Helping Asian Wealth Management Communities interact

Digital & Technology

Orchestrating an Enhanced Wealth Management Proposition with the WDX1 CLM Solution

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Dominic Gamble, the Singapore-based head for Asia Pacific at FinTech Wealth Dynamix, likens the firm’s market-leading CLM platform, WDX1, to the skilled conductor of an orchestra. It is Gamble who is responsible for showcasing this digital ‘maestro’ across Asia, where since he opened the Singapore office in October 2018 he has been winning over an enthusiastic new audience for the firm’s class-leading client lifecycle management solution. Working initially with the Asian operations of Wealth Dynamix’ global clients, Gamble and his team have recently converted their first key regional Asian client and are now keenly focused on expanding across the local markets of Asia.

Wealth Dynamix is just over seven years old and since its creation has been forging new avenues through the world of wealth management. Gamble’s enthusiasm is engaging as he talks of the huge potential that the WDX1 lifecycle solution offers wealth management clients that are seeking to boost and personalise their proposition, enhance revenues, improve client satisfaction and improve talent retention.

 

“Very simply, WDX1 offers two incredibly important business values, number one is saving businesses cost, and number two is driving their revenues.”

 

True to its promises

Gamble and his senior colleagues around the global market view the WDX1 CLM platform as the only genuine Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution out there combining prospect management, client onboarding and client management  in a single solution that can leverage existing legacy systems whilst providing an innovative, independent offering that is delivered on the world-leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 Platform.

WDX1 offers end-to-end digital client lifecycle management solutions via a single integrated 360-degree view of client information across multiple business lines, centralising client relationships, products, communications and activities, with a focus on streamlined and compliance-driven workflows.

The solution also features an AML risk scoring engine to highlight client risk, a rules engine that continuously monitors the applicability and suitability of advice, and the use of artificial intelligence to generate insights and suggestions to guide advisers in client engagement.

WDX1 comprises of 3 modules that work very effectively on their own and but will fit together as business requirements grow. Engage helps firms convert more prospects, faster and more efficiently and engage existing clients, thus driving asset and revenue growth. Onboard streamlines time-consuming processes with a ‘capture once, use many’ design which can minimise onboarding times and administrative costs. And Manage reduces administrative tasks and enables advisors to manage relationships from a single location as well as providing a 360° view of all clients, contacts, accounts and households, which drives deeper insights and more tailored sales. The 3 modules fit inside of an integrated single login system, which is really drives user adoption and productivity.

The full spectrum

Accordingly, WDX1’s capabilities span the entire client lifecycle, including client acquisition; client engagement; digital onboarding; regulatory compliance; relationship management; client servicing; and business intelligence.

In November, the firm released a key update on its progress, reporting that the firm had achieved another year of robust growth, had expanded into new markets, invested in new talent, won major new clients and delivered innovative updates to help wealth managers perform more effectively.

The firm highlighted the signing up of a major new global French financial institution and two private banks in the UK and Geneva, as well as expansion across North America, Europe and Asia in 2019, opening new offices and hiring some exceptional talent.

That new talent - Antony Bream as MD for the UK and the Americas and industry veterans Natalie Levine and Lucy Heavens taking the reins as CTO and Head of Marketing – have joined Gamble, who had launched the Asian operations out of a new Singapore office in October 2018. 

Gamble reports that the WDX1 platform has been adopted by over 30 institutional clients globally and has recently been named as Microsoft’s Business Applications ISV Connect Partner. “Several major UK and European wealth management firms are already leveraging its modular architecture and close integration with Microsoft to help manage an increasingly demanding regulatory climate, more sophisticated clients and complex digital and legacy integration challenges,” Gamble adds.

Smart adoption

He also observes that wealth managers are under tremendous cost, time and regulatory pressures, and are being let down by existing technology solutions that are poorly integrated and too reliant on legacy platforms and internal IT teams who often struggle to keep up with change.

“This,” he states, “creates siloed user journeys which can impair the customer experience and results in key staff spending too long managing important regulatory and client data processes manually on outdated systems, rather than finding new clients and managing existing ones better.”

Gamble believes that for modern wealth managers, technology that fosters automation of more administrative tasks is therefore essential to minimising operational overheads and empowering staff to create additional value.

More to come…

“We plan to further develop the WDX1 platform in 2020 with a focus on digital engagement,” he explains, “thereby allowing clients to self-service remotely and delivering explainable artificial intelligence (AI) for staff to help them better engage their clients and prospects at the right time and with the right content.”

In keeping with the drive and energy of the firm at large, Wealth Dynamix on January 7 this year announced a new partnership agreement with leading management consultancy Synpulse which will help scale-up global deployment of the WDX1 solution to the world’s biggest private banks, wealth and asset management firms.

Challenges and opportunities

“User-friendly client portals, mobile apps and robo-advisors are at the heart of many digital transformation projects,” Gamble notes, “but despite being touted as the panacea for ensuring client satisfaction, the reality is that many have failed to deliver. Uptake has been slow, with adoption rates as low as 20-30%.”

He elaborates further, explaining that while significant effort and expenditure have been directed towards client-facing technologies – and compliance too – relationship managers (RMs) seem to have been overlooked in the drive to achieve digital transformation, despite the critical role they continue to play in engaging and retaining clients.

Enhancing human skills

Gamble adds that RMs drive the quality of every client relationship, noting that Capgemini research had found that 67% of clients select wealth managers on the basis of ‘enhanced digital capabilities’, while 91% cite ‘quality of the firm’ as the deciding factor.

“Clearly,” Gamble elaborates, “every touchpoint strengthens engagement, builds trust and secures loyalty. But Capgemini found that wealthy clients are not comfortable interacting with technology alone, preferring a more balanced approach between human touch and technology. The fact is that wealthy people want personalised advisory services delivered by a person.”

And with costs rising, Gamble observes, wealth management firms are focusing increasingly on efficiency and AUM growth. “Simply put,” he elucidates, “RMs need more time for client engagement and management, onboarding needs to be slick, and client experience needs to be impressive.”

He adds that the firm’s favourite example in onboarding is working with the top 10 wealth management institutions in the UK, who used to take an average of 25 days to open an account for an individual, but working with Wealth Dynamix brought the account opening time down to three hours.

Talent retention

He adds that with clients placing a high value on the longevity of the relationship with the same RM, talent attrition is also highly relevant. The priority must, therefore, be to keep top-performing RMs away from manual tasks, motivated, productive and earning industry-beating income for both the client and the firms they work for.  

“RMs all too often tell me that they switch jobs due to onerous manual processes,” he expounds, “and having to navigate a multitude of disparate systems that fail to deliver a holistic view of the client. Our insights from conversations in Singapore with private banks is that RMs are spending 50% of their day on what they deem to be administrative tasks, and they are using over 15 systems to fulfil their day job.  These issues have a significant negative impact on morale and productivity let alone performance. It is no wonder that the best RMs are attracted to firms investing in agile, digitally-transformed RM operating environments.”

But Gamble is fully confident that WDX1 can substantially redress this problem. “We help empower RMs with smarter, data-driven insights into client behaviour and sentiment, and arm them with technology tools that boost productivity,” he explains. “They will be equipped to deliver faster, more efficient and responsive client servicing. And they will be incentivised to pursue new client engagements and generate a greater share of wallet from existing clients, which is undoubtedly a lower-cost, more profitable path to follow.”

Monetising the outlay

He explains how firms spend a huge amount of money to acquire a client, but too often, the client opens an account and never funds it, never transacts, or does one deal and retreats. “Seeing this,” Gamble says, “we drive a huge amount of uplift on client engagement, on client touchpoints, and that has big revenue benefits in the double-digit percentages that could be achieved.”

He is certainly highly confident of the product and its ability to penetrate the Asia Pacific market. “Financial institutions, wealth and asset managers in Asia are more and more open to adopting new innovative efficiency-driving, revenue-driving, cost-saving technology, which is great for businesses like ours because the conversations are easy, their ears and minds are open,” he reports.  

WDX1’s orchestra

The Wealth Dynamix technology, says Gamble, can be compared to the conductor in front of an orchestra, with WDX1 integrating and coordinating the different technologies to create harmony for the end clients.

“We orchestrate,” Gamble explains. “There are plenty of areas that we do not ourselves focus on, or even aim to focus on,” he elaborates. “We don’t do core banking, portfolio management, portfolio construction, robo-advisory, risk profiling, third-party name-checking, electronic signature, account aggregation, data visualisation or reporting.”

For all of those areas of expertise and others, WDX1 curates through an open ecosystem of partners, or the system can work with third-party partners that the financial institutions may already have. “We are integrators of the best-in-class third-party technologies,” Gamble elucidates, “focusing on our core expertise around taking a basic CRM at its core and transforming that into a wealth and asset management tailored client management system.”

Integrate, or fail

The benefit of that is that the users, the relationship managers, the legal and compliance team, whoever it may be, no longer have to log in to a number of systems, he explains. “But with one interface and one login, we offer a simple but very powerful USP. However, what that means in practice is that the technology landscape inside of these institutions needs to be such that they are open to integrating between different systems, which is sometimes a major hurdle.”

He explains that it is often a shortcoming with fintech and the fintech revolution that they have adopted too many things too quickly. “They have open API relationships with too many third-party providers, and they are cracking under the pressure of managing all those different technology relationships,” Gamble observes. “So, what we see in the Asia Pacific region is a huge difference in the evolution of the financial institutions, with some remarkably advanced, some not at all, and a lot in the middle. It is both a major challenge and an immense opportunity for us.”

Gamble’s Key Priorities for 2020

Gamble closes the discussion by focusing on his main objectives for the year ahead. Armed with its class-leading WDX1 solution and the momentum the firm has been achieving globally, Gamble is now intent on further building the APAC business, from the ground up.

“We opened in Asia about 18 months ago,” he explains, “and while we have had global client operating in Asia as customers, we have now contracted with our first regional Asian client and the priority, as it should be in every technology business, is, therefore, to deliver that project as optimally as possible. And the second priority is to build from this point and grow the local client base in Asia, expanding into the local markets of Southeast Asia in particular, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia, where we are currently in very progressed conversations with local institutions.”

 

Wealth Dynamix - At a Glance

The Wealth Dynamix website describes the firm as a “multi-award-winning wealth management technology” company. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London with regional offices in Zurich, New York and Singapore, the company states that its solutions are fast becoming the global standard for client lifecycle management at the world's leading private banks and wealth management firms.

Leveraging Microsoft's industry-leading Dynamics 365 platform, Wealth Dynamix helps institutions achieve strategic digital transformation programmes, assisting them in better managing and servicing their clients, while ensuring efficient and comprehensive regulatory adherence.

“Our innovative and robust technology addresses key industry challenges that arise from the complex requirements of client acquisition and onboarding, regulatory compliance, relationship management, client servicing, business intelligence and digital engagement for both client and advisor,” Dominic Gamble, Wealth Dynamix's Head of Asia Pacific, reports.

Wealth Dynamix specialises in providing client lifecycle management and business intelligence solutions for the wealth and investment management market and offers consulting services and products based on the Microsoft Dynamics platform. Wealth Dynamix's solutions are designed to address the industry challenges around conduct risk and increased demand for levels of relationship management, mobile and digital capabilities.

As Gamble explains, the WDX1 client lifecycle management platform has five pillars - client acquisition, digital onboarding, CRM, business intelligence and digital engagement.

The first, client acquisition, is all about helping to find new clients through social discovery, lead scoring, web tracking and create customised marketing strategies to prospective and existing clients, partners, and intermediaries. The second, digital onboarding, is helping onboard clients by streamlining complex private client and entity onboarding workflows including KYC, AML, risk profiling and suitability and enable clients and intermediaries to self-serve while meeting regulatory obligations.

CRM involves managing complex relationships, the mission being to reduce risk and improve efficiency with the Wealth Dynamix client management module that has been built to provide a single, modern, dashboard-based view for all historical and planned client communications and activities, all recorded client data including KYC and Suitability information and client documentation.

Business intelligence to promote client insights is another core objective. To present actionable intelligence and determine the next best actions for clients. Empower wealth managers and private bankers by supplying them with key information and reports on client activity to drive new business while taking care of existing clients.

And clients must stay compliant. The mission here is to address industry challenges around conduct risk and remain competitive and compliant by digital engagement, tracking and monitoring activities, demonstrating suitability, and providing evidence to the regulator.

Customers include institutional investment managers, private wealth management firms and private banks. Wealth Dynamix's website highlights what the firm calls a fundamental shift in wealth management. Individual wealth is on the up and clients expect innovative and personal engagement from their advisors.

Dominic Gamble

Head of Asia Pacific at Wealth Dynamix

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