The surreal early days of lockdown were a mixture of shock, concern and confusion for many. While the nation took in the enormity of the pandemic, businesses that could create some semblance of normal were keen to make the best of this. Service industries migrated online, encouraged by rapid customer adoption of the new technologies that enabled business-as-nearly usual.
The wealth management industry wholeheartedly embraced new ways of working, bringing an industry that is notoriously steeped in tradition and the currency of relationships eons into the future in the process. Yet while much has been reported on the clients perspective of the new modus operandi, little has been said about how businesses themselves have found and adjusted to pandemic life.
We teamed up with independent advice firm Compeer, to understand the true picture of wealth management from the relationship manager’s point of view. We asked a cross section of Investment Managers, Portfolio Managers and Wealth Managers about the true reality of relationship management, their professional priorities and business expectations and the highlights working with clients. James Brown, Compeer’s Head of Client Services and Gary Linieres, CEO of Wealth Dynamix explored the findings at a recent webinar, adding insight from their regular dialogue with senior executives and non-client-facing staff to provide a true 360-degree perspective.
While one of the surprising consequences of working from home has been the time saved through limited travel, relationship managers are still bogged down in admin. Asked to name the biggest drain on their time, compliance comes out top, accounting for 18% of a relationship manager’s day – and 75% stated this was too much for their liking.
“Firms need to think carefully about administration. Look at data, for example. It’s important to make use of support resources so that data entry is placed elsewhere – this will then free relationship managers up to focus on clients and their underlying portfolios.“
The relationship managers we spoke to were unanimous that clients were the key motivation in their day-to-day roles, and client management consumes up to 27% of their day. But underlying admin remains a drain on their resources: preparing for meetings consumes an average of 1.6 hours while writing up notes afterwards takes 1.3 hours. This is not surprising, said Compeer’s James Brown. “Firms need to think carefully about administration. Look at data, for example. It’s important to make use of support resources so that data entry is placed elsewhere – this will then free relationship managers up to focus on clients and their underlying portfolios.”
In spite of the challenges that have arisen over the last 18 months, it was clear from the research that growth remains a continued priority for advisory firms. Relationship managers told us that many of their firms still have growth targets of close to 10%, with a large group with targets of 11-25% over the next 12 months. But achieving these will be no mean feat. As Gary pointed out, “The great transfer of wealth is imminent: as much as $15 trillion will be transferred to the next generation over the next 10 years. There’s no reason for younger clients to necessarily have to go to the same wealth management provider as their parents, and one major issue is that wealth managers barely communicate with them because a lack of resources and natural inclination to focus on the wealth holders themselves.”
James agreed. “There needs to be a major step up with digital. One of the good things that’s come out of this pandemic is that firms are increasingly embracing digital services, and they’re seeing that performances have been particularly good, and there are still steady inflows. And while we’ve seen an encouraging increase in reaching this demographic through targeted seminars, for example, they need to be aware that they can’t expect the same levels of loyalty from the next generation that they’re used to.”
Onboarding appears to be a steadfast obstacle: a staggering 69% of relationship managers reported that it takes a week to successfully onboard clients. Just 2% work with fully automated onboarding systems and 19% say their firm has yet to automate any element of this vital process, so there’s still plenty of work that can be done to build a firm foundation when it really matters.
“The key is to ensure that prospecting and managing potential new business is aligned with client onboarding processes and eventual client relationships. Firms need to consider how they’re disseminating the underlying information to senior management and the regulatory officers within their business, to ensure a truly cohesive approach.”
And in an industry that pivots on client relationships, that’s vital. Wealth Dynamix’s Gary Linieres said it’s a widespread issue impeding productivity across the board. “It actually stems from the underlying technology within firms themselves,” he said. “The key is to ensure that prospecting and managing potential new business is aligned with client onboarding processes and eventual client relationships. Firms need to consider how they’re disseminating the underlying information to senior management and the regulatory officers within their business, to ensure a truly cohesive approach. If we can get that, the industry, I hope will be a happier place.”
Once onboarding is complete, it seems the pain for wealth managers is far from over. The relationship managers we spoke to frequently called out poor systems as one of the least enjoyable factors within their work, and over half (54%) stated that they do not have access to a CLM (client lifecycle management) or CRM system. Of those who had such a system in place, 38% were dissatisfied with it, and 48% neutral – which could well suggest a lack of confidence in those available across the market itself. And as James and Gary agreed, even if a firm has made due investment in technology, installing it is not enough.
“Market players need to deploy technology the right way to really make a difference. All too often, we see wealth managers buying into a lift-and-shift or a bolt-on CRM solution, which can be more problematic than not having the technology in the first place,” Gary said. “As we always tell our clients, you can’t simply digitise a manual process and expect it to be more efficient. The key is to streamline a process, and then digitise it. Doing this could be all it takes to give wealth managers the edge they need in a fast-moving and competitive market.”
Compeer and Wealth Dynamix surveyed a cohort of Wealth Managers, Investment Managers and Portfolio Managers from firms at varying stages of business growth who collectively managed in excess of £7 billion assets. To learn more about the report and our panellists’ insight, watch the webinar below.
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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.