V I V I A N G E O R G E
A little part of our User Journey! Scroll down to see this mind-boggling piece of work :)
September 2019- ongoing
Royal College of Art, London
Top 5 Asset Management Company
How can we transform the current EU wholesale client experience working in collaboration with sales and marketing?
The financial services market, and particularly asset management is being transformed by disruptive technological, regulatory and a new generation of tech-savvy and picky investors. This project aims to help a leading asset management company to create new ways to serve their wholesale clients and in turn the next generation of investors.
The brief was to work with the marketing team, portfolio managers, client advisors, market strategists and other front-line staff, as well as the clients and the High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI) they serve. Our role was to understand their evolving needs and develop an innovate suite of services that deliver more personalised, responsive and relevant content at a strategic as well as transactional level. We aim to exploit disruptive technologies such as AI, data analytics and machine learning, to deliver the next generation of asset management services.
What is the wholesale client experience?
Transforming the wholesale client experience within the B2B2C environment means that asset management companies provide the intermediaries (i.e private banks) with a range of product offerings and insights who are serving the needs of their end customers (i.e High-Net-Worth Individuals, or HNWIs), that are investing in those products.
This video was created for our Work in Progress Show, January 2019.
The asset management industry has been rapidly transforming. We’ve seen disruptive technologies like robo-platforms, regulations like MIFFID, changing socio-demographic investment needs, economic volatility especially from Brexit. All of these impact the way we deliver the wholesale experience. Some of key research we found was:
1. Evolving Client Needs- from the rising new segment of women investors to the tech-savvy entrepreneurial generation digital.
2. Regulations- MiFID 2, has increased reporting requirements to improve transparency which has led to information overload.
3. Technological Advances- processes have become more efficient so competing on price and performance is no longer enough. It is all about the superior end-to-end brand and customer experience
In order to better service wholesale clients, we started from the right-hand side of the B2B2C value chain. By understanding the needs of the end-customers (HNWIs) we are better able to understand the challenges that our clients face and how our asset management company could help them.
With a shift in the demographics of HNWI (High Net-Worth Individuals), we began to see changes in the clients' needs and started segmenting them based on attitudinal personas.
From the value network map, you can see how complex the ecosystem is, so we chose 2 key stakeholders that were the most important in the wholesale client experience: Fund Selector and Investment Manager. Among these two different roles, they vary in terms of the technical expertise and we interact with them on different points of the experience.
The fund selectors are the guys who choose whether to invest in financial products. They require a lot more detailed explanations in terms of portfolio construction, risk, product history. Whereas investment managers who deal with the HNWIs generally want so-what commentary on what's happening to the financial products.
Asset Management Company Analysis
Client Advisors are considered the gatekeepers and front line staff of the wholesale client experience. There is an army of people that back them up from Market Insights, Product Strategy, Marketing, Investment Specialists, Analysts and many more.
After analysing all the key stakeholders, their roles and responsibilities, we mapped out all the interactions, touchpoints, their emotional journeys as well as some of the key challenges faced across the end-to-end wholesale experience. This was a pinnacle point in our research where it all seemed to click for us!
Key Challenge Areas
We were able to come up with key challenges based on all of our analysis.
1) Information Complexity
This is a massive challenge for wholesale clients and HNWIs. Cost of tailoring is currently expensive and so this is impacting the relevancy of the information provided to the intermediaries. We have MIFID 2 regulations which are also impacting the relevancy of information delivery. The integration with legacy systems has led to a slow implementation of technologies which is impacting our ability to disseminate information effectively.
2) Misalignment in Goals and Marketing Content
There is currently no definitive segmentation method for wholesale clients, prospects and benefits. This means that the allocation of resources, time and energy are not effective in order to retain the more valued clients. We currently see the trend of putting your best foot forward for most clients.
"There is a problem in the financial system..I'm trying to recast this shuttle into a rickshaw."
Loopalign is an integrated set of solutions that allows Asset Management Companies and their Wholesale clients access centralised data to tailor service wraps around products and market insights to varying degrees of complexity. The platform includes an internal marketing and sales programme as well as an external tiered partnership programme for wholesale clients.
There are 2 parts of the service:
1. Client and Contact Segmentation Model
2. Marketing Content Toolkit
Consistent Client and Contact Segmentation Model
This is tiering framework for wholesale clients and end-customers. It supports the sales and marketing messages around product and market insights, as well as enable marketing, sales and strategic clients to personalise campaigns and communications to their clients.
There are 3 layers of segmentation:
1. Tiering of the Wholesale Clients
2. Tiering of the key contacts within the organisation. This is where the personas will come alive
3. Micro-segmentation Capability of HNWI's
Marketing Content Toolkit
Allows for more effective information personalisation. Marketing teams can create customisable sets of marketing content for the sales team, which they can in turn tailor them depending on their clients through service wraps around product offerings and marketing insights. This toolkit would use the segmentation model and personas to enable marketing and sales to tailor their messaging of products, strategic market insights and other content to wholesale clients, as well as support their communication, in turn, to end-user investors.
I unfortunately cannot show you any mock ups of our work due NDA reasons! But hopefully this photo paints a picture for you :)
We are currently in the phase of implementing these two concepts within the organisation. We will be conducting workshops with regions across Europe to understand how they work in different regions.
We will also be developing the key attitudinal personas to understand what content is necessary for them.