- The expert began by framing the session through stating the importance of being able to capture, aggregate and action data to enhance productivity. It is no good having great technology if good quality data is not captured and
- Consumers’ attitude to data is also changing as they have more choice and more access to data, and particularly open banking and open finance. The middle class is tripling globally, they will need new propositions and new ways of engaging. There are multiple different data sources on individuals and open finance is a way of bringing these sources
- Understanding the client and automating the process in the advice market will be important and today businesses have disparate systems and data all over the place. Clients need to be able to triage and self-serve at the front end, and it is everyone's challenge but hard to achieve. It will be important to understand where the client master sits and who oversees and/or owns that
- Two firms were able to give illustrations on how their firms had coped with varying degrees of success in their moves from legacy systems to new platforms with varying degrees of pain and effort. It was noted: "If you move too quickly, most businesses don't have the bandwidth to solve the problem, and keep the business going forward at the same time. Business change is required with tech facilitating the outcome. It's not just about sticking the technology in".
- It is also important not to keep reinventing the wheel and to use what good technology is already available. The important thing to note is that the data side is the productivity piece. Once that is in place and can be used by advisers, a much richer conversation with the end client will be enabled.
- It was also pointed out that there is a huge amount that firms can do to understand more about their clients and how tech can facilitate this. As open banking comes in, the question was posed to the room: "Are you going to be the trusted adviser or just another stall in the market place. Lots of other people are tempting clients away. This is where the 66% of NextGen will fire their parents’ advisers."
- The expert asked how many wealth management firms have looked at how many of their clients will have passed away in the next five years and are they aware how quickly that client based will fall away? This was acknowledged but several delegates agreed that the 'Next Gen' is not the millennials - it is more likely to be 50-55 year olds because people are living so much longer and inheritors will already have their own advisers.
- The critical point is to understand the client experience, to be able to dive in and test different parts and this involves identifying the most effective way of getting feedback. As one delegate said: "This industry is beyond weird at how little we ask clients. We never say is this what you want. That is client centric. If they are happy, you earn the right to ask for more. The more questions you ask, hopefully there is a convergence where clients love the things you do and where you know the client best."
- It was agreed that with high NPS scores in the industry, not enough people actually ask for the business. There is push back from bankers but they can be very productive doing very little. "I think we should have a good commercial relationship, as opposed to just a good "
- The other important factor is ensuring firms have the right people to execute successfully on a new strategy. The industry does not attract natural sales people and the word 'sales' is frowned upon, but often firms are unable to provide the tools needed by advisers to do a good
- The younger generations coming through are using fintechs, being courted by fintechs and are getting pulled in different directions. Those other offerings will know more about these potential clients than wealth firms who don't get the opportunity to move the
- Taking the decision to engage with clients earlier in the wealth cycle is important but if firms are engaging at this level, it is important they can service these clients efficiently. They still need to be approached as individuals, and data should be gathered along the way. The session concluded in agreement that good data is the enabler to greater productivity but the industry still has some way to go in organising its data effectively and efficiently in order to both drive improved productivity and enhance the client
Expert: Dave Upton, UK Managing Director, Focus Solutions Group
Facilitator: Caroline Burkart, Associate Partner, Scorpio