does the customer not buy your product?” Michael Bennett added: “they are now blaming you when you don’t do something; it’s just as important as when you do.” Bruce Weatherill said that in present-day court cases, the weight of documentation requested “is amazing – they really want you to be able to say what were you doing on such-and-such a day at 11 o’clock!” He added that the the FCA was now asking firms such questions as: “show us the products that you decided were not suitable for clients.” Bruce also said that people were now having to ask clients who’d been with them for 20 years or so questions such as “what was your source of wealth 20 years ago?”

The last thing you want is a solution that’s just there to keep the regulator happy. It’ll then be a place where people go to dump data all day long and it won’t be part of the day-to-day way that people work. RMs will find a hundred thousand reasons for not doing it. They think that their relationship with the client is sacred. In their minds the client is theirs, not the firm’s! That mentality has to change.
Gary Linieres
CEO at Wealth Dynamix

Bruce Weatherill conducted a straw poll in the room, asking the proportion (points out of ten) to which the ‘behavioural side’ met conduct risk. Nobody thought that it was ten out of ten; most of the panel thought 6-7. The audience as a whole placed it between 4 and 7. To general laughter, Gary Linieres summed up the state of British software programmes that dealt with the problem: “some of them work well and some of them don’t!”


Wealth Dynamix specializes in Client Lifecycle Management to the world’s leading private banks and wealth management firms.

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Gabriel Chan

Head of Sales – APAC

An accomplished, results-driven sales and marketing professional, Gabriel has held sales and marketing leadership positions in Singapore and China at some of the world’s most successful and respected global technology enterprises.

During more than 20 years spent at IBM, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, Gabriel developed and implemented sales and channel strategies to support strategic business objectives.

His specialism is growing and extending sales territories to grow revenues and increase market share.

Travis Morgans

Head of Consultants

Travis combines 15 years of software delivery, business modelling and leadership experience with a passion for transforming business needs into effective digital solutions. Before joining Wealth Dynamix in March 2018, Travis led Operations for Nikon – a role which incorporated CRM product ownership responsibility and initiated over 10 years of MS Dynamics experience, from 2011 to Dynamics 365​.

 Since joining the Wealth Dynamix team, Travis has been instrumental in designing and delivering some of our most strategic WDX1 projects. Leading the consulting team for WDX1, he is responsible for their recruitment and development. The team’s complex remit supports a fundamental aim – to ensure Wealth Dynamix delivers the best client experience. ​Travis is also responsible for ensuring the WDX1 product is designed and evolved in the most adaptable way possible to drive adoption across our client base, existing and future.  

Joanne Donoghue

Chief Marketing Officer

An experienced, tenacious marketer, Jo joined the Wealth Dynamix team in 2021 as Head of Marketing and quickly rose to the position of Chief Marketing Officer. A Brand and Marketing specialist with a proven track record in BRB and B2C communications, Jo combines a customer-centred approach with strategic thinking.

Having held senior Marketing positions in numerous FTSE 100 businesses, including Asda Stores Ltd, The Co-operative Retail Group, plus financial services brands MBNA, OneFamily, TransUnion, The Co-operative Group, she possesses a wealth of experience in the fields of finance and technology.

Jo is passionate about activating the Wealth Dynamix brand across every channel, taking a holistic marketing approach to drive consistency, salience and thought-leadership activity.

About – Agustin Collazo

Head of Strategic Client Relationships

Agustin joined Wealth Dynamix over six years ago bringing a wealth of experience in change management.

Having experienced first-hand the challenges of managing clients through change, Agu now brings that expertise to Wealth Management firms looking to leverage technology in order to help them connect more effectively with their clients.

Agu has a deep technical knowledge of our solutions that allows him to deliver our products effectively, unlocking the full potential of every feature.

As our Head of Strategic Client Relationships, Agu’s specialist expertise supports firms to become more efficient, transparent and dependable using our CLM solutions.

Juan Stoppa

Head of Development

Juan has over 20 years’ experience developing and implementing CRM solutions and has spent the last 10 focusing primarily on the Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) in the Wealth Management industry.

Currently Head of Development, Juan is responsible on overseeing the technical direction of the product.

Before joining Wealth Dynamix, Juan has worked for Barclays, Fujitsu and Ciber delivering large scale CRM projects in the financial services industry.

Juan has a first degree in Telecommunication Engineering from Universidad Blas Pascal and a MSc in Business Information Technology from London South Bank University.

Ben Altmira

Director of Operations & Change

An internationally experienced change management professional, Ben is responsible for overseeing projects both internally, and for clients.

In a career spanning more than 20 years in global banking, finance and management consulting, Ben has led strategy formulation, project planning, change management adoption, business networking consultation and transformational change projects at Fortis Investments, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management and Verisure Securitas Direct. Since beginning his career at Deloitte, Ben has also amassed a wealth of experience working on complex CRM system implementations, and is a PROSCI-certified Change Practitioner and a Certified Scrum Master (Scrum Alliance).

David Backx

Director of Pre-sales and Implementations

When David joined Wealth Dynamix in 2015 he brought with him a vast amount of experience delivering large-scale Microsoft Dynamics CRM projects. As a Senior Business Analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland David managed deployments with more than 2000 users, for both Business and Commercial Banking, as well as working on key AML initiatives for RBS International. In his current role at Wealth Dynamix David supports the growth and strategic direction of client implementations in Europe. Wealth Dynamix leverages David’s product expertise to shape the product roadmap and ensure that the firm delivers solutions with the right capabilities, that will be enthusiastically adopted, by all customers.

Prior to his involvement in the wealth management sector, David worked as a waste management contracts manager, working with Multi Services Kent to ensure effective waste clearance and re-use at the 2012 London Olympics.

Cedric Neuville

Director of Pre-sales and Consulting Europe

Since joining Wealth Dynamix in 2019, Cédric has worked closely with clients to ensure that the WDX and CLMi solutions are deployed efficiently and effectively.

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Cédric has become an accomplished business and global project management leader covering both technology and financial markets sectors. Having held various roles in private banking (front, middle and back office) and brokerages, in both functional and technical roles, Cédric has led many projects including client onboarding implementations and KYC reviews, regulatory compliance projects (including PSD2, MIFID2/PRIIPS, GDPR, CRS, Rubik) and digital transformation projects (online and mobile design and implementation).

Cédric has vast experience building and managing international project teams, having created three offshore teams in Tunisia and India, managed a 70-employee company as Deputy CEO and a startup Fintech founded to create smartphone apps.

Johnny Beloe

Director of Pre-Sales

As Director of Pre-Sales, Johnny is responsible for maintaining the firm’s pre-sales policies, methodologies and resourcing. He is also leads some of WDX’s largest pre-sales analysis exercises, conducted for a wider variety of financial services firms spanning multiple jurisdictions.

Continual engagement with existing and prospective clients helps to inform the WDX1 product strategy, roadmap and pricing.

Johnny has spent his whole career in financial technology in various consultancy and
pre-sales roles. His expertise covers the full stack of systems required by leading Private Banks and Wealth Managers, encompassing core banking solutions, portfolio management solutions, Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions and more.

William Rouse

Commercial Director UK MEA

William’s commercial expertise in connecting technology to solve wealth management business challenges was borne out of his early career as a stockbroker, followed by a variety of Client Relationship Management and Sales roles in asset management and banking.

Having experienced first-hand the challenges of doing the job, William recognises that an unwavering focus on client service is required to build progressive and mutually beneficial partnerships in FOR the longer term. Having gained further experience working for financial technology service providers including Calastone and Contemi, he has the specialist expertise needed to identify how to leverage technology to help wealth managers connect more effectively with their clients, and become more efficient, transparent and dependable.

In addition to his role as Commercial Director at Wealth Dynamix, responsible for new business development in the UK, US and Middle East, William sits on the board of the Securities Investment Management Association (SIMA) where he is actively involved in exploring industry trends and challenges.

Dominic Snell

Chief Product Officer

An experienced and accomplished specialist in CRM technology and wealth management, Dominic is responsible for defining and leading the product roadmap for Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions at Wealth Dynamix. Experienced in SaaS strategy definition, Dominic formulated the development and launch plan for the firm’s cloud-based CLMi solution.

Prior to joining Wealth Dynamix in 2014, Dominic held senior positions in both RBS and Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, where he was responsible for leading enterprise-scale CRM implementation projects.

With more than 15 years wealth management and WealthTech experience he has vast expertise and insights into best practice CRM and CLM execution.

Francois De Lescure

Chief Revenue Officer

François joined Wealth Dynamix in 2020 to grow the company’s presence in France and further extend business operations across Europe and has since been designated Chief Revenue Officer, a member of the board. 

Having closed several flagship deals for the company across Europe and Switzerland, today his role encompasses responsibility for new and existing revenues, recruiting, structuring and managing the sales team, plus owning the business forecast and reseller channels.

Previously, François served as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Executive Committee member and investor at DreamQuark, an Artificial Intelligence software startup. At DreamQuark, he secured the firm’s first recurring revenues with Tier-1 banks and insurance companies, won the Fintech of the Year award and enabled A and B level fundraising. Before that François spent almost 10 years at Nokia Networks, leading European Sales for Analytics Software.

François has an MBA awarded by INSEAD and an engineering degree from the École Centrale de Nantes.

Natalie Levine

Chief Operating Officer

Currently Chief Operating Officer and Board Member at Wealth Dynamix, Natalie is responsible for the strategic direction of operations across the business. A wealth and investment management industry expert, with more than 25 years experience delivering large-scale technology projects, Natalie plays a pivotal role in ensuring the efficient running of the firm and meeting key business goals.

Prior to joining Wealth Dynamix in 2019, Natalie was Head of Technology at Bridgepoint Advisers, a UK-based private equity investment firm. She joined Bridgepoint following an 18-year tenure at Quilter Cheviot, where she was Head of Technology responsible for Operations and execution of the firm’s business plan.

Brent Randall

Co-founder and CFO

A wealth and investment management industry expert, Brent has more than 25 years of experience in developing front to back software solutions that address sector-specific operational and compliance challenges.

Prior to co-founding Wealth Dynamix in 2012, he was a Director at Third Financial Software, where he drove product development.

Previously, he led business development and product strategy for the wealth management division of Financial Objects.

Brent spent 13 years at DST (now SS&C) until 2007, where he was Associate Director responsible for the global product strategy of institutional front office and wealth management solutions.

He graduated from Downing College, Cambridge, with an honours degree in Geography.

Gary Linieres

Co-founder and CEO

With a lifetime career in wealth management, beginning in front office sales more than 25 years ago, Gary is recognised as a highly successful, award-winning executive and serial entrepreneur.

Currently CEO at Wealth Dynamix, one of Europe’s fastest growing WealthTech firms which he founded in 2012, Gary has pioneered a new approach to Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) and built solutions suited to both enterprise-scale and mid-size financial institutions.

In his early career Gary excelled in a wide variety of FinTech sales management and executive roles in the UK, Switzerland and France.

Following his tenure as Managing Director at Financial Objects, which saw revenues grow by more than 300% on his watch, Gary founded and subsequently exited from Third Financial Software after it became a leading front office technology provider.

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