Welcome to the fourth video in a new series of interviews with Antony Bream, MD – EMEA and Americas at Wealth Dynamix by our friends at Wealth Mosaic.
In this edition Antony provides his views on
- the main challenges faced by wealth managers
- how technology solves cost, customer and CRM challenges
What are the main challenges faced by wealth managers?
Sales prospecting is one key area. I think a lot of our clients really are seeing that initial engagement, looking for more business, looking for more customers. That’s quite a challenging environment for them.
Obviously, the market is getting more competitive. There’s more options now for people to put their investments elsewhere.
Customer onboarding, we talked about before, but that’s also quite challenging because of the length of time it takes. More checks now need to be done for suitability, anti-fraud measures, anti-money laundering, KYC, and also cost saving. There’s a lot of pressure on cost income ratios, interest rates are going down and down and down. So the fees and the AUM under management is also under pressure.
So when you look at all of the various trends, it comes down to three C’s. It’s the cost of running the business. It’s the customer, to get better service, better insights and better engagement, and the CRM. It’s how do I manage the relationship between my firm and the client to give them that value added service to cross-sell, to upsell, to add more value? And I think the add more value can only delivered when you get better customer insights and getting that visibility and the context of the data of what you know about your customers.
How can technology solve cost, customer and CRM challenges?
Well, a lot of the legislation and regulation that came through a while ago was to make fees and advisory fees more transparent, and I think we’ve all seen in the press recently that hasn’t been maybe so transparent. There’s been a couple of leaks on a few famous names in the industry that have shown how they’re still very much incentive driven by their own sales team.
Now, I’m not sure that’s the best value for their client. The client is putting a lot of money their way and a lot of emotion their way with that money, and they want to see returns but they want to feel that they’re being valued. And I just feel that you don’t really understand the client from the data that you hold about that client, you can’t give them the best quality of service.
So I think there’s got to be a shift away from the fee side of the business to the quality of the data side of the business because if you get that bit right, then the fees take care of themselves. The customer onboarding takes care of itself. The customer retention takes care of itself. So really getting those customer insights from the data and making sure that data is clean, is managed properly but the insights you get are in context of what you’re looking to find.
We use some very powerful technology from our partner, Microsoft. We combine that with our platform and we can give so many insights on the client data. We’re actually giving more data than some of our clients can cope with, but once they get to see what the value is, they really start to narrow down their focus on how they can improve their own business with their clients from all aspects. Whether it’s customer service, sentiment we talked about before, onboarding, prospecting. All of these touch points all count. One false touch point, one bad experience can have a massive impact on that relationship, so keeping that norm, keeping that norm, keeping that value add, keeping that consistency is really key.