We have long been warned that there are two certainties in life – death and taxes. However, as the technological revolution has unfolded, a new certainty has emerged: digitisation. This rang truer than ever at the PAM Digital Forum where over 60 representatives from the UK’s leading wealth and private banking firms discussed the findings of PAM’s third annual digital survey, supported by Wealth Dynamix.
The last few years have seen a continual uptake in digital strategies amongst wealth managers and private banks. This year showed that a clear majority of firms have embedded digital within their organisations, at 82.54% compared to 56.6% last year and just 36.4% in 2015, when the survey was first conducted. The findings point to an industry where the question is no longer whether wealth managers and private banks should embrace digital, but how they should do so.
A cohesive digital strategy centres on the client and transcends the breadth of an organisation. Digitisation can drive clear efficiencies, empower clients and advisers alike while playing a crucial role in ensuring compliance. We have seen a notable change in the way in which digital has been adopted across the industry, as Robert Roome, who spoke on the panel at the event. IT functions have transformed through the rise of digital. The businesses that have emerged as winners in the drive for digitally engage are those firms that have entrusted their people, integrated them from siloed ‘machine fixers’ to strategic business partners with a clear voice in their growth strategies.
Yet some corners of the industry have been slower than others to embrace digital – perhaps due to the misconception that this is an ‘all or nothing’ phenomena. But the juxtaposition of positive digital adoption is that it centres on people. It is about changing client and stakeholder behaviour and adopting the services they receive to meet their fast-moving expectations.
Culture is key to an organisation’s ability to embed a digital strategy. Clear vision and endorsement must come from the top and filter across the breadth of the organisation, allowing digital to underpin every aspect of the client journey and bought to life by the employees within. Moreover, the benefits of creating an embracing culture exceed digital – those businesses with the appetite to maximise this are typically quicker to innovate, more agile and able to adapt to change.
In an industry where wealth managers are viewed through the same lens as high-end consumer brands, digitisation has revolutionised the client experience in line with shifting client behaviours and expectation. It is clear through our work with wealth managers and private banks that successful digital strategies centre on choice. While the PAM survey showed that a very small minority of wealth managers expect clients to opt for a fully automated service in five years’ time, 96% expect they will still seek at least some human adviser interaction. And as clients engage and interact on multiple levels and across a range of channels, firms must make these available to them.
There was interesting discussion at the PAM event around on-boarding. The increasing popularity of robo advisers across affluent and some HNW circles has demonstrated the speed at which clients can be digitally on-boarded – a process that is known to be woefully slow in some of the most established organisations, draining resource and sometimes hindering the client relationship at the outset. But for some, personal situations, investment objectives and cross-border nuances can often be so complex that they outweigh the realms of automated on-boarding. And as one wealth manager advised, the opportunity to engage with the client through this process at the earliest stage of the relationship is invaluable in engendering trust. But digital plays a clear role in driving efficiencies, aiding due diligence and sanctions verification and setting the scene for a firm’s digital capabilities going forward. In an industry that built on relationships, it is clear that an on-boarding process that combines digital efficiencies with adviser engagement will be the most successful.
While the human touch will continue to underpin the delivery of advice, the survey found that the majority of wealth managers are using digital to engage with clients. The Forum allowed us to explore this in more detail, and when asked which platform is the most effective for engaging with clients, portals (71%) and mobile apps (48%) came out on top. While WhatsApp (29%) and social channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter (19%) are driving some engagement, this shows digital strategies working at their best, as providers are directing clients through their own channels – making it easy for clients to engage in real time, augmenting security and connectivity, and ensuring a consistent brand experience.
As the battle to serve the client in the fragmented and multi-banked wealth and private banking industry continues, so too does the pursuit for the value add that will set one firm ahead of another. With clients looking to their advisers to understand every aspect of their wealth, aggregation has the potential to elevate a firm to the role of lead adviser – if they have the portal functionality that can accommodate this data and provide the coveted bird’s eye view of a client’s full portfolio, across multiple providers.
With businesses facing cost and margin challenges, many have prioritised investment in innovation. The survey showed that intermediaries are the losers within this increasingly digitally powered world, with just a small minority of firms investing in digital intermediary on-boarding capabilities – perhaps as a nod to the typically paper-driven processes within their respective professions. Yet the astute wealth managers are prioritising their focus on data – investing in the tools and dashboards through which they can understand client drivers, return on investment and routes for growth. Feedback loops allow for on-going evaluation which is key to a business’s sustained success, enabling firms to work smarter and secure trust in an easily disenfranchised market.
An organisation’s ability to embed a digital strategy has an undisputed impact on their success. New technologies are here to stay and the challenge for wealth managers and private banks is to prioritise and then embrace these changes – and implement them well. With chief executives taking increased personal accountability for protecting their clients, digital strategy is a mainstay on a boardroom agenda, but must be intrinsic in an organisation’s DNA in order for it to thrive in this new world.
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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 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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.