Decoding the Future of Work
Today’s Wealth Management firms and advisors must not only adapt to a linearly changing client engagement model but adopt methodologies and technology to accommodate a wide variety of client preferences.
While firms have been focused on expanding their offerings in a race to provide additional products and experiences, a focused look must be taken to evaluate how these tools and products are best targeted to varying segments of their client base.
Clients may expect different experiences regarding how they are engaged digitally with their advisor and/or broker. Firms that neglect innovation in client engagement, risk losing clients (and potentially their advisors) to competitors with stronger offerings. The exponential growth of technology offerings in recent years highlights the need for firms to continually analyze and develop new services and enhance experiences to attract and retain clients.
To illustrate the application and adoption of these tools, we have outlined three sample archetypes that firms should consider when developing a digital platform strategy.
This client type likely holds an account on the platform that they believe is most user-friendly and provides them with the necessary tools to manage their money. Financial Service providers are enhancing service offerings in response to the rise of tech-savvy investors. The financial goals of this client type differ from traditional investors. The tech-savvy investor’s portfolio may include newer investment strategies/products (e.g. Crypto). Financial Service firms may target expanding technical service offerings in newer investment areas to attract a wider client base.
This client type expects a high degree of customer support for technical issues, as well as seamless integration across various types of devices. Additionally, real-time data and transparent views of their account must be available at all times. While the client does not expect or even want, constant communication with an advisor, they may be most likely to move their business due to an unpleasant experience in the short term. In order to attract and serve this client, Wealth Management firms must invest heavily in client-facing platforms that are interactive, visually attractive, and transparent.
This client type is well versed in most forms of digital engagement, but may not want, or have, the financial confidence to manage their own portfolios without the sense of comfort associated with an advisor. This client would have dual expectations that investment advice would be accessible via the Web/App Portal and through interactions with dedicated customer support and financial advisors.
While this client type may hold a strong opinion when it comes to their asset allocation or account types, they expect to be supported by an advisor, or team, that can promptly answer their questions or occasionally offer advice. In order to attract and serve this client, Wealth Management firms require both a user-friendly platform and a dedicated support system of advisors that can serve a variety of client needs.
This client type expects full-service treatment. In-person meetings printed presentations and mailed statements. This client segment may not be focused on technology offerings, however, with the exponential growth in digitization, Financial services providers should consider analyzing the expansion of potential offerings. In order to improve or enhance current offerings, firms would be best served by analyzing cutting-edge technology to supplement, reinvent or sunset physical/manual offerings. This client type is financially well-versed but technically deficient which highlights that new technology services need to be intuitive and easy to use/learn for the client.
Delivering a high-touch, personalized experience is critical for appeasing this client type who values their relationship with a trusted advisor. While developing cutting-edge technology, in order to attract and serve this client, firms must also consider the need for more traditional interactions and continue to provide hard-copy documents, and develop systems for accounting for these engagements while tracking becomes increasingly digitized.
The shift to digital can be challenging if legacy technology prevents firms from delivering a full offering to clients. Firms that are succeeding in driving positive client relationships based on their personalized engagement preferences are developing seamless digital experiences that are fully integrated with advisor-led channels.
In today’s environment, providing low-cost advice and investment products isn’t enough to win and maintain client assets. Clients require personalized experiences, via the channel(s) they prefer. The firms that can provide the best experience across client archetypes are poised to win business and talent from those who don’t.
Sia Partners has extensive experience in the wealth management field, having consultants deployed on some of the most prominent digitization, transformation, and integration initiatives in the industry.
Expertise in the development and implementation of Goals-Based Investing, Self-Directed Trading, Robo-Advising, Predictive Analytics, E-signature and E-delivery, Digital-Enabled Distribution, Single-Point-of-Entry Platforms (mobile & desktop), Personalized Comprehensive Reporting Dashboards, Omni-Channel Client Engagement Solutions.
Sia Partners’ dedicated Design Thinking expertise affords us the unique ability to assess, design, and develop the target operating model for Wealth Management technology platforms and products.
Extensive experience with a broad range of investment products and solutions including Mutual Funds, Money Market Funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Retirements, 529s, Equities / Options, Syndicates, Insurance, Annuities, Alternative Investments, Crypto, Advisory / Fee-Based Products, across Business Units, Operations, Technology, Legal, Risk, Finance, and Compliance.
Sia Partners has driven the evolution of clients’ and advisor facing tools, including client onboarding, client portals, advisor workstations, investment proposals, external and internal service support models, and A.I. / machine learning implementations.
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