Every year, Wealth Dynamix CEO Gary Linieres asks the leadership team to reflect on the past year and share one piece of advice for wealth managers looking to differentiate their service offering in the year ahead. The post below is the response from Antony Bream, MD – UK, Northern Europe & Americas.
As remediation gathers pace, wealth managers must further accelerate digitisation to avoid resource-intensive distractions that impact sales.
By February 2020 wealth managers began realising that digitisation was a pre-requisite to thriving or even surviving the Covid-19 pandemic. By April 2020 Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
Inevitably, mission-critical functions including client communications and onboarding were first to be addressed. Virtually overnight, relationship managers swapped face-to-face meetings for video calls. Manual onboarding processes were digitised very quickly, while those who were already ahead of the digitisation curve acted swiftly to add capabilities such as electronic signatures, for speed and convenience. Regulators flexed procedural requirements, in recognition of new and emerging challenges, and anxious clients were reassured.
In 2021 and beyond, further digitisation is required to ensure wealth managers remain competitive, profitable and on the right side of the regulator.
By gaining insight into the connected value of a prospect – which is not possible through onboarding alone – you will successfully ‘Know Your Prospect’ and be well-positioned to convert them to a client.
As regulators begin checking that new ways of working are not compromising compliance, be prepared for the inevitable increase in remediation. While having to revisit clients to re-validate personal data is a prospect that few advisors relish, much can be done to shorten the process, leaving more time to focus on revenue growth.
Most wealth managers fared well during the pandemic because they overcame client communication challenges quickly, allayed fears and delivered more face-to-face time – albeit onscreen – than would normally be feasible. More than ever before, clients need reassurance that advisors are acting in their best interests, and advisors must be able to evidence this effectively.
Without in-person interaction, client acquisition and onboarding have become two of the most challenging activities. As pressure mounts to grow new client AUM in a safe and compliant way it is essential to adopt a more holistic and less onerous approach to onboarding.
In 2021, as you aim to reassure clients, regulators and the Board, digitisation is no longer optional. It must be at the heart of every wealth manager’s client lifecycle management strategy. This is the only way to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders and deliver outcomes that will grow client revenues.
This post is an extract from the e-book ‘5 ways wealth managers can get ahead in 2021’. Download the full e-book below.
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