When 84% of Asian wealth management experts tell you that relationship managers are operating reactively to clients and their situations, 72% believe that these relationships are average, below par or awful, and deteriorating over time, and only 37% have invested in Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems that would vastly improve their positions, it’s time to act fast.
New, ground-breaking research by Hubbis, in partnership with Wealth Dynamix, recorded the views of 175 Asian wealth management experts on the role of the relationship management, now and in the future. The report found that the majority of respondents believe that wealth management will always remain a people-to-people business, and that technology will support and empower relationship managers, not replace them.
How can relationship management become more rewarding?
“High tech can never replace high touch,” said one respondent. And although there is much work to be done to technology-enable Asian wealth managers, there are many ways to boost engagement and performance. The smart adoption of CLM/CRM technology very evidently enhances client management and client-centricity, a viewpoint that the survey clearly reinforces. A resounding 89% of respondents stated that a more process-driven, disciplined and structured CLM system for managing prospecting, onboarding and ongoing client management would attract new clients. 87% said client retention would be improved, 85% said talent acquisition and retention would be boosted, 85% said revenues would increase and 65% said a CLM system would cuts costs.
The role of the robo
But what of the robo-advisor, considered the shiny new toy of the late nineties? Sadly, for wealth managers who have invested heavily in such tools in recent years, Hubbis found that robo-advisory will have zero importance as a mode of communication to drive forward the HNW client relationship in the decade ahead, although digital delivery was ranked useful by 14%, for routine, non-revenue-generating tasks such as change of name or address, or reporting.
The importance of engagement
Wealth management is a people business, and will remain so in the future, but change must happen because only 10% of relationship managers currently have time for proactive work, the report found, so their ability to engage on a deeper, more meaningful level is severely compromised. It is vital for relationship managers to upgrade their skills, knowledge and capabilities, in a world where client engagement is a critical success factor.
According to the survey, building a greater understanding of clients and their families is the number one priority for relationship managers. From the very first touchpoint with a prospective client, it must be quick and easy for relationship managers to collect client data, using automated processes wherever possible, to enable data-driven analytics and gain granular insights. In the future their work will be augmented by AI-generated insights, and manual administration will be eliminated, thereby freeing up time for relationship managers to focus on their role as trusted advisor.
The second priority, cited by 21% of respondents, is to adopt a more elegant delivery platform spanning the entire client lifecycle, which improves operational efficiency, and also allows the relationship manager to spend more time with clients.
Compliance automation mitigates risk, but can also be a win-win for both clients and relationship managers when the administrative burden of KYC, AML and other compliance processes is reduced. Clients can enjoy a frictionless experience and AUM growth, while relationship managers can focus on what they do best – engaging with clients, building strategies for success and growing revenues.
What’s now and what’s next?
In the decade ahead, opportunity for Asian wealth managers abounds. Despite the economic turmoil of recent months, more than 80% of experts surveyed expect Asia’s private wealth accumulation to outstrip other regions in the world, and 87% believe that the Asian wealth management market will grow rapidly. For more research and insights into how relationship managers must evolve, and how wealth management executives can equip them to succeed amid a backdrop of increased competition and unprecedented change, download the full report.