Is Brewin Dolphin’s new app changing the face of asset management ?

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When Wealth Management organisation Brewin Dolphin recently announced the launch of a new app Chief Operating Officer Grant Parkinson claimed that the app had been created in light of a changing client landscape.

The app is designed to provide clients instant access to their asset portfolios and performance, allowing them to sign in to their asset allocations how and when they want. Parkinson went on to say that his focus was to offer clients a superior user experience which will help to enrich services and its client proposition.

The asset management client landscape has been changing for some time. First, investors have become digital-first (prioritizing the online experience), self-directed (consume content and research online instead of asset management advisers) and disloyal (could move away as there are so many competitors eg Wealthfront, Betterment etc).

Emboldened in the digital era, investors who are now younger and more tech savvy, have become more and more dissatisfied with an adviser’s ability to meet their needs and therefore are quite capable of confidently moving to another company.

In KPMG’s paper ‘Asset Manager success hinges on customer experience’ it outlined the need for asset managers to change to seek strategies to become customer-centric. Shifting the focus away from the usual financial and sales performance, they should adopt an outside-in approach using data/content in a predictive manner to open new opportunities. Factors such as personalization, integrity, convenience and efficiency, consistently meeting and exceeding expectations and empathy all delivering the one thing that is affecting an asset management adviser’s ability to succeed …building and maintaining trust.

Now, more than ever, content is where the value of trust is engendered. Whatever the communication, high net worth individuals and institutional wealth clients are hungry for information and insights which will better inform their investment choices. This enables better decision making as an investor, greater loyalty and more trust in the process through a better user experience.

An app such as that of Brewin Dolphin shows that the market is indeed evolving and that customer experience is now high on the agenda which appeals to the new type of customer. One thing will need to be continually addressed and that is how to develop superior user experience to build and maintain trust? Further personalized content through the mobile app and by creating a superior web and email experience for investors will be crucial to further growth. Getting the right content to the right person at the right time will be essential. But how easy is that?

Some Asset Management companies are already using the help of companies such as Idio to address what right relevant content to deliver and build the essential mechanisms of trust, loyalty and user experience. To do this, they need to understand their audience’s emerging requirements and interests which are largely based on the content they consume.

Through data-based ‘content intelligence’ financial services marketers, researchers and client-facing advisers experts are able to derive actionable insight from the content that their clients read or interact with. Companies are then able to direct personalized next step communication to build valuable relationships and provide opportunities for further sales.

More and more wealth management companies are facing up to the fact that there is increased dissatisfaction among investors with their advisers’ ability to meet their needs and as a result, revenues are stalling. Shifting focus to a customer-centric approach is the first stage in developing a new strategy for customer relationship building and trust. Through the creation of new apps, companies are opening the door to further customer engagement and this new approach will be where user experience holds the key to further growth, personalized content will be the driving force behind it.

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