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Jaco Cebula on key considerations for wealth managers planning their digital strategy
Jaco Cebula, Chief Technology Officer of Multrees Investor Services, comments on the key considerations for wealth managers planning their digital strategy:
An issue for many seasoned wealth professionals today is defining a digital proposition that supports their business strategy but that does not expose their company to a greater cyber security threat.
Wealth managers are largely playing 'catch up' in trying to define and implement a digital strategy, but in the rush to bridge that gap, there are two key areas that are critical to success:
- Firstly, a digital strategy does not exist in a vacuum - it should be defined in the context of the overall business strategy, and be complementary to the more traditional channels in which wealth managers operate
- Secondly, increased exposure to the internet through digital simultaneously increases the risk of a cyber security breach (whether cyber-attacks or more subtle financial fraud). Security measures cannot simply be 'bolted on' after the fact, and must be included in initial design plans
Those working within the wealth industry should define their digital strategy in the context of these key questions:
- How does this complement your business strategy?
- What channels are you targeting, and how do you want to interact with your customers?
- How do you plan to manage and update content?
- And finally, do you have access to the appropriate expertise to manage your exposure to cyber security threats?
Overall, technology remains a complex topic with regulation continuing to drive and shape the future of this space.
Wealth management firms face an ongoing challenge in terms of risk and security but technology remains a key opportunity for competitive advantage re client experience and operational benefits.
Multrees Investor Services Goes Live with Digital Keystone’s Adaptive Portal
Digital Keystone's State-of-the-Art Customer Experience Platform Powers the Multrees Compass
Digital Keystone, a leading provider of financial services software, is pleased to announce that Multrees Investor Services (Multrees) has successfully implemented the Adaptive Portal to enhance the existing functionality available in the Compass platform and support the delivery of services fully aligned with its clients' digital strategies.
With one single sign-on, Multrees Compass provides a range of functionality and a suite of integrated self-service solutions including global custody, portfolio modelling, order management, multi-level business intelligence reporting and analytics. The technology is device agnostic and runs smoothly across PC, Smartphone and Tablet.
"As Multrees continues to grow, we need sophisticated and secure technology to enhance our customer experience" said Chris Fisher, CEO of Multrees. "Digital Keystone is an industry specialist and their Adaptive Portal is a great solution. It's user-friendly, flexible and allows for rapid implementation of new functionality."
"The Adaptive Portal is a game-changer for financial services companies with ambitious digital transformation plans," said Ihab El-Saie, Managing Director of Digital Keystone "Multrees has an exciting and forward thinking vision and we look forward to working with them to help the firm deliver the highest levels of service to their clients."
The Adaptive Portal enables financial services companies to improve their online channels, enhance customer experiences, and create clear, simple and intuitive user journeys for PC, Smartphone and Tablet. The software provides elegant and intuitive user-interfaces to present financial information and functionality, together with a framework for integrating underlying and third party systems and digital content.
thewealthnet.com article: Outsourcing 101 - a provider’s perspective
Outsourcing 101: a provider's perspective, Karen Gilchrist thewealthnet.com 08.10.2015
Although still in its infancy and a topic of continued debate, outsourcing is now a reality for half of wealth management firms. As uptake looks set to continue, prospective clients should consider what they can do appeal to providers.
Turning the premise of Compeer's latest research project on its head (see thewealthnet 07/10/2015), Chris Fisher, chief executive of Multrees Investor Services, urged the audience of wealth managers to ask not 'does outsourcing work for wealth management firms?' but 'do wealth managers work for providers?'.
Outsourcing - or the offloading of a task to a third party - is nothing new. The concept has been around since virtually year dot; but it remains "relatively immature" within the wealth management industry as high costs, increased regulation and data protection concerns have historically deterred firms. However, Compeer's latest research suggests that half of firms are now outsourcing their IT and operations, with a further 17 percent considering doing so in the near future.
With five years' experience in providing outsourced services for investment managers and family offices, Mr Fisher highlighted some of the questions he should but "surprisingly doesn't get asked about" by prospective clients. These included whether the provider is a realist or simply a 'yes person' and whether they have the capacity to manage your needs, both now and further down the line. This, he said, was a case of buyer beware, and wealth managers must do their research. However, he warned firms to watch out for referee bias, where referees may have ulterior motives for wanting you to share the same outsourcer.
Mr Fisher also pointed out some of the key turn-offs when establishing a partnership with a prospective client. Here, price and passing the buck of responsibility were the top ranking. "If the first question is price, forget it. It's a value proposition: what value is your business going to get long-term. Similarly, if I get the sense that people are trying to absolve themselves of any responsibility to do with regulation, that's a pretty big turn off for me."
Alongside listening to feedback from providers, who may have suggestions to improve a firm's business model, establishing compatibility and maintaining a relationship should be key. "Provider-client relationships are relationships. If there's not a daily, weekly or monthly get together or team building exercise that's a really simple way for a relationship to turn sour or end prematurely." Mr Fisher's wealth manager warnings were later echoed by fellow speaker Jerry Crossfield, vice president of business development at L3C LLP, who said: "Wealth management is based on relationships. You should be able to formulate a good relationship with your provider."
Mr Crossfield's presentation also drew on Compeer's research, particularly in terms of IT and its impact on firms' scalability. According to the study, 33 percent of firms either strongly disagreed or disagreed with the statement 'our model makes efficient use of IT systems.' Poorly performing legacy systems are one of the major reasons for this and Mr Crossfield urged firms not to feel inadequate if they need to call in specialists to update these. He added: "The market is now demanding a digitised service. If you don't fill the gap, disrupters certainly will."
The presentations were made in association with Compeer at a conference held at London's Fishmonger's Hall on Tuesday 6 October. The evening also revealed the findings of Compeer's latest research into outsourcing, which drew on the views of wealth managers, investment managers and private banks who collectively manage £200 billion of assets and generate £1.5 billion in revenues.
Copywrite www.thewealthnet.com reproduced with their kind permission
Multrees is chosen by AllianceBernstein as administration and custody provider
- Multrees is selected as the provider for AllianceBernstein's innovative, low cost income solution for individuals transitioning into retirement
- The income solution is known as Retirement Bridge℠
Multrees has been selected as the provider of administration and custody for AllianceBernstein's retirement income solution Retirement Bridge℠. Billed as the UK's first low-cost, flexible, default retirement income solution, Retirement Bridge℠ offers a sustainable income solution in the early stages of pensions decumulation.
"Retirement Bridge℠, built as a separately managed account service, needs effective, efficient administration and custody support," according to David Porter, Head of Pensions Investment Delivery at AB. "We selected Multrees as they provided the best technology and service combination allowing us to offer a solution that all defined contribution scheme members between 55 to 75 can access cost-effectively irrespective of the amount of their pension savings."
Founder and CEO of Multrees Investor Services, Chris Fisher commented: "By partnering with Multrees, AllianceBernstein has found a unique way to deliver a private client level of service within an institutional investment environment. We are pleased to be supporting this smart innovation in a growing area - pensions decumulation. We see a huge opportunity as asset managers look to develop bespoke solutions for retirees that are cost-efficient, even for small pension pots, flexible and scalable."
For further information on Retirement Bridge℠ see:
Multrees appoints former Fidelity UK CEO, Hugh Mullan, as non-executive director
Multrees Investor Services, the independent custody and consolidated reporting specialist for wealth managers and family offices, has appointed former Fidelity UK CEO Hugh Mullan as a non-executive director.
Hugh Mullan joins Multrees Investor Services from his prior role as the UK CEO at Fidelity Worldwide Investment. He has extensive experience managing investment and retail savings businesses as well as broad knowledge of financial services operations and technology.
Whilst at Fidelity, Hugh was also a member of the company's Global Operating Committee and, prior to his UK CEO role, he managed customer services, operations, technology and fund accounting across all of Fidelity's European businesses. He joined Fidelity in 2008 from Barclays Wealth where he held roles as chief operating officer of the Investment and Product Division and as global head of operations. Hugh has also held senior business and operations roles at Schroders and Citibank.
Nigel Pilkington, chairman of Multrees, comments: "Attracting someone of Hugh's calibre to Multrees is incredibly exciting for the business. He is exceptionally talented across a broad range of business needs, making him an ideal individual to help provide further industry expertise and guidance to the Multrees board."
Chris Fisher, CEO of Multrees, says: "We are very much looking forward to having Hugh join as a non-executive director. His experience of the investment, IT and wealth management industries, alongside his in-depth experiences across operations, ensure he will be an invaluable asset. His new role will provide an ideal aid for our chief operating officer, Clive Stelfox, and chief technology officer, Jaco Cebula, as we grow and scale our business efficiently in our core target markets."
Hugh Mullan adds: "I am delighted to be joining Multrees at this important stage in its development. These are interesting times for wealth managers as regulation and increasing customer sophistication challenge business models. Through its investment in modern technology, and its strong service focus, Multrees is well-positioned to support the growth and success of its clients."
BNY Mellon selected as global sub-custodian by Multrees Investor Services
BNY Mellon, a global leader in investment management and investment services, has been appointed by Multrees Investor Services, a UK-based specialist provider of outsourced support services to boutique asset managers and family offices, to provide global custody and related services.
Under the terms of the new mandate, BNY Mellon will take on the role of Multrees' sub-custodian network and also provide foreign exchange services.
Chris Fisher, CEO at Multrees Investor Services, said: "The team at BNY Mellon has supported us through a professional and robustly controlled transition, ensuring a successful implementation process. Over the coming months we look forward to further growing our business with the support of the diverse range of services BNY Mellon has to offer."
Daron Pearce, global investment manager segment head at BNY Mellon, said: "Our long track-record as a global custodian and administrator means we are ideally positioned to help Multrees to meet its strategic goals through a combination of innovative solutions, market expertise and high quality service."