If there’s one driving force that will shape the future of wealth management in our region, I believe it’s personalisation. A lot of the factors that I’ve singled out as contributing to or taking away from the client experience are connected to personalisation, or the lack of it – and it presents both a challenge and an incredible opportunity for wealth managers.
Tailoring offerings or strategies to each client may seem like a formidable – and expensive – undertaking. But emerging technology tools give managers the capabilities to do just that with unprecedented levels of efficiency and accuracy, ultimately boosting rather than pressuring the bottom line.
Coming to terms with tech
This is all made possible by the more effective capture and usage of data from a much broader range of sources than was possible in the past. Optical character reading (OCR) and speech-to-text solutions can extract data from virtually every customer interaction. By applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to the pools of information that result, managers can construct highly accurate customer profiles and make informed decisions on taking client relationships to the next stage.
If all this sounds easier said than done, you’re certainly not alone. The technology landscape is changing quickly, and choosing and deploying the right solutions can be a tall order. In fact, in one recent poll by Thomson Reuters (now Refinitiv) 68% of wealth managers named learning about and keeping up with new technology as the top challenge they face.
Rather than trying to build technology capabilities piecemeal, the answer in my view is to work with a partner that can assemble and orchestrate technologies from a number of vendors into a fully connected ecosystem. This not only creates relevant customer data, but puts it in context. For all the potential of data, it’s truly useful only when it’s structured and presented in a way that serves as a basis for action.
Tools for a tactical approach
These are the kinds of offerings we’re working towards, with the end-goal of enabling personalisation at every stage of the client lifecycle. One example of what’s possible is the ability for advisors to receive alerts when an e-mail from a client appears to express negative sentiment, suggesting they are disgruntled or angry, so that the advisor can treat it as a priority to follow up with personal outreach.
These tools also create game-changing possibilities for sales. Particularly in Asia, where the industry is based heavily on advisory relationships and relationship manager performance is often incentivised through commissions, standardised products are often ‘pushed’ indiscriminately even if they’re a poor fit for a client’s profile or investment goals. That can lead disengaged clients who justifiably feel that to the advisor or manager, they may be merely another number, and, ultimately, a lot of wasted sales effort.
That’s why Wealth Dynamix is developing solutions that leverage the full suite of client data and use tagging and analysis to not only assemble an accurate client persona, but suggest tailored products to match. Product teams can leverage these data resources to identify undeserved demands and develop products that meet them; create lists of likely clients for each product offering; and automate the workflow for the campaigns that follow. Even better, the information yielded by product campaigns – such as which clients prove receptive and where, and what forms of outreach are most effective – can be collected and fed back into the system, and used to shape future strategy.
In this way the manager moves from a scattershot business and product development approach, to one based on a continuous loop of intelligence. Therefore teams are deeply aware of and acting in accordance with client goals and ambitions. This loop in turn contributes to a personalised client lifecycle characterised by deep understanding and consistent delivery of targeted services every step of the way. This is ultimately more rewarding for clients and wealth managers alike.
 See https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en/press-releases/2018/march/thomson-reuters-report-on-digitalization-of-wealth-management-reveals-challenges-and-opportunities-faced-by-wealth-management-industry.html