By Peter Schramme, CEO of Objectway Financial Software NV
How technology can help to keep pace with these ever changing demands
Private Client Investment Management in Europe went through a rough period, characterized by a much stricter regulatory context, more demanding customers, lagging client sentiment, and increased competition. For Wealth Management and Private Banking firms, differentiation is key to retain clients and advisors and attract more assets under management. A pillar of this strategy is integration of data, channels, people, and processes. The ability for firms to change their business models, customer segmentation strategies, and service proposition will strongly contribute to their success in retaining and expanding client relationships.
More and more, technology will become key, both as a qualifier as well as a way to differentiate. Technology demand is largely supported by a set of key market drivers such as:
- More tech-savvy clients: focused on performance, while expecting access anytime anywhere to their assets. Managing digital channels is thus becoming increasingly important as firms are broadening their target market, the line between private and retail banking is blurring, and the advisor role is more proactive in the sales cycle. As a result, financial institutions are enabling cross-selling operations within multiple channels and user experience is becoming a priority, with a particular focus on improving communications and CRM tools.
- More pressing regulations: a series of regulatory changes swamped the business, with a continuous catch-up for most market players. And it is not over yet…
- More demanding shareholders: eroding cost-to-income ratios have to be reverted into growing margin profiles, by increasing operational excellence. Lean delivery approaches, reducing complexity, streamlining service offerings, hosted/cloud deployments are top of mind topics of senior management. Integration of systems becomes imperative. Although a certain level of customization is required at any implementation, firms are trying to reduce it and solutions need to be more configurable and modular, with a component-based approach.
- More pressure on front-line people: who are requested to be more aggressive in the prospecting phase and more in touch with clients to provide better customer service across multiple channels. Relationship managers thus ask for improved delivery capabilities, mobile infrastructure, and versatile decision support platforms to respond to the expectations they are confronted with.
- More SaaS-based solutions: in addition to increased reliance on outsourcing operations infrastructure, the SaaS business model adoption is growing, not only at small to medium-size firms, but also at larger organizations.
Technology plays an important role in the way Wealth Management institutions will cope with the challenges that today’s market put on their shoulders. Integrated solutions that implement end-to-end processes respond to this quest in a more cost-effective and future-oriented manner. Future-proof technology infrastructure ensures that the institution keeps pace with the ever changing demands of its multiple stakeholders.
Objectway Financial Software with its modular platform helps private client investment management institutions in this journey.
Founded in 1990, Objectway is headquartered in Milan, Italy, employs over 400 people globally and has offices in Italy, Belgium, UK, and Luxembourg. Objectway Group is the leader in Italy and among the top European players in the development and deployment of customized proprietary software solutions, IT services and Business Process Outsourcing for financial institutions with clients ranging from single family offices to global banks. Objectway also offers applications and technology consulting to support business innovation.
The company’s client base is spread in the Benelux, UK, Canada, Caribbean, Western Europe, South Africa, Mediterranean countries, Central Europe and Russia.
Objectway offers a front-to-back office, multichannel, multi-device wealth management platform, entitled Objectway Financial Suite. It can be offered in a modular fashion, utilising the underlying solutions; or as a seamlessly integrated offering, covering the complete range of wealth management capabilities.
To improve the advisory process, Objectway’s OFS Advice multichannel suite offers regulatory compliant, customised and sophisticated services for relationship managers, private bankers and advisors in an integrated workflow. OFS Advice enables wealth management institutions to set up a complete client-centric advisory process both in office and on the move. It gives a holistic view of clients’ holdings, helping advisors to understand clients’ goals and to create the most appropriate investments plans.
To ensure efficiency, middle and back office administrative and routine processes such as monitoring, reporting, regulatory compliance and rebalancing must be automated. The OFS eXimius Portfolio Manager suite enables investment managers to close the loop of the front-to-back office portfolio management process, featuring middle office portfolio construction, performance and risk analysis, as well as some front office reporting tools.
The above mentioned suites are seamlessly integrated through the OFS Core integration layer.
To deepen business intelligence with automated and customised data mining, insights, performance monitoring and reports, the Objectway’s OFS Wealth Analytics suite provides business intelligence, analysis and reporting functionalities for advisors, investment/portfolio managers, marketing staff and risk managers.
To automate and streamline back office by adopting lean internal processes and lowering securities processing operating costs, the OFS Back Office solution provides straight-through processing with respect to order management, compliance, regulations, securities master data, corporate actions, accounting, tax and reporting.
As mobile applications represent a key factor to share financial information, Objectway has integrated in its Financial Suite a set of Advisor and Client Wealth Apps that give advisors the means to fully manage and enhance customer relationship effectiveness, such as real-time portfolio monitoring, meeting setting tool, client profiles’ analysis and what-if scenarios and electronic signature collection, including biometric parameters check.
On the investor’s hand, the Apps allow clients to conduct a more proactive portfolio and advisor relationship management, by accessing their portfolios, conducting performance analysis and setting up alerts.
As part of Objectway’s digital strategy tools for financial institutions, the OFS Wealth Sign enables e-signature and allows advisors to close the loop of a mobile advisory process.
OFS Wealth Sign replicates the familiarity of the pen-and-paper signing experience in a web-based electronic signature application. The solution provides iron-clad security, robust legal defensibility and faster time-to-signature.
Finally, the Wealth Portal supports portal access to information and functionalities for both advisors and end users, with different permissions allowing firms to segment their customer base, giving self-directed trading functionality to the Mass Affluent and portfolio information only to the HNW/UHNW customers. Private clients can access their portfolios and drill down into their holdings to view performance, access previous reports, view market data, business news and research, create alerts, and directly trade.