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Why Wealth Managers Need Effective Client Onboarding

Many wealth managers are losing money because they do not understand client onboarding. Unfortunately, onboarding done wrong will drive clients away; because the onboarding process begins the moment, a prospect becomes a client.

This failure drives clients away because onboarding is the formal process of bringing a customer into a platform. Unfortunately, many wealth managers make the mistake of turning the client onboarding process over to clerical staff, or worse a legacy platform.

Many platforms lose clients because onboarding processes can be slow, cumbersome, complex, confusing, and frustrating. Some platforms will ask for the same data or paperwork repeatedly, for example.

Under these circumstances, wealth managers lose the client the moment he or she comes onboard. Wealth managers lose business because just one mistake in onboarding can drive a client away.

 “A great example of Wealth Intelligence is an onboarding process that quickly collects information directly from clients digitally. Instead of having employees ask a client questions and enter the data manually. The client can answer the questions in an app or online.”

Why Onboarding is Even More Important in Asia

A good onboarding process is even more important for Asian wealth managers. To explain, many emerging market clients are new rich; and often unfamiliar with wealth management, and investment options.

Consequently, even sophisticated clients will need extra help. Yet, it is often hard for wealth managers to know if a client needs help.

To make matters worse, younger clients/millennials have lived all their lives in a digital economy that often provides near instantaneous customer service. Today’s client is used to placing orders instantly on Amazon or Alibaba. Consequently, an onboarding process that takes several weeks will frustrate that client.

Something to remember is that Chinese clients have been full participants in the digital economy for over a decade. Therefore, Chinese wealth management clients will require an onboarding process closer to WeChat Pay rather than a series of interviews or questionnaires.

For example, an app that asks all the pertinent questions once. Such an app only needs to ask questions because it can verify the client’s identity through biometrics. Obviously, the easiest and most seamless method of verification will be fingerprint or facial recognition using the customer’s phone.

Some Attributes of a Good Onboarding Process

Here are some attributes of an effective wealth management client onboarding process:

  • The process is simple and seamless. For example, the client only needs to enter information once.
  • The process is fast. The client receives a response to all inquiries within a few seconds or minutes. Note: the response does not have to be an answer. In fact, an acknowledgement that somebody is working on the problem will usually suffice.
  • The wealth manager receives an update on every step of the process. Ideally, the platform will inform the wealth manager of all problems. Thus, the manager will know of trouble the moment it starts.
  • The process complies with all laws and regulations. Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), tax reporting, privacy regulations, etc.
  • All managers and executives need to complete the onboarding process themselves to see if it works.

What Your Onboarding Technology Needs to Do

Utilize the latest technology; biometric identification, blockchain, etc.

  • Offer fast access to an app that gives the client full access to the wealth management platform. Remember, today’s client normally gets all the information he or she wants through his or her phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To stay competitive, wealth managers must offer a similar capability.
  • Use technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), and robotic process automation to process applications as quickly as possible.
  • Ideally, one team will oversee client onboarding for the entire organization. That teams’ job is to get new clients into the system quickly and seamlessly.
  • The more automation the better because automation can increase speed and efficiency. More importantly, automated processes can reduce errors and limit security risks by lessening the need for human involvement. Remember, algorithms have no incentive to lie or steal.


Source of Graph: Group Futurista

All wealth managers need to monitor client onboarding carefully and understand each aspect of the process. Effective onboarding can lead to happy clients who invest more money.

For modern wealth managers, effective onboarding is essential. If you do not serve clients needs fully from the beginning, the clients will leave and take their money.




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