Asset Management
Developing a truly differentiated
client portal in Asset Management

Client portals within the Asset Management space have come a long way. Designed originally as simple online depositories to store, share and distribute information, they have now become a critical channel for Asset Managers to not only provide an outstanding customer experience across all of the client lifecycle, but to differentiate their organisation within the market place.

Asset Managers, like many other Financial Institutions, are under increasing pressure to provide their clients with a digital experience and self service capabilities that enable them to access information on investments, products and services on demand whenever they want it and in the format of their choosing.

The main challenge, is to create a client portal that can evolve, both in line with business needs and changing customer expectations. In this blog we explore the future of these portals and the foundations needed to ensure the delivery of an industry leading client experience.

Making a difference
An evolving
client offering

Greg Allsop, Beyond’s Asset Management Lead, compares future client portals to exclusive, luxury, high end ‘boutiques’ which bring together multiple applications and data sources to provide a seamless digital client experience that showcases all the products, services and reporting capability in a well-designed, curated and intuitive experience. Everything you could do manually before with an Asset Manager becomes digitised – from data rooms where prospects can perform online due diligence and complete onboarding processes, through to new and original functionality allowing clients to track their activity, create bespoke reports and discover new and exclusive products and services. Digital portals will no longer be about the reporting of monthly or quarterly information, they will need to be leveraged to support the full spectrum of the Client Lifecycle covering a multitude of requirements and functions.

For the Asset Manager too there are obvious benefits. These advanced client portals will enable the institutions to communicate with clients in an operationally efficient way. They will also be able to leverage the data within a client’s portal to identify cross selling opportunities and potentially drive new revenue streams. Opportunities can be marketed to clients based on data, rather than on sales teams or relationship managers – ensuring that there is relevance to the client and a streamlined approach to sign up. In addition, investor portals also have the opportunity to support the Asset Managers review their Fund Value Assessments by leveraging the portal to support the distribution and sharing of more comprehensive datasets that are not made in available in publicly shared feeds.

Providing a consistent mechanism for all client communications and a single site for clients to interact with the Asset Manager also creates a tool for continuous improvement. Over time, greater functionality and capability can be built into the portal, creating a unique platform which is not easy for competitors to replicate, allows direct interaction with the client and provides a single conduit for the collection of critical client data.

Delivering change
Developing a truly
differentiated client portal

At Beyond we’ve worked with a number of Asset Managers helping them navigate the journey to delivering a best in-class client portal. Our experience has highlighted key considerations for the process:

  1. Define a clear, and long term, vision for the client portal – think about what the organisation will want to offer clients on different time horizons, next year, in three years or and in ten years’ time. The client portal will need to be able to adapt and flex easily to changing needs.
  2. Address the ‘Buy or Build’ question quickly – in our experience, the major influencers of this decision are the size of the organisation (assets under management) and the degree to which the Asset Manager is focused on technology delivery. If the Asset Manager is very tech focused then building the solution internally is in keeping with their brand regardless of size.
  3. Ensure a well-defined RFP – this is a key prerequisite to ensuring that the solution’s functionality can deliver against the organisation’s short and long-term vision for the client portal. Requesting copies of the product roadmap will also ensure alignment with future business needs.
  4. Involve the right stakeholders – This will include a mixture of roles. From those who handle data requests from clients to those who are leading the digitisation efforts of the organisation. Once stakeholders are defined, there will need to be good engagement from the start of the project to develop a clear understanding of data coverage, quality and the technology delivery road map of the business.
  5. Prepare now for the data challenge – Data without doubt will be the biggest challenge in delivering a best in-class client portal. There needs to be a clear understanding of the sources of data and how they will be presented within the portal. Making the data accessible is a critical first step, followed by aggregating and enriching the data with external sources to create valuable information and deliver unique insights and experiences.
  6. Drive for architectural change – Given the breadth of data required, data portals present an excellent opportunity to rethink, redesign and deliver significant technology and data architecture changes to support the future growth of your business . Done right these architecture changes will make future digital or application implementations (requiring the same data sets) far simpler as they can leverage a standardised data model and data aggregation platform that can be utilised for numerous applications, driving plug and play delivery!

 

Next steps
How we can help

Beyond has worked with a number of Asset Management firms helping them to create highly intuitive and personalised client portals. Read one of our recent case studies here or contact us to discuss your specific challenges.

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