Data needs to be presented and used in a way that clearly benefits on the retention and gaining of new clients.
- Data is clearly important, but there is no accepted usage or presentation style
- The use of data needs to fulfil the aim of gaining and retaining clients
- Asset managers need to improve their knowledge of their end clients
The discussion began with a recognition that legacy tech is a big issue, with lots of different parts of data floating around within companies. As a result, people don’t know what data they need. It was acknowledged that one of the hardest things to achieve is making sure a company’s data structure is right.
This led onto a discussion on how data can be formatted and made useful to clients. For example, firms need to consider what differentiates their data, and clients continue to want factsheets and similar content. There is a need to link the data to a way of presenting it effectively. Part of the difficulty of this is that there is a lack of communication between the data and salespeople.
It was agreed that data can be an effective client retention tool (with a view given that use of data is all about attracting clients, retaining clients, and saving money). However, asset managers have little visibility of end user date, making accuracy in some areas difficult. It was noted that asset managers want to know who is on their share register (or fund register), and there is a fundamental problem with the structure of platforms in this regard.
This led to an acknowledgement that asset managers often do not know how their products are distributed. If an asset manager has a 10-year view, they need to ‘own’ the consumer and engage with end clients, which has been made more important by fee compression. To do this, they need to be D2C or partner with someone like Amazon.
Improving the use of data has been made difficult by several factors. CEOs are often unconvinced of the need to invest heavily in this area, with US firms seen to be ahead of UK counterparts in this area. It was mentioned that companies need to have a Chief Data Officer. There is also a perception that anything can be achieved using data, but little consideration of the time/cost benefit.
- There is a need to invest more in ensuring that companies have the right data structure, and are using data appropriately
- Data can be useful with retaining clients, but asset managers need to better understand how their products are distributed, and get to a place where they can better engage with end clients