Technology

Hybrid Wealth: Are You Really Optimized To Get The Best From Digitization?

Christine Schmid, additiv, Head of Strategy, Zurich, 25 March 2021

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Digital banking is more than a mobile app, and wealth management is no exception: it is about creating an entire experience to secure clients. Christine Schmid, Head of Strategy at additiv, reviews the true opportunities and fundamental considerations when adopting end-to-end digital wealth management.

When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar
 - George Westerman, MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy

Hybrid wealth – the best of both worlds   
Wealth management clients' needs vary. How clients wish to interact with their bank varies and evolves throughout their relationship and depends on the market environment. But banks must be ready to support at all times. There will be periods when clients wish for independence, and at other times they will seek guidance on the risks involved. They might even want the bank to handle everything. 

Banks must be ready, and, as Steve Jobs said: “It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.” To offer a rich service throughout a client’s journey and lifecycle, banks must have a “hybrid” wealth solution. And finally, this must be achieved efficiently.

A hybrid approach enables clients to be offered the service that best suits their individual needs, and chose how they want to be served. Depending on these needs, the advice or support available is human or self-service, supported by intelligent analytics and offers real value:

•    It enables clients to be served far more efficiently (only accessing relationship managers/advisors when there is a real need);
•    It allows advisors to walk through proposals, optimizations and simulations in real-time; and  
•    It ensures that relationship managers remain productive and focused on clients when it matters most, which in turn improves scalability for banks. 

Rather than impeding the client relationship, a hybrid approach actually encourages collaboration - supporting in-person and remote advisor and client conversations through a multitude of channels. This approach goes way beyond the “next best trade" concept.

However, there is a common misconception about one aspect of a hybrid service: the self-service approach.  It is often confused with robo-advisor online wealth management platforms, which offer automated portfolio management, but these are poles apart.  A self-service model allows clients to gain insights and complete actions that historically would have been undertaken by an advisor as an administrative function.  

At additiv, our Hybrid Wealth Manager product enables banks to offer a truly digital solution. It is a set of digital applications for managing investments and client relationships: Workbench, Mobile Advisor and an advanced self-service model: Client Cockpit. Unlike a robo approach, our Client Cockpit only automates the menial elements previously undertaken by the bank and really puts clients with their advisor in the driver’s seat. It does this by:  

•    Offering users tools to view portfolio impact simulations 
•    Providing complete clarity by showing interactive views of positions and performance
•    Presenting personalized content, next best trade and idea generation
•    Giving quick and easy consent for advisor proposals and proposal exchange 
•    Offering real-time, secure and collaborative remote advisor, call centre communication at any time, from anywhere

Our Hybrid Wealth Manager product gives a rich and seamless customer experience across all client touchpoints. 

Build-your-own bank – the anticipated next step for APIs    
So digital should enable choice. But that choice should not just be limited to interacting through the methods best suited to the client. It should also enable banks to offer clients a range of functionality and products, to add real value.  

An application programming interface (API) enables this. APIs make it easier for developers to build products, to link with solutions and services, and thus broaden the opportunities to offer a wider range to clients. An API is a set of rules and protocols that allows clients to interact with any user agent or third-party channel to access products or services in a safe, simple and flexible way.  

At additiv, APIs are the backbone of our Hybrid Wealth Manager solution. Our omnichannel, front end-agnostic approach exploits RESTful APIs, leveraging all the benefits of APIs while also taking advantage of existing protocols to provide a high level of flexibility. These sit on top of our cloud-based orchestration engine, our DFS® system of intelligence. 

Built from the ground up, DFS® is a single platform with the agility to adapt to changing needs and the intelligence to deliver personalization, at scale. It makes an ongoing digital roadmap operable. 

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