In this third and final part of the blog series on the recent Hubbis Digital Dialogue webinar ‘The Vital Importance of Empowering the Relationship Manager’, we ask how wealth managers can embrace digital tools to remain profitable as fees decline.
With wealth managers facing intense competition for clients and fees being squeezed ever lower, firms are having to adapt to new ways of working to remain profitable.
“We see that fees are coming down,” says Alan Lim, Senior Director at Simon-Kucher & Partners, speaking on the webinar. “The relationship manager essentially has to work 10-times harder.”
Against that backdrop, it is more important than ever for firms to embrace digital ways of working to improve efficiency and help relationship managers be more productive.
“Digitisation is an avenue for us to drive costs down,” says Gabriel Chan, Head of Asia at Wealth Dynamix. “Our platform is really to reduce inefficiency. For the onboarding process, we have automated the workflow with pre-populated e-forms that can generate the customer information that’s required by regulators. We also have a portal that allows the customer to upload their documents, and all these documents will be visible across all departments.”
That means the data only has to be captured once, preventing the client from having to re-submit their details at every stage of the onboarding journey, making the process more efficient and more reliable.
Client service as a key differentiator
The shift to digital means firms will have a wealth of data at their fingertips. But the data on its own has no value—it is what you do with it that counts. Therefore the firms that will succeed in the digital era are the ones that will be able to harness that data best to deliver a more optimised omni-channel experience that is streamlined, simplified and fine-tuned to meet heightened client expectations.
“Getting valuable insights and having the right training for the relationship manager to be able to leverage and get value out of the data can uplift the client experience,” says Chan. “That is going to be the differentiator in the wealth management world.”
By pulling client data into one place and giving a full 360-degree view of the different relationships that client has across the organisation, the relationship manager can better advise clients based on their portfolio and risk appetite.
“There is technology available today such as next best action that can actually prompt the relationship manager to make an informed decision what will be the most likely investment tool or product that the customer will buy,” says Chan.
All of that can help strengthen client loyalty and ensure higher lifetime value, while also potentially turning clients into brand ambassadors who will drive referral business.
Providing a more personalised client service is critical to improving client satisfaction. But with advisors also expected to build relationships with more clients than would have been possible historically, advisors increasingly need tech to manage that client data effectively and enable them to dial-up client info on demand.
With efficiency and productivity at the heart of driving profitability in a world where fee income is declining, wealth managers can’t afford to waste time on manual tasks that add no value. By automating those admin activities, relationship managers can then focus on client-facing work that delivers greater value to those clients and the wider business.
Technology can provide a seamless client experience no matter where they are located, what device they are using or how they want to communicate. Whether it is through a client portal, via WhatsApp, or face-to-face, maintaining a consistent omni-channel approach enables wealth managers and their clients to remain connected 24/7—ultimately ensuring no opportunities are missed.
Driving down costs without scrimping on client service is key to maintaining profitability against the backdrop of lower fees. Technology can enable firms to make their processes more efficient and their relationship managers more productive, while tech can also help improve client experience by optimising service delivery, enabling firms to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
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