Benefits of a Wealth Management Operations Manager Utilizing a CRM
How (and why) DHG Wealth Advisors shifted their focus from transactions to relationships.
These days, wealth managers are always thinking about how to plan for and adapt to tomorrow’s realities and position for long-term growth.
No matter how hard you plan and position, the work to achieve growth cannot be done without some help along the way. At the heart of most wealth management firms, an Operations Manager can be found working hard to establish efficiencies and consistency in service.
The Heartbeat of Operations
We all know that an Operations Manager plays a vital role within our management teams - overseeing high-level HR duties, attracting talent, setting standards and improving organizational productivity.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Kelly Hudgins, Operations Manager at DHG Wealth Advisors, to get an idea of how she keeps their operation running smoothly and so she could provide insights into her firm’s best practices.
“At DGHWA, we have about 36 employees and close to 1.6 billion AUM (Assets Under Management),” says Hudgins, adding “I have been in my current role of Operations Manager for about 11 years and have been with the firm for 19 years.”
DHG Wealth Advisors LLC is an independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm owned by CPA firm, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP (DHG). With offices located throughout the southeast. DHGWA operates as fiduciaries to provide clients unique wealth management experiences.
Hudgins continued, “We started with 3 people in 2000 and then merged with another RIA in 2004, which grew us to 6. Through a series of mergers and new hires over the years, we are now 40 employees strong.”
Utilizing CRM to Focus on Relationships
“When we merged with Hanson Johnson in 2004, they were already on the Junxure desktop platform, so we started utilizing it along with them. A couple of years ago, we migrated to Junxure Cloud and are now fully into the cloud and we love it.” Hudgins explains how her transition to using Junxure CRM has made life easier.
“It [Junxure] is such an easy tool to keep up with all actions – to save emails, save documents - one of the things we have started tracking at the firm level is opportunities.”
Instead of time wasted tracking down client records, files and data - advisors at DHG Wealth Advisors can focus on building upon relationships through successful client interactions. CRM provides the freedom to position people at the core of their business - creating topnotch user experiences.
Before Junxure, Hudgins relied heavily on Excel spreadsheets to track opportunities. But now storing everything into one place allows Junxure to serve as their corporate memory. It is a prospecting function built specifically for advisors and their businesses.
Hudgins explains, “Opportunities streamline our processes; ensuring everyone is doing things the same way across the board, enhancing growth.“
Opportunities functions allow you to track all the steps in your funnel - specifically customized to suit your needs. You have the ability to monitor records on a global firm level as well as at the individual level.
CRM Features That Save Time
When asked to name one feature of Junxure CRM that saves her 20 minutes a day, Hudgins replied, “Actions. I love the recurring actions - as a firm, from our operations standpoint, we would not want to live without it.”
Keeping track of all the things going on in your office, all the actions and workflows associated with each individual client can be overwhelming. CRM software can automate this process and track action due dates and ensure that the tasks are properly assigned. Junxure can make sure these recurring action tasks are completed on time and in the right order.
Hudgins also added, “Because of our team structure, it was imperative that we are able to set permissions on client records. Our advisors only want to view their client records, not everyone else’s.” Junxure enables you to customize all permissions features, allowing access however you see fit. This function is vital from an operations and compliance standpoint.
Putting People First
“We have a lot of things that set us apart.” Hudgins said when asked about the success of DHG Wealth Advisors, “We genuinely care about our people and our clients - and I know that sounds very cliché, but it’s true.”
DHG Wealth Advisors operate within the Modern Portfolio Theory - a Nobel Prize-winning investment methodology. The theory argues that an investment's risk and return characteristics should not be viewed alone. Instead, it should be evaluated by how the investment affects the overall portfolio's risk and return.
Being wholly owned by the DHG CPA Firm, DHG Wealth Advisors are able to work closely with tax advisors to get a sense of their clients’ entire financial picture - accessing tax implications and trading accordingly. They pride themselves on excellent client service.
Family and America’s Pastime
Outside of work, Kelly Hudgins balances life by spending time with her husband and their 10-year old son, Cody. Together they enjoy America’s pastime…baseball. Cody is a baseball player and plays on a travel ball team; time is spent enjoying his baseball games.
When asked about what it’s like to be a baseball mom, Hudgins chuckled, “I love it. It’s busy, but it’s great. I grew up around sports and I love baseball.” She considers her son pretty lucky that she and her husband love baseball as much as they do.
Hudgins enjoys living in Asheville and appreciates her community there. She joins a group of girlfriends regularly for a Supper Club. The group shares meals, stories and laughter together.
When reflecting on her work-life balance, Hudgins is thankful for the leadership at DHG/DHGWA, “We have a flexible work environment which is a huge benefit. Being encouraged to have a work-life balance makes such a difference.”
I enjoyed my time with Kelly Hudgins and appreciate the incredible work she is doing at DHG Wealth Advisors. Make sure to read some of our other “Client Insight” articles - and for more information about Junxure, please read How Bowers Wealth Management Streamlines its Processes with a Wealth Management CRM or CRM Lessons Learned from Sheaff Brock's Operations and Compliance Coordinator.
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About Carly de Diego
Carly works with financial advisory firms to drive growth and execute at scale. As the first employee hired at AdvisorEngine, she possesses in-depth knowledge of all our products and services. Carly has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry leading training, product development and client success teams. Prior to joining AdvisorEngine, Carly worked as a business analyst at TD Ameritrade and was part of the Managed Account Advisors team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she garnered years of valuable experience working with custodians, managed accounts, clearing, and middle and back office functions. Carly holds a degree in Business Administration from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.