Supporting internal communication while working remotely

How do wealth management firms ensure close communication and collaboration across teams, even while working remotely?

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For most clients, the primary interface with their wealth management firm is via one person – their relationship manager.

In reality, however, every relationship manager operates as part of a broader team that must collaborate effectively to ensure exceptional client service throughout the client lifecycle. These wealth management engine rooms, sometimes referred to as pods, desks or clouds, may include for example, wealth managers, junior support staff, a legal representative and a personal assistant or secretary.

Internal communication is vital. Typically, team members are co-located and by sitting alongside each other they are able to talk freely, pass notes and documents to each other, participate in calls, take meeting notes, clarify instructions to avoid misinterpretation and assign actions very quickly.

The impact of remote working

Pre-2020, the thought of converting these highly interactive teams into individual remote workers would have been unthinkable. What is potentially lost through remote working is complete visibility of what is happening with each client account, as it happens, along with the ability to share ideas and debate investment strategies. When co-located, each member of the team is available for discussion, knows when a client has called the office, whether they are happy or dissatisfied, when an instruction has been issued and who has taken ownership of getting the job done.

“The most productive wealth management teams have been supported by technology tools and fully automated Client Lifecycle Management platforms capable of replacing the naturally occurring communication that is shared so easily when sitting together.”

Mass remote working was thrust upon us with very little warning. Some wealth managers believed that internal communication issues could be solved simply by spending more time on the phone and video conferencing. While collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex and Blue Jeans have undoubtedly helped to aid communication and bolster team spirits, they are just one small piece of the internal communications puzzle.

In isolation they cannot facilitate all of the follow-up tasks that arise during video calls, or feed into other phases of the client lifecycle, in a compliant and auditable way. The chat alone would not provide a 360-degree view of a client’s preferences, thereby impacting the ability of a new member of staff to prepare fully for client calls, for example, or a colleague to cover for others in case of absence.

Who is faring best?

Contrary to expectations, many wealth managers have risen strongly to the remote working challenge, in some cases even improving productivity rather than experiencing detrimental effects.

The most effective wealth management teams have been supported by technology tools and fully automated Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) platforms capable of replacing the naturally occurring communication that is shared so easily when sitting together. Productivity and visibility are at their greatest when internal collaboration tools are integrated with client engagement, onboarding and client management systems, and are made accessible via a single dashboard view.

Internal communication: beyond video

Authorised individuals gain full visibility in a single view of all communications, engagement, actions tasks and progress relevant to their team, whether they are co-located or not.

For example, they can switch quickly and easily between a structured onboarding activity and a video call, they can document meeting notes in a compliant form and trigger actions, without wasting time logging into and out of a variety of systems. And if they leave their desk for any length of time they can see in a single view the calls that have occurred while they were gone, letters exchanged, notes taken and so on, and they can immediately respond. Push notifications are issued to individuals who are assigned tasks, ensuring that actions are allocated appropriately and nothing is missed.

This degree of digitisation delivers productivity and visibility in equal measures, and supports internal communication, whether the wealth management team is working in the office or not.

This article is an extract from our e-book “4 Failsafe Ways To Preserve Client Service When Remote Working”, which is downloadable via the button below.


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