What is ‘client onboarding’ and why does it matter?

Onboarding is the perfect opportunity to provide a new client with a first-class experience – but for many it feels like an exceedingly protracted and purely transactional data-gathering exercise, writes Johnny Beloe, Head of Pre-Sales, Wealth Dynamix. 

Onboarding and the associated systems, processes and people are at the heart of the client relationship and represent a key priority for every wealth management firm.  

Increasingly, wealth management firms are focusing on the area of client experience and investment into digitising elements of the client journey. The pitfall that exists lies in how firms define the components of what holistic onboarding really means – and by getting this wrong they miss the target for improving the entire process front to back. 

What is onboarding in wealth management? 

Often the term ‘onboarding’ is used by technology providers to describe parts of the onboarding process, such as account opening or fact finding (i.e. KYC, or Know Your Customer). In fact, onboarding extends to a myriad of different activities, such as risk attribute assessments, document collection, document generation, internal risk assessments and signoffs, creating a proposal and validating suitability.  

When this misconception occurs, firms often implement technology that solves that one small part of the puzzle before later realising that they must find other solutions to cover the rest of the process. One result of these disconnected systems is the requirement for rekeying data – introducing a major source of operational risk and a significant restriction on efficiencies. There may also be questions around the source master of a given data attribute in such scenarios. The outcome of such a technology stack, all too often, is frustrated staff, high expense and unhappy clients.  

It is those in senior level operational roles that are generally responsible for improving client onboarding processes – but they are not necessarily those that are most acutely aware of the problems being encountered. 

Why does getting onboarding matter to the wealth management firm and end investor?  

Improving the client onboarding experience has become an imperative for wealth management firms, especially in an environment where margins have been falling and client loyalty among the new breed of digital native end investor has been reducing. 

Get the onboarding process right and wealth management firms start client relationships on a good footing, with a clear mutual understanding of the portfolio’s goals. Getting it right, however, is often not that easy.  

Onboarding matters to wealth management firms and their clients for many reasons. 

1. Greater efficiencies 

Onboarding is a costly process for wealth management firms and often a long one for the recipient. Typically, wealth management firms will involve many staff (working in various departments that may also be using several different systems) within the process of onboarding. Multiply these costs by the numbers being onboarded throughout the year and one can rapidly see why this area presents such an opportunity for greater efficiencies, thereby allowing increased capacity for improved client servicing.  

2. Differentiation 

As far as the client is concerned, onboarding can sometimes be a challenging time. According to Compeer research, in over two thirds of instances it takes at least an entire working week to onboard a client. 

Clients who are accustomed to excellent service in other areas of their lives can be frustrated by some aspects of onboarding, including providing the same information twice and having their assets tied up in delays rather than earning valuable income. Is it possible that far more of this onboarding process could be streamlined? Is the onboarding process a place where wealth firms can still make a mark?  

3. Regulatory risk 

Of course, there are other benefits that can be accrued from automating the client onboarding process. For example, some of the thematic reviews from the Financial Conduct Authority have focused on the lack of effective, enhanced ongoing monitoring of high-risk persons. This has led to subsequent enforcement actions, where failings in firms’ systems and controls in this area have been identified. The FCA’s 2019 Senior Managers and Certification Regime has compounded this issue, with the new rules enforcing greater individual accountability and setting higher standards of personal conduct. 

Summary 

In 2020, Capco conducted a sentiment survey across wealth management firms, focused on users of leading custodian workstations and financial advisor platforms. The objective of the study was to understand the user experience of advisors and end clients to capture their sentiment towards the various platform capabilities they use. According to their survey, Wealth Planning & Client Onboarding received the highest negative sentiment score when compared to other aspects of the wealth management value chain, with 30% of respondents viewing their onboarding experience as unsatisfactory.  

Clearly there is a recognisable need to improve the onboarding experiences of wealth management firms and investors alike. 

Share

Wealth Dynamix delivers Client Lifecycle Management solutions to the world’s leading private banks and wealth and asset management firms.

READ OUR INSIGHTS

Building an Effective Business Case for WealthTech CLM

29 June 2022

Building an Effective Business Case for WealthTech CLM

Writing a business case for improved efficiency, profitability, and growth? Discover key insights from the Altfi webinar on 'Building an Effective Business Case for WealthTech CLM'.

5 min. read

WealthTech Matters – The Adviser: How to innovate and adapt in a time of rapid change

16 June 2022

WealthTech Matters – The Adviser: How to innovate and adapt in a time of rapid change

The recent WealthTech Matters event at The Aon Centre in London’s iconic Leadenhall Building couldn’t be more relevant for firms seeking to improve their processes, client experience and profitability through technology.

5 min. read

Risk Management in the Client Digital Lifecycle Experience: Helping to Make Sanctions Work

13 June 2022

Risk Management in the Client Digital Lifecycle Experience: Helping to Make Sanctions Work

The intent within the sanctions program has introduced for the first time the type of targeting of individuals and entities that draws on big data, relational science, and artificial intelligence.

5 min. read

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.

GET THE BROCHURE
Client Onboarding