It’s not easy being a wealth management firm these days. In addition to striving for compliance and managing expenses in a world where fees are being compressed every day, clients are demanding first-class digital services and greater value from interactions with advisors. The pressure to deliver on all fronts leaves banks facing a squeeze, increasingly unable to focus on their core business. But new vendors are offering banks a way to go to market with modern, turnkey solutions that address digital and consumer challenges.
At FinDEVr Conference in San Francisco Trizic, a wealth management technology firm, announced the beta launch of its platform, Trizic Accelerator. It offers banks and wealth managers back-end efficiencies by automating tasks including portfolio management, rebalancing, compliance reporting, and client billing. And an open architecture API enables firms to customize advisory services for clients across digital channels without having to design or develop or maintain product themselves.
“If wealth management firms want to remain relevant today, or in 5 to 10 years to come, they need to provide their services to digital consumers how they want it,” says Brad Matthews, Trizic CEO and founder and a former JPMorgan private banker. Clients increasingly want their wealth management to be managed digitally, and to have relations with advisors over multiple channels. “Whether service is available online, mobile, on demand, or with a digital device of their choice, banks have to be prepared to deliver value on them.”
There’s a lot of frustration in the industry, he says, because managers want to move away from a lot of old systems, but it’s challenging and expensive to build something in-house from scratch, so more firms are farming them out or using third-party solutions. It’s even been rumored that independent wealth managers are increasingly looking to unload everything except the front office from their operations, so the advisors can simply focus on assets and client engagement.
Financial firms spend 54 percent of their time managing accounts, account openings, trading accounts, client billing, and reporting, Matthews says. “We can automate the majority of that, leaving just the bare bones interaction.” The Trizic Accelerator is also a cloud-based solution: “In that sense it is absolutely turnkey; firms can get something up in weeks versus months or years it takes to build.”
Comfort with cloud solutions varies by firm, but even large regional banks with a wealth management unit are looking to outsource back-end tasks and the production and maintenance of digital channels so as not to take up IT resources. The bigger wealth managers and banks have the internal resources to manage things, but are also starting to explore and adopt cloud-based solutions.
Managers know they are wasting time they could be spending growing their businesses or consulting with clients, Matthews says, and trends in the industry like the squeeze on fees and the emergence of the digital consumer make it high-time for a digital revolution of wealth management.