Successful Wealth Management firms, those exclusively serving high-net-worth clientele, consistently and completely ‘know their clients’. Personal relationships and trust are the pillars on which the industry is built. That is not going to change. However, forward-looking organizations are trying to understand how to complement their relationship-driven service model with a digital channel. This was the subject of an earlier blog.
Often the conventional wisdom is to segment and stratify clients based on that highly measurable variable of AUM (assets under management) and then determine what segment should be serviced through digital channels. Based on research and discussion with leaders in the industry, it is not that simple; in fact, that could be a dangerous path. AUM should be a factor in segmentation; however, personal desires should lead the way. Attitudinal and behavioral elements must be included so that the digital channel can truly complement the relationship channel. The good news is that many softer attributes are known and understood within a given advisory firm. Unfortunately, they are in the heads of advisors and are not codified so they can be applied in an elegant way in the digital world.
Through our work with wealth managers and similar work in related industries, we have learned that the capture and maintenance of these softer attributes needs to be built into the client acquisition, on-boarding, engagement and relationship models. The trick in this implementation is gathering the information, being patient as it builds and never detracting from the relationship foundation.
West Monroe Partners has helped our wealth management clients position themselves for this business model shift, complementing all of the successes that got them where they are today, while enriching the value to their clients and the firm.