In our last blog post, we shared and explored the top 8 trends that are currently influencing wealth management onboarding. One of those trends is so pervasive and impactful that we felt it deserved its own blog post. That trend is the overwhelming shift towards integrated client onboarding experiences. Like we mentioned in our last post, firms have historically viewed the client onboarding process as a standalone process. But, today, firms are taking a broader, more client-centric view of the onboarding process.
The old approach to client onboarding was very limited and was often referred to as “New Account Opening.” During this process, the advisor or sales assistant filled out a large amount of paperwork for each account and sent it to the home office, who took the information from the forms and re-entered it into the firm’s back office system. This resulted in advisors and support teams wasting valuable time on highly manual tasks, which were often riddled with data-entry errors and caused delays in the account’s opening.
Today, firms are taking a more comprehensive, client-centric approach to the old ‘new account opening’ process, starting with the initial interactions advisors have with clients. Firms are moving away from the siloed approach, as many firms are beginning to view it as a component to the greater sales conversation and overall client relationship. Firms are designing their onboarding solutions and processes to allow for a seamless customer experience. This includes all of the activities from lead generation through account funding, including financial planning, portfolio construction and the straight-through processing for account opening.
There are a number of reasons why wealth management firms are reassessing their approach to client onboarding. One of the key reasons is that consumer demands and expectations are continuing to rise. Clients no longer have the patience for manual processes. They want to be able to open and fund accounts quickly and easily, with as few barriers as possible. Additionally, as technology becomes more advanced, it is better able to support the complexities of opening new brokerage accounts.
Regardless of the factors driving your firm’s onboarding transformation, let IFS know! We have led the transformation with many of the top wealth management firms and would love to talk to you and help you future-proof your business from the growing regulatory demands, evolving client expectations and increased emphasis on technology.