5 Finance Industry Leaders Share Best Practices for Improving the Customer Experience
February 5, 2016
When LinkedIn asked me to moderate a webcast called "How Wealth Managers Can Thrive Amidst Digital Disruption", my only worry was that an hour would not be long enough for this panel of superstars…I was right, but what an enlightening hour it was! This was the cast of characters:
- Bill Sullivan, Head of Global Financial Services Market Intelligence
- Hart Lambur, Co-founder and CEO of OpenFolio
- Rachel Perkel, Head of Marketing, Wealth Management Brokerage at Wells Fargo
- Jonathan Stein, Founder and CEO of Betterment
- Hardeep Walia, CEO, Motif Investing
We were tasked with exploring three issues that Capgemini uncovered in its World and U.S. Wealth Report 2015, which surveys high net worth individuals (HNWIs), their wealth, and wealth management trends in the United States.
- Growing HNWI Demand for Digital Engagement
- The Emergence of Automated Advisory Services
- The Evolution of a Wealth Manager's Advisory Value Proposition
The report underscored what each of the panelists is seeing in his or her own businesses and across financial services: HNWI clients want to engage with their wealth managers digitally and that trend is only going to increase in the future. While there may be an age bias to the current stats (check out the Millennial Disruption Index for more on this), that too is rapidly changing. As Stein noted, “this is a societal shift.”
The evolution of services means that advisors and their firms will be using automated services to enhance the client experience. Perkel noted, “Robo-advisors are an extension of the industry,” while Lambur underscored that robos “are NOT actually advisors, rather a tool for automated investing.”
Indeed, while core asset allocation is likely to be commoditized in the future, Walia says that human relationships, where a wealth manager is “providing insights and unique perspectives” will be key in adding value to client relationships.
Of course this makes perfect sense…an algorithm can’t listen to your core value system and help you develop an actionable financial plan to help you reach your goals and objectives. As physicist Michio Kaku told me last year, “robots and computers are sophisticated adding machines, but humans have to make decisions based on interactions, bonds and trust…careers where experience and talent are valued, like medicine, law and wealth management, will use technology to complete their busy work.” Those professionals who create interpersonal relationships, based on knowledge, rapport and experience, will be able to add value to their clients’ lives and thrive as the digital evolution in the financial services industry continues.
Wherever you are in the digital/FinTech journey, I encourage you to listen to the webcast, especially the conclusion, where each panelist offers advice to different constituencies.