Posted by Ryan George, Docupace’s Chief Marketing Officer
Today’s financial advisors wear several hats. In addition to financial advice, consultants hold customer meetings, expand their customer list, take care of administrative or investment management tasks and participate in professional development. It is not surprising that when all of these responsibilities are combined, there is little time left for the activities of a consultant for customer-facing activities. Indeed one Poll by Michael Kitces According to reports, 50 percent of a wealth management firm’s time is spent on client-related activities, and less than 20 percent is spent actually meeting clients.
Many financial advisors do not have enough time to complete their day-to-day tasks. Asset management firms can increase their ROI by improving productivity through automation and using digital tools to tackle the tasks that are most likely to cost valuable consultant time.
Improve productivity with automation
New technologies and digitization have accelerated and expanded over the past 5 years and these benefits have taken effect in the wealth management industry. Automation enables advisors to streamline processes, improve communication and gain deeper insights into the financial market and their client profiles. Probably the greatest opportunity is time.
Tools such as AI, machine learning and big data automate administrative tasks such as data entry and give consultants time for customer-related tasks or activities that increase sales.
While the possibilities for automation are virtually limitless, companies must think strategically about where to invest to maximize ROI, free up budget, and get the most value to clients and consultants. Here are five areas where wealth management companies can improve automation.
Client data collection
An integral part of financial planning is data collection and entry: a long, tedious, and error-prone task. Software programs like AutoEntry and Precise FP aggregate client data in customizable formats, eliminating the need for human touch. These reports provide valuable insights into customer behavior, financial preferences, and market, and are far more accurate than manual data entry. Automated data collection and entry allows the consultant to react to data instead of entering it.
Asset management firms continue to experience increasing complexity and accuracy in compliance and regulation. As governments continue to change and increase regulation around the world, businesses can no longer take a step-by-step approach and need a holistic solution that allows them to gather evidence and complete reporting for many different regulations at the same time. When these consultants or employees carry out these activities, there is a high degree of variability and quality in their work. Performing repetitive tasks and sustaining new requirements is a natural addition to AI and ML platforms. Many companies invest here to streamline processes and reduce regulatory risk.
Elite wealth managers have long recognized the benefits of client segmentation. Today’s investors are interested in products that are tailored to their interests, risk tolerance and individual customer profile. Companies with systems to create these segmentations using ML and AI technology can offer value-added services that stand out from the competition without sacrificing consultants’ time. A well-designed CRM system improves segmentation strategy and automates tasks such as tracking lead behavior, monitoring customer satisfaction scores, and calculating customer lifespan.
While 70 percent of wealth management companies use risk profile tools, this is an area where companies should balance automation with human input. Tools can collect customer information, analyze the current financial market and present calculations. However, a consultant should review the results and determine the accuracy. A clear picture of risk tolerance alongside solid, professional ones Investment advice is possible with assessment tools and the institutional knowledge of a consultant.
Consultants spend less time calculating and recalculating risks using risk assessment tools. These solutions do a lot of the manual work and allow the consultants to make a quick and informed decision based on the unique numbers generated by the software.
Rebalancing is arguably one of the most important tasks of a financial advisor as it affects every part of a client’s portfolio. This is a tedious and repetitive task without the use of technology. Automated balancing solutions ensure that the asset allocation set by the customer remains within an acceptable range by making the appropriate buy and sell to get the desired percentage. It also automates difficult tasks such as tax management, compromises, asset class adjustments, and substitutions. Human intervention is only required when bad data or unknown securities are discovered.
With the advent of new rebalancing software a study by Michael Kitces It was found that an experienced consultant with an average of 96 clients spends just 2.9 hours per year managing the client portfolio. This is real testament to the efficiency and power of this type of software.
Increase ROI by saving time
Time is a precious commodity for a financial advisor. When time is properly invested and managed, customer satisfaction improves and ROI increases. Consultants who recognize and eliminate wasted time, use modern technology and, if possible, automate it, are the ones who can spend more time on the increasingly important tasks with customer contact.
Ryan George is the Chief Marketing Officer at Docupace. He is responsible for the company’s brand awareness, early sales pipeline, content strategies, customer and industry knowledge, internal and external communication, design and events. George actively takes leadership roles in both the financial services and marketing communications communities. He is a member of the Forbes Communications Council, a paid invitation-only communications and public relations executive organization, the CMO Council, and the CMO Club.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.