Digital wealth management can mean many things. Over the past years several companies, sometimes referred to as robo-advisors, have emerged, each presenting their own version of digital wealth management. “Securities brokers, wealth managers, banks, insurance companies – each type of financial institution has their own set of ideas and their own set of challenges”, says John Robson, Quantifeed’s Chief Commercial Officer. He continues, “The common thread that ties all these organizations together however is that they want to go from selling products to solving their clients’ financial problems”. Products don’t necessarily get clients to where they want to be and fail to build any lasting trust or loyalty between the organisation and the client.
Automation: The path to mass customisation
Offering financial solutions instead of selling products means that financial services firms need to provide customisation, transparency, convenience and engagement. To be able to deliver customised financial solutions on a large scale, financial institutions have to automate more and more of the wealth management experience. Robo advice is about using technology to automate complex processes without reducing the richness of the customer experience. In the words of Alex Ypsilanti, Co-Founder and CEO of Quantifeed: “We aim to automate the more mechanical parts of portfolio management. Leaving the more human, more emotive parts to financial advisors.”
Deployment: Working with multi-stakeholder institutions
In our experience, each financial institution is unique in their situation, their customer base, their expectations, their requirements, and their constraints. “As you can imagine, each large financial institution wants something different, something slightly unique”, says Ypsilanti. “They all want a different user experience; a different user journey”. Even the different stakeholders and businesses within an institution might differ in their goals and visions for their digital solution. The creation of this solution is an interactive process between technology provider and financial institution on a partnership basis. The collaboration starts with a long discussion: “We work very closely with our customers to understand what it is they want to offer. And from there we build something that really meets their needs”, says Ypsilanti. Such a solution often leverages existing distribution channels, as well as the track record and reputation of an institution. Robson adds “Deployment isn’t limited to technology. The deployment challenge is about how a new technology initiative will fit with the people, processes and systems of the existing business”. However, successful deployment is beginning of the story and not its end.
Engagement: Learning, iterating and growing
Digital engagement with clients provides the opportunity to learn from their behaviour, to learn what’s working and what isn’t, and to continually refine that engagement as well as other aspects of the product. A digital platform provides the ability to more accurately monitor a client’s portfolio, to craft a relevant message and to know when will be the most appropriate time to send it to the client. For a bank with hundreds of thousands of clients the wealth relationship will rest on the shoulders of the digital solution. If the engagement is right, then the opportunity exists to shift from a relationship based on transactions to one of on-going value.