When we speak to wealth management firms about robo-advice, a common reaction is to dismiss it as a fad that will never replace personal service. While it may be true that there’s no replacement for personal interaction, digital solutions are here to stay. A hybrid approach, which combines the best of robo-solutions with the high-touch personal service of wealth managers moves the conversation forward – not from a choice of either/or but to where value can be added to clients and the wealth management firm.
Exploiting the benefits of automated solutions
Many aspects of client relationship management are procedural – from initial on-boarding with KYC requirements to regular performance reports. This is where robo-advice can add value. Many clients will prefer the convenience of completing and updating their details digitally and increasingly, the prevalence of online banking and ecommerce means that this service is expected. A wealth management firm can’t add value by insisting on paperwork being posted back and forth, causing delays and adding to the administrative burden of the client. An automated robo-solution will also have the benefit of guiding clients through a standardised on-boarding process, increasing organisational efficiency.
Closely aligned to these procedural aspects are regulatory requirements. For example, from March 2021, MiFID II rules require wealth management firms to collect data on client preferences relating to ESG investments. A self-service option via a digital interface could be a way to not only increase client engagement, but to comply with regulations using a solution that has a full audit trail. This can increase client engagement with their investments by putting them in the driver’s seat. That doesn’t mean that a personal conversation won’t follow, just that it gets the administration out of the way so that wealth managers can focus on their client.
Hybrid solutions offer convenience with the personal touch
Digital automation in the right places can add to the personal service by providing greater choice and convenience. If clients prefer this option, insisting on hard copy reports and face to face meetings isn’t a personal service at all. Increased efficiency in administrative processes leaves wealth management firms with more time to address the finer details. We see many wealth management firms waiting for purely digital wealth management services to deliver a profit and lure their clients onto their platform before deciding on any action. Rather than waiting for clients to leave for more convenient solutions in this fast-paced world, a hybrid solution can be the best of both worlds – all the convenience of a digital solution with the invaluable personal interaction focused where it adds value. It’s time to move the debate about robo-solutions forward. It is not a question of if they should be implemented, but when.
CREALOGIX offers a system of engagement for digital wealth services that allows wealth and investment management firms to offer their clients a user-friendly digital investing service as part of their unique offering.