Technology is clearly opening up vast opportunities for wealth managers and private banks globally, helping to drive economies of scale, business efficiencies and honing the client experience. However the success of all of this is still dependent on a critical factor – the people both within the firm, and those of the technology provider, and the role they play, successful or otherwise, in using to technology to innovate and grow the business. The technology alone cannot achieve end goals without the right people to support its use.
- There continues to be a vast range of attitudes and adoption levels of new technology across the differing business models within Wealth
- Similarly there are varying levels of success in how technology is being used
- A firm’s people are a key component of success in adopting new technology.
The session began with a presentation from Multrees sharing a great variety of perspectives and insight around the table. This was supported by some fascinating examples shared by delegates of how technology is being used, or not in some cases! Generally, it is seen as a way to drive process efficiency and improve profitability of a wealth firm or private bank.
However, there were some interesting challenges and debate about how to generate Return On Investment from technology within a smaller firm, particularly given the cost of obtaining new technology is such a high spend in proportion to the size of smaller firms.
One firm even said it has been deliberately slow in adoption of new technology as it remained sceptical about the real payback. However, many examples were shared of how technology could still be used in a bite sized way to innovate and deliver value – it doesn’t have to be a big bang large scale programme. In this way, firms can develop and adapt their technology capabilities as they go forward, without a single expensive layout.
Importantly however, beyond the technology itself, many of the experiences shared a key common theme – firms are heavily reliant on people - and the right sort of people - to make any technology change or innovation a success. With the right people in place, the business can be grown and equipped for future development.
These individuals need to be able and willing to consider how the technology can be used to innovate within the business, change and improve on processes, and do things differently to the benefit of both clients and the firm itself.
The right people can be those already in your firm, new hires, or through partnering with other firms to help provide that mindset and innovation impetus and experience. Bringing a new perspective to the business through an external partner to work with internal people ensures exposure to new ways of thinking while aligning changes to the culture and processes of the firm.
Critically, the right leadership and the right enabling culture is essential to ensure the ideas are explored, adapted and then adopted and implemented successfully. Being honest with your people about the impact was viewed as vital, both by the experts and those who had experienced tech change.
A firm can have all the best cutting-edge technology, but unless you have the right people internally or partner with people who understand and can lead technology change, you won’t get very far!
It is important to be honest with your people and the wider business about the impact of new or different technology and therefore leadership is critical in supporting and communicating change
Fostering the right culture similarly becomes a critical enabler.
Expert: Chris Fisher, Multrees