By Christopher Sparke , Global Head of Advisor Solutions, Refinitiv
As the Global Head of Advisor Solutions, Christopher is focused on the entire wealth management workflow, working with technology, cloud capabilities, AI and unstructured content to support the digital transformation for wealth managers.
The wealth management industry is continuously evolving with digitalisation, mass amounts data and increasing numbers of new tools and platforms available, all of which can complicate the role of an advisor more than simplify it. We also see constant challenges arising from fragmented processes for distributing and consuming investment data. The consequences of these complicated workflows range from inconsistent investment advice to hindering advisor performance and poor client experiences.
However, new technology and leading-edge tools to streamline the wealth advisor workflow and in turn deliver an improved client experience are coming to the rescue. One way we are thinking about streamlining the advisor workflow and ultimately improving the client experience is through Next Best Action (NBA).
Is Next Best Action the best solution?
The concept of NBA can best be described as a service that empowers advisors to engage with clients in a constructive and mutually rewarding manner. NBA achieves this by prioritising the actions advisors should be taking to optimise their client relationships.
Advisors today are typically serving large numbers of clients and, over time, the fundamental complexity of serving extensive client bases becomes ever more challenging. This can quickly lead to client dissatisfaction.
Although many advisors manage to develop a thorough understanding of each client’s individual goals and needs, keeping every client’s individual wealth agenda top of mind almost always translates into an impossible task.
NBA aims to overcome this challenge by leveraging leading-edge technology to help advisors cut through the noise and select the best possible actions to improve portfolios, propose new offerings or products, meet client expectations, and more.
By reducing the dilemma of information overload and surfacing high value-add insights and suggestions, NBA has the potential to offer immediate and substantial help to advisors, particularly in the post-Covid 19 era, where many firms are moving to hybrid models that incorporate more online engagement.
Given these benefits, it may be tempting to view NBA as a silver bullet, but the concept nonetheless presents multiple challenges for firms, including key issues surrounding data hygiene.
Optimizing content management to deliver actionable insights
In order to take advantage of the many benefits offered by NBA, firms need to ensure a minimum level of data management. Data is the key to improving each client’s wealth journey, and therefore lies at the core of success in NBA.
The data challenge is not insurmountable, but equally is often not straightforward, since it in turn presents many firms with a technology challenge. Any investment in technology – which remains a pivotal part of NBA strategy – must meet the business’s overarching goals.
An optimized model for overcoming this challenge needs to center on streamlined data delivery and connected communication between the distributors and consumers of investment information.
A best-practice content management model should offer:
- A single platform that connects and co-mingles all relevant information in one place, including proprietary in-house information such as recommendations and house views, as well as external information, including market data and news.
- Perspective and context for disparate data sets, taking into account factors such as breaking news, street consensus, research, and more.
- Seamless connectivity between the distributors, consumers and administrators of information within a typical wealth management firm.
Paving the way for future success
With improved content management the potential to provide NBA presents a significant opportunity for firms of all sizes. Leveraging technology to substantially move the needle in terms of their productivity and the client experience will be crucial to success.
However we need to remember that such tools and solutions do not replace advisors, but augment advisor capabilities, freeing up time for higher value-add functions, boosting productivity, and enhancing the ability of advisors to respond to client needs in real time.
Additional benefits of a connected and streamlined workflow include simplified access to important information; efficiency gains; a lower risk of providing inconsistent investment advice; increased reactivity to market conditions; and a better client experience.
Where powerful digital tools and insights are delivered straight to the individual advisor’s workstation or client portal, the benefits are tangible and immediate – and at Refinitiv we remain committed to continually investing in and refining our solutions so that we can empower advisors to deliver greater value to their clients and the firm.
Refinitiv offers wealth firms the content and analytics to better empower advisors to surface the most relevant actions and, in so doing, to enhance their client relationships. We understand that ultimately, the success of any program depends on collaboration, and the successful combination of innovation, insights and addressing client needs.