Wealth managers: be guided by personalization

Wealth managers have always segmented their client base to at least some degree. Most companies divide prospects and customers into basic categories such as retirees, newcomers, college savers, etc. These categories are well below what is needed today. To achieve the level of personalization required to deliver acceptable service levels in the digital age, wealth managers will need a nearly infinite number of personas, and they will need to adjust their service models to meet needs and preferences. of each one.

It sounds like an impossible task, but it’s not. The technologies widely available today allow wealth managers to provide hyper-personalized service, covering each client with a unique and personalized service model.

Data, data, data

This type of hyper-personalization starts with data about customers and their behavior. So when wealth managers are considering where to invest their technology budgets, data is always a good place to start. Investments should focus on three things: (1) data quality (bad data produces bad results); (2) data usage (data does not generate value without the digital tools that apply it where and when needed); and (3) data presentation (the right digital visualization package can turn even a standard performance report into a personalized engagement tool).

Wealth managers should use the personalization lens to evaluate other investments and strategies as well. Today’s wealth management clients run the gamut from digital natives of millennials with a personal approach to investing to baby boomers who still appreciate the touchscreen approach.

The only way to satisfy this diverse customer base is through a multi-channel model that serves each customer exactly how they want to be served, through exactly the channels they prefer. Achieving this goal will require tools that identify client preferences, a platform for the wealth manager to communicate through desired channels with at least some level of automation, and content tailored to needs and interests. of the specific customer.

In turn, integrating these new tools will require upgrades to middle and back office infrastructure. Wealth managers striving to personalize their service models need to break down siled legacy systems that only support fragmented views of their customer base. This transformation will require investments not only in technology, but also in the internal technology talent needed to implement and sustain it.

Wealth managers who feel overwhelmed by the complexity of today’s rapidly changing marketplace should default to personalization as their organizing principle. You don’t have to change everything all at once. Start by asking yourself this question: At the front, middle, and back office, which initiatives will go the furthest in personalizing your service model?

In an age of generational change in customer expectations and technology capabilities, it’s just another way of asking which investments will pay the most dividends in traditional metrics like customer retention, customer acquisition, and business growth.


Chris Perry has served as President of Broadridge Financial Solutions, where he coordinates the company’s global growth strategy and oversees Broadridge International, since 2020. He joined Broadridge in 2014 as Senior Corporate Vice President, Global Sales, marketing and client solutions and prior to that he spent over 25+ years in banking, brokerage and financial reporting, including 14 years as Global Chief Risk Officer for Thomson’s Finance and Risk Division Reuters. He sits on the board of directors of the Financial Services Institute.

Dolores W. Simon