For those wealth managers serving high net worth clientele, there is certainly a pronounced shift to the prevailing service model. Many pundits position their thoughts as though the old business model is dead, and digital is all that matters. From my research and conversations with people from leading firms, this is not the case. At the same time, there is an inflection point; there is a case for action. That action is to set a path for a digital channel / client interaction experience for a client that is complementary to the relationship model, even additive.
To define the client-set, this is most important for those clients with investable assets of $5M – $29M. Research indicates that those clients in the $1M-$5M range are clamoring for digital capabilities. However, it seems that fixating on the lower portion of that later population could drive an organization to draw certain conclusions and potentially miss the mark for their target clients.
In the past, I have discussed exploring the digital channel by focusing on what works in the relationship service model, and to focus on how that service ‘feels’ to the client. This continues to be a good place to start. Again, the digital channel simply expands and complements the person-to-person relationship model. Our conversations with advisors on this very issue of creating complementary digital service capability varies considerably depending on the focus of that organization, may it be:
- Positioning for wealth transfer
- Driving client acquisition
- Achieving improved retention
- Broadening investment share
- Building support capacity efficiently
West Monroe Partners has helped our wealth management clients position themselves for this business model shift, complementing all of the successes that got the advisor firm to where they are today, while enriching the value to their clients and the firm.