How Salesforce Empowers Wealth Managers to Deliver Personalized Services at Scale, CIO News, ET CIO

The wealth management industry in India is at an inflection point. This inflection is driven by a marked shift in the emotional and economic maturity of customers, which in turn drives changes across multiple vectors – digitalization, service delivery, product innovation and personalization.

Himanshu Rajpal, Senior Director – Strategy and Industry Development – Financial Services, Salesforce, discusses the impact of technology on the wealth management industry in India.

Can you tell us about the wealth management industry in India?

The affluent middle class population is growing and, according to World Economic Forum estimates, 80% of India’s population is expected to belong to the middle class segment by 2030, up from around 50% in 2019.

According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, an Indian government export promotion agency (IBEF), the High Net Worth Person (HNI) population in India is expected to grow by 75% from 3.50 lakh in 2020 to 6.11 lakh in 2020. 2025. The number of ultra HNIs (UHNIs) in India is expected to increase by 63% from 6,884 in 2020 to 11,198 in 2025. India’s wealth market is estimated at US$5.5 trillion by 2025.

Some of the interesting trends we are seeing in this space today can be, basically, broken down into two broad categories:

1. At the industry level, we are seeing an increased focus on unified platform experiences, big data analytics and robotic consulting, personalization for UHNWs, and rapid digitization across the organization.
2. At the client level, we are seeing the emergence of alternative asset classes, the “financialization” of savings, and a global holistic view of financial planning and wellness experiences.

What has been the impact of Covid-19 on the wealth management industry in India?

While there was an initial impact on the markets, wealth managers who anticipated the worst in terms of capital flight and client attrition were ready to manage the scenarios. Today, clients are better informed of market changes to their assets, reducing panic and focusing more on portfolio recalibration.

In fact, many clients wanted to start increasing their exposure in pockets where value was appearing due to asset repricing. We have seen some interesting changes in the market as a result of Covid-19:
● Record number of new investors entering Indian stock markets – over 14.2 million new demat accounts were opened in FY21 alone.
● Demographic change with a reduction in the average age of investors – the participation of millennials in the space is changing the risk profile, approach and relationship with money.
● Conscious focus on risk and recalibration of portfolio allocations.
● Full range of wealth management covering estate and estate planning.

How can digital solutions help wealth managers create value for their clients?

Successful wealth management is built on trust and the ability to reflect a deep understanding of clients. The wealth business is not just about managing money or investments, but also about developing a nuanced understanding of each client’s relationship with their money.

Today’s evolved customer is aware, mobile, value-seeking and demands personalized yet non-intrusive services. These expectations can only be met through a hybrid approach – in which the client can experience warm interaction, empathy and seamless communication in person, while digital fosters incisive understanding, breadth access and holistic portfolio perspectives.

Digital wealth management solutions enable wealth managers to provide omnichannel access to solutions, deliver personalized advice at scale, improve ecosystem experience and create deep value through agility , relevance and rapid delivery of solutions to all stakeholders.

What are the myths about tech adoption in this space?

The future of wealth management is hybrid. Technology is, in fact, a critical enabler that supports advisor efforts to deliver deep value and experience to their clients and provides the latitude for growth.

The wealth management industry is changing in unprecedented ways, and the adoption of technology has become a key enabler in preparing businesses for this change.

There are apprehensions or myths around technology adoption – and we need to dispel them to accelerate that adoption:

Data protection and privacy will be compromised: in fact, cloud infrastructure is a cost-effective way to ensure compliance with privacy standards. Cloud providers today have introduced several ways to enable seamless integration of external key managers, further improving data protection and privacy without compromising usability.

Financial services firms are also concerned that cloud functionality, especially for projects involving advanced analytics, will require granting vendors access to sensitive, unencrypted data. However, with recent advancements in cloud technology, providers are now able to maintain privacy without compromising analytics functionality. Machine learning and computation are increasingly being applied to encrypted data stored in the cloud.

Digital transformation is only for big business: smaller, newer financial services firms have actually benefited more from the adoption of new technologies. The improved scalability, adaptability and interoperability offered by new technologies have been central to the growth of companies such as Starling and Monzo in the UK, Nubank in Brazil and PasarPolis in Indonesia. The pure design of new technology models that are hosted, plug-and-play, and SaaS-based democratize access for small and medium businesses so they can build, innovate, design, and deliver with speed and finesse, creating an advantage competitive with traditional organizations.

CRM is for the sales team only: Where once a CRM may have been just a rolodex of contact information, these platforms have now expanded their capabilities to become an essential operating tool for the whole organization. The information in a CRM can be useful for every role in a consulting firm, from customer service to marketing teams. Having a place where all of this information is available and up-to-date will streamline vital processes for everyone with any type of customer interaction.

Digital savvy is the preserve of millennial investors: Covid-19 has been the biggest debunker of this myth. Several research reports have revealed that digital tools have gained popularity among categories and generations of investors – baby boomers and millennials – faster than ever and without discrimination. In fact, older, wealthier customers drive digital engagement to about the same degree as millennials. Similarly, millennials want more face-to-face meetings in addition to digital interaction.

How can financial advisors leverage technology to enable seamless customer experiences? Can you clarify the role of Salesforce in this area, with some examples?

Wealth managers today work in a fairly complex, competitive and dynamic environment – ​​retaining clients, providing them with above-market returns and relevance, maximizing revenue, improving AUM and also managing compliance and risk.

Salesforce helps businesses stay ahead of their customers’ demands while delivering premium experiences that exceed their expectations. Our platform makes it possible to connect with investors from any device and across any channel, enabling engagement in micro-moments and matching investments to each client’s unique financial goals.

A 360-degree customer view helps financial advisors visualize who their customers are, what they want, and what their financial goals are. This rich information enables them to tailor financial advice and services, while reaching customers when they need you most.

In a nutshell, salesforce helps wealth management firms throughout the investor lifecycle by:

● Improve the client and advisor experience: we help advisors have a single source of truth about their investors, while maximizing operational efficiency by automating onboarding, service and financial advice.
● Deliver differentiated service every time: We help businesses build trusted customer relationships from day one with personalized and timely experiences across any channel and at every touchpoint.
● Leverage analytics and AI to make every interaction smarter: We help organizations anticipate opportunities, recognize unmet customer needs, and recommend next best actions.
We have pre-built data models and processes to help any wealth management firm realize value faster. We’ve included capabilities to manage complex client relationships across households and centers of influence, make better decisions based on client goals and life events so investors can manage their wealth smarter and achieve their financial goals.

Edelweiss Global Wealth Management, for example, has made significant progress in its quest to become the most client-centric wealth management firm in the world. Since adopting Salesforce, the company’s customer satisfaction ratings have increased from 78% to 92%. Teams are better able to monitor customer sentiment, personalize services and resolve issues. Financial advisors have a single view of all client interactions and profiles to transform the client-advisor experience.

This fast-growing company had US$2 billion in assets under advisory in 2015 – today it is US$15 billion. Prior to using Salesforce, the company had 15-20 different systems that were not integrated with each other, resulting in a fragmented view of its investors. With the rapid growth of the industry, Edelweiss has seen increased pressure on processes, service delivery and customer experience.

At Salesforce, we understand that beyond simply speaking the language of our customers, truly understanding their business and knowing the challenges and opportunities they face, we can truly be a partner in their success.

Based on feedback from clients around the world, we invested in creating a premier wealth management solution, Financial Services Cloud. Our industry capability helps financial services institutions build trusting relationships by putting the customer at the center of their business.

Dolores W. Simon