Let's talk about wealth management firms and CRM.
Wealth management firms are financial advisors, but with unique requirements. Many are family offices with perhaps ten advisors. These advisors succeed based on the strength of building and maintaining relationships. Historically, each of them tends to have their own customer base, their own “book” of clients.
Often advisors track their interactions with clients with their personal notes or using a simple tracking system like Excel. Often, they save them in a client folder, for example, “The Brown Family.”
While this system can work, albeit inefficient, for many top performers, it does not meet the needs of the entire firm. It is not organized, it can’t easily be searched, and it can’t be shared across the firm. And if something happens to the individual advisor, that information goes with him or her or is difficult to piece together.
Wealth management firms that want to succeed in today’s competitive market are turning to technology such as CRM (customer relationship management) systems.
Here are 7 unique challenges a CRM system can solve for wealth management firms:
1.Manage relationships, know the players
In wealth management, there are so many related relationships to manage, beyond just the client relationship. Especially the household and extended family relationships: parents, siblings, children, grandparents, even cousins. An advisor needs to have the big picture when they sit down with their client and really understand the makeup of the family wealth.
Suppose your firm has a policy of only work with clients with a million dollars or more in investable assets. Johnny comes to you, ready to start an investment portfolio with $10,000. If he talks to the wrong advisor, who does not know his household value, he might be politely declined.
The advisor needs to know, from looking into the CRM system, that Johnny’s parents have invested several million dollars with the firm. That fact could impact the decision to take him on as a client. That is a decision you can now make with full insight.
2. Manage the legal instruments, know your client
Legal instruments include such things as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. These legal instruments are part of the larger family picture. By looking into your shared CRM system, anyone at the firm can say, “The Brown family has their will with us. Who is the trustee of that will? Who are the beneficiaries? Have there been any life changes, such as divorce or births, that would change the information we have? When was the last time we met with the Brown family to discuss updates? What was discussed?” When information is visible, the responsibility to remember to regularly update these legal instruments does not need to fall on the shoulders of just one advisor.
3. Manage fees, avoid client confusion
Wealth management firms charge fees. It might be an annual fee for sitting down with a client to understand their goals, determining where their interests lie as far as different investments and setting time aside to look at and manage their portfolio throughout the year. Or it could be an annual sum plus a quarterly rebalancing fee. There could also be complex commission calculations involved.
With the right CRM system, you are going to know what services are being used. You can quickly review the costs with the client.
And the firm can pull reports to see that everything is being billed correctly for each client and analyze the most profitable areas of the business.
4. Manage client interactions, the client never forgets
Even the best advisors can’t remember, or locate, every interaction with a client, but the client always remembers. Sometimes a few of those lost details can be crucial. What if a client insists they told an advisor they wanted to change a beneficiary, but there are no records of it? In the right CRM system, phone calls can be noted, and emails that come in via Outlook can automatically be attached to the client record. This adds an extra layer of convenience for the advisor and an extra layer of security for the firm.
5. Manage holdings, one consolidated view, proactive alerts
Advisors need to be able to get a snapshot, in one place, to see a client’s investments and strategy. Are they interested in balanced funds or growth stocks? What is their propensity for risk? What do their portfolios look like? The right CRM system can integrate with one or more portfolio management systems to consolidate client investment information. Once the client’s investments are consolidated, the system can provide alerts to the advisor. Examples include showing if a client has a roll-over due, or a CD the is reaching maturity, a cash balance is too high, or a client has reached mandatory retirement age. All of these situations can alert the advisor to determine if an action needs to take place.
6. Manage intermediary relationships, measure referral value
Tracking a client’s tax and legal advisors can provide valuable information. If the firm is managing someone's will, the advisory needs to know the attorney the family is using. Perhaps your firm even recommended a specific tax/legal advisor, and you want to know if that was successful, or they referred a client to you and you want to track the referral history. All of this can be recorded in the right CRM system.
7. Manage documents, oh so many documents
So many documents get created relating to each client. The right CRM system has secure document management, like Microsoft’s SharePoint, integrated into the application. A common problem area is new client onboarding. When Mr. Brown is added as a new client, there are documents required to be signed. Every firm needs a systematic and reliable way to confirm all required documents are signed and nothing is overlooked.
The Bottom Line
Wealth management firms need to manage many different types of information as it relates to their client relationships, from family relationships, legal instruments, fees, client interactions, holdings, and more. Information that is not organized in a single system makes the management of this data an administrative burden and introduces inefficiencies across the firm. Silos of information also introduce risk to the firm through information loss, lower advisor productivity, and client attrition.
The team at Crowe understands the unique challenges wealth managers face. That is why we developed Crowe CRM for Wealth Management for Microsoft Dynamics 365.
The Right CRM System
Crowe CRM for Wealth Management is built upon the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform for Microsoft Dynamics® 365. It is easy-to-use and integrated with the productivity tools advisors already use – like Microsoft® Outlook, Excel, Word, and LinkedIn. Its mobile capabilities make it available to everyone, everywhere.
It's flexible, easy to modify, and can be cost-effective compared to some of the other wealth management tools on the market.
Crowe CRM for Wealth Management can help improve your clients' experiences, increase advisor productivity, and provide effective ways to analyze your business and client needs.
By Ryan Plourde, Crowe, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner