Can Cloud help Wealth Management Companies?
Search ‘wealth management challenges’ and you are likely to find these summarised into 3 generic areas: regulation, digitisation and cloud. However talking to wealth management companies and their application providers the basic challenge remains the same, how to get new clients particularly HNW individuals and a greater share from existing clients.
So can cloud help wealth managers gain new clients, increase AUM and provide more efficient IT?
Let’s start with digitisation. This is generally broken down into digital selling and digital delivery. Mobile and analytics is a challenge but it is also a fantastic opportunity for wealth managers to enhance digital delivery by integrating with backend systems and providing CRMs with enhanced up to date information and a total view of the client or potential client. It hugely enhances the digital selling approach by being able to target an individual rather than a general demographic. Further it allows clients to be engaged in the way they choose to be engaged, sometimes digitally via mobile device and social media and sometimes traditionally with consultation (digital also enables video consultation which is often overlooked as a communication medium).
For an industry that is more based on relationship than most the use of social media analytics is surprisingly low. It is said that the average age of a client of a wealth manager is 60+ yet most I know of that age are engaged regularly in some kind of social media activity. A further survey I saw suggested that over 80% of HNW individuals under 40 expected their wealth manager to provide a digital experience and this is even more for those targeting clients in Asia.
Cloud helps in 2 ways. If you are large and have a development team and create solutions in house, cloud gives you a platform to develop and test these solutions and their integration with your legacy environments. Cloud goes way beyond the big public cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Google, Softlayer, Rackspace, CenturyLink etc – apologies to any I have omitted) that can bring concerns over data privacy legislation given they are all US owned. Look closer to home and you will find many local cloud service providers that will meet your needs and be far more responsive to you. Secondly if you don’t have an army of agile developers then mobile and analytics solutions already exist – probably from your existing SW provider or one that certainly has experience in wealth management. I have seen that even IBM and Apple have jointly created a wealth management mobile app so certainly your local provider will already be on the case.
As for social media analytics, you don’t need a huge marketing department, any half decent digital marketing agency will provide this as a service to you for a surprisingly low monthly fee.
But then there is still legacy, where regulation drives increasing resources into maintaining legacy environments. Cloud can help here too. Cloud is about putting the right workloads in the right place. Do you really need everything on that system managed in house (maybe do you really still need everything on that system!). Are there applications that could be put with a local cloud provider to free up some of your resources (human and financial).
There’s lots more to delve into here, security of course, which is probably an individual discussion. Generally I recommend that you use the mobile/analytics/cloud challenge as an opportunity to review your security approach. Write down what you think you have today, what you would need for a digital solution and let’s compare with what you actually have and fill any technology or process gaps. Embrace it as a chance to review your whole approach.
Hopefully some light has been offered that we can move forward with mobile, analytics, cloud based solutions to enable a better experience for the client and enhance the chances of gaining new clients and retaining existing clients.