Why strong data management is fundamental to your digital future

By Paul Bebber
23 May 2018

Digital capabilities matter.

At a time when sophisticated digital experiences have become the norm in almost all areas of life, we’re seeing investment managers increasingly being judged on the range and quality of the multi-channel digital platform they can provide to clients.

But a slick front-end portal or mobile app is not enough. For your digital strategy to achieve the results you want, it must be underpinned by a robust, centralised data management infrastructure.


Investment management success depends on digital

Why are digital capabilities so important?

1. Enhancing client interactions

Smartphones, tablets, wearables … every aspect of our lives has become bound up with mobile devices that allow us to operate on the go, and investment management services are expected to deliver to that same standard. That means enabling clients to sign up for new services, access portfolio information, transact business, and communicate with their advisor or relationship manager when and where they want.

On-demand and interactive access to customisable content and investment insights allows clients to view and review their assets in real time, keeping them better informed and crucially, more engaged.

2. Helping staff perform better

Digital tools offer staff powerful functionality to help them in their roles.

In the wealth management space, for instance, sales and marketing teams can take advantage of digital capabilities to create and deploy powerful new content, from high quality pitch books and fund summaries to client reviews and up-to-the-minute reports.

They can also leverage client data to create personalised communications in real time, such as sending electronic notifications to holders of specific securities if there is any news or change in their portfolios.

In this way, teams can:

  • Collaborate more closely with prospects and clients.
  • Deliver more personalised products and services.
  • Better track and leverage client data to expand their relationships.
  • Reduce paperwork.
  • Automate or eliminate low-value operational and administrative tasks.

3. Improving operating efficiencies

Automatically generating and posting reports and notifications to clients digitally saves time, cuts costs and allows for greater reporting frequency.

Meanwhile, the two-way interactions enabled by a sophisticated front-end give clients on-demand access to the do-it-yourself capabilities and portfolio information they want on their device of choice. For instance, sophisticated self-service technology provides opportunities for onboarding clients, financial planning, and trading and managing investments, often without any human-to-human interactions.

This creates a more efficient, scalable service platform that can solve basic service functions and inquiries automatically, reducing the demands placed on your client services, sales and investment teams from low value calls and inquiries.

By freeing staff from tedious and time consuming client administration tasks, they can devote greater attention to supporting more clients and focus on value added activities.

4. Meeting regulatory demands

Various domestic and international rules, such as enhanced client suitability requirements and cross border tax reporting obligations, compel investment managers to gather and store ever more information on their clients. Meanwhile, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will force asset and wealth managers, along with their service providers, to re-evaluate how and what data they store.

Digitalised data capture, especially during the client onboarding process, will go a long way towards helping firms automate and systematize their information gathering and client facing operations, and thus strengthen their regulatory compliance capabilities.


Digitalisation means nothing without good data

The prospective benefits of a rounded digital strategy are enormous, provided it is underpinned by a cohesive data management policy and centralised data infrastructure, so that clients and internal teams are always working off the latest, most consistent and accurate data. By contrast, a good looking mobile or portal front end backed by poor data risks doing more harm than good.

As the digital revolution becomes the norm, revamping infrastructure by improving connectivity between technology platforms and retiring legacy systems to ensure greater automation and quality of data will be crucial.