CRM Comes to Wall Street, Part 5

Arthur O'Connor

Updated · Dec 23, 2002

In parts one and two, we covered some of the important trends driving wealth management strategies in the securities industry. In parts three and four, we looked at some of the business drivers for wealth management in private banking and brokerage firms. This column discusses key components of wealth management solutions.

Key Elements of a Wealth Management “Solution”

Key components of wealth management solutions include the following elements:

  • A desktop/workstation integrating CRM, financial planning, portfolio management, order entry, analytics, and execution and client reporting functionalities
  • A set of business services and enabling integration framework consolidating redundant business processes onto a common platform
  • An integration architecture leveraging open standards and Web services as an application integration layer

Desktop With Integrated Functionalities

The workstation (or dashboard) is designed to enable more productive, effective workflows for advisors to attract clients, manage money, and provide customer services by prioritizing tasks and pushing information to the user (instead of having users search for required data and functionality). This includes “smart” functionalities — filtering, alerts, and personalisation — to enable advisors to improve the relevance and quality of customer interaction.

Improved workflows also involve automating routine tasks (such as rekeying client account data or securities symbols) through either context passing in the desktop container or (preferably) an integrated/common client data model to create a fluid, seamless user experience.

Advisors become more productive. The user experience is designed to help them spend more time on relationship building and other client-facing activities, instead of on administration and housekeeping chores.

Business Services and Integration Framework

Redundant business processes include new account opening (now more difficult for firms, given the upcoming Customer Identification Program requirements of the USA Patriot Act), trade order management, and exception management processes to lower operating processing and handling costs.

Streamlining and integrating manually based processes lower staff costs and cycle times. Financial firms are starting to use instant messaging to support collaborative workflows between client account team members.

Integration Architecture

This solution also uses a real-time messaging infrastructure to help normalize and synchronize data coming from many disparate sources to support all of the above.

A consistent infrastructure based on open standards and industry protocols not only helps lower operating costs and ease integration by reducing dependency on proprietary technology, but it also provides a logical extension or road map to a pure Web services environment for the future.

With an n-tiered architecture — the separation of presentation from business logic — this type of system design can readily incorporate new technology or business services without affecting the downstream client environment, thus lowering operational and maintenance costs.

In the last installment, we’ll look at some of the important challenges facing all types of securities firms in implementing these solutions.

Agree? Don’t agree? Got an insight, opinion, or real-world example to share? What are your thoughts? Write to me. And stay turned for part six.

Reprinted from ClickZ.

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