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Top 4 Reasons Why the Wealth Management Industry Needs to Develop its Digital Capabilities
Dan Nolan

By: Dan Nolan on January 15th, 2020

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Top 4 Reasons Why the Wealth Management Industry Needs to Develop its Digital Capabilities

Financial Advisors  |  On-Boarding  |  Technology  |  Wealth Management  |  AdvisorEngine  |  Wealth Management Technology

Everything nowadays is all about the “experience.” Why should wealth management be any different? It shouldn’t be. Advisors should strive to provide clients with exceptional financial experiences. 

Unfortunately, we find that within the realm of the wealth management industry, the financial experience process has been slow to catch up with 21st century standards.

For example, client on-boarding is largely the same for most today as it was twenty years ago. Typically, a client still drives to their advisor’s office to sit (or they receive a Fedex package in the mail with a return envelope) - they fill out paper forms and then wait for the paperwork to be processed in order to set up a new account. Either that or an advisor emails forms to a client to print, fill out, sign and fax back to the advisor. The whole experience can be frustrating and time-consuming. 

In this day and age, clients expect to open an account instantly. One thing is very simple -- faster account opening, leads to earlier account funding and consequently revenue will start generating quicker

Developing your digital capabilities should be a priority to enhance experiences across the board. Modern innovations and the consumer appetite for digital services is the key to a smooth and seamless experience with the use of cutting edge technology. But how do you achieve that instant gratification? 

A modern experience

Digital innovations and strategies differentiate customer experience and, as a result, provide for superior business performance and growth. Your first impression should be modern, setting the tone for your entire relationship. 

Digitizing enhances your relationship with your clients. This modern experience lets you remain focused on a model of direct client contact, rather than worrying about the paperwork.  

Implementing sophisticated modern technologies can only improve these client-advisor interactions. Technology can incorporate reports tailored to client’s needs and goals, creating collaborative presentations of investment or a customized visualization. It’s all about modernizing and reinforcing the personal relationship, not avoiding it. 

By taking paper out of your process, you can:

1. Expand your presence

Digital onboarding enables a more personalized customer experience by simplifying access to your financial services. Automate your operational processes and  stand out amongst your peers.

When you rely on digitization, and paperless workflows, transitioning investors from prospect to client becomes much easier. You can set up an account while still walking a prospect through the discovery process. 

Digital onboarding gives you the competitive edge to provide a faster, more personalized experience.

Having the ability to connect both digitally and physically with your clients expands your omni-channel access. It allows clients to move effortlessly between channels and easily keep in touch with you. Customers expect the convenience they enjoy in other areas of their lives. 

2. Optimize your portfolio management processes 

Portfolio management technologies have also grown with the expansion of digital capabilities. These tools can enhance returns as they support clients’ virtual access to information.

Advisors leverage a practice dashboard, allowing them to access key performance metrics. Practices have enabled clients to aggregate their accounts and support advisors’ ability to see the complete financial picture.

This process offers flexible engagement models, tailored to client preferences. Clients have access to statements and real-time information about their portfolios. In addition, investment analytics allows you to optimize and stress test client portfolios. Overall digital portfolio management can help you deliver consistent investment outcomes and differentiated financial advice. 

3. Collaborate and enable client self-service

Clients of all ages are using technology regularly. As a result, they expect their advisors to be ever-present. This not only means allowing clients to choose how you interact with them, but it also requires advisors and clients to share service tools that support a collaborative and ever-evolving client experience.

Digitally enabled practices do not limit their offerings to a particular age group, or to clients at a certain asset level. Instead, these advisors offer a more flexible model tailored to each client’s unique preferences. 

It is this dynamic, flexible resource that can help clients view portfolio information along with their risk position. Clients can better understand their own risk tolerance and help alter their own portfolio investments. Self-service capabilities will not replace the existing client-advisor relationship - it aims to increase collaboration.

4. Save time, paper and money

Moving from a paper-centric business model to a digital format helps you save money and increase efficiency. As mentioned before, the standard client onboarding process consists of data gathering, countless paper forms and wasted time.

A digital client onboarding process, with a clearly defined sequence of events, dramatically reduces the amount of time spent on each task. 

In the financial services industry, profit margin is everything. As digital technologies continue to flourish, awareness and adoption of digital service is likely to grow over the next several years, becoming part of the fabric of every wealth management relationship. 

In a period of intense competition and relatively slow growth, advisors should understand that failure to take adequate steps in pursuit of these opportunities raises the risk of disruption or even irrelevance. 

Expand your digital capabilities

At AdvisorEngine, we believe the financial experience extends beyond the client experience and subscribe to the ABC’s of the entire financial experience:

  •     Advisor Experience
  •     Business Operations Experience
  •     Client Experience

We want to help you digitize your capabilities while enhancing interactions across these essential ABC’s. 

Financial advisors use AdvisorEngine’s open technology as a competitive advantage for business growth. If you are ready to create innovative solutions with intuitive technology, make sure to schedule a demo today.

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This blog is sponsored by AdvisorEngine Inc. (“AdvisorEngine”) and Junxure, an affiliate of AdvisorEngine. The information, data and opinions in this commentary are as of the publication date, unless otherwise noted, and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to use AdvisorEngine or deemed to be a specific offer to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any financial product, instrument or service that may be mentioned. AdvisorEngine makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or representations. As a technology company, AdvisorEngine provides access to award-winning tools and will be compensated for providing such access. AdvisorEngine does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.

About Dan Nolan

As a Product Manager with AdvisorEngine, Dan successfully navigates the intersection of finance and technology to advance our open-architecture approach. He works closely with institutional and independent financial advisors creating new, innovative and engaging solutions.