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thewealthnet: Multrees at the PAM Annual Front Office Dinner
“Having cutting-edge technology is only of use if you have the right quality of enthusiastic staff to help innovate and deliver advances for your business”, Farzana Khalil, Client Solutions Manager at Multrees Investor Services told the PAM Annual Front Office Dinner.
“Today we are in a digital age, where empowered buyers demand a new level of customer obsession. This is compared to an earlier industrial age where manufacturing firms such as Ford thrived with mass production of relatively simple products and processes through traditional skill sets”.
“Facebook and Apple are trying to understand and anticipate what their clients need; however, if you really look into their business models, they are also actually trying to guide their clients on what their needs should be. Therefore, if we compare today to the industrial age from about 100 years ago, we can see that there is now greater uncertainty in the value drivers and skills needed to ensure a satisfied client base,” Ms Khalil said.
“In this age there are greater skills required for increasingly complex jobs, there’s mass customisation for the consumer and it is all about value-add products and processes. In the digital age, robo-advisors, a new type of wealth manager has emerged into the industry and they are driving wealth management in different ways”, Ms Khalil noted.
“With the advent of automation in the industry, everyone has a different view on how to engage with our clients, with the “robo-advisers, they’re aiming to deliver a 24/7 seamless, faultless and faster service. Unless you operate a ‘follow the sun’ model, it’s very difficult to do that without technology,” Ms Khalil said.
Ms Khalil noted that what the robo-advisers did successfully was having a “laser-like focus” on the customer proposition coupled with a “willingness to apply technology in fresh ways.” They really focused on the digital experience of the consumer. Robo-advisers implement the use case of the investment management process and built a platform product out of this. They focus on a real challenge, however they don’t see it as a "challenge, but as an opportunity - they looked into the inhibitors and in overcoming these, put the platform out for adoption with the consumers."
As wealth managers, clients require you to talk about the world, the market and how we can help them with their lives going forward. The important thing for wealth managers “is balancing clients’ digital expectations and the need for human collaboration. Innovation has been there along the way throughout the ages piecing things together, but when innovation fails it’s not usually due to a lack of creativity, but it’s almost always because of a lack of discipline,” said Ms Khalil.
“We naturally assume that technology can solve all the problems but it is important to view the reality behind the hype. We spend millions each year and drive new technology solutions into our businesses, however we sometimes forget to look at the structure, the data quality and, most importantly, the ‘buy-in’ from our people. Change plays a big impact on staff morale and some of the innovative technology solutions coming through will also play an impact on the status quo,” she added.
Whilst robotic process automation has its positives, as humans are not very good at repetitive activity, so you can remove the mundane and manual elements of what they’re doing day to day, the negative however is the perception of job losses. Ms Khalil continued, “the emotional impact can play a large factor in whether or not you’re successful in delivering change within your organisation.”
Fostering the right culture is achieved through helping staff understand how innovation can improve their day-to-day lives in how they work and also how what they do contributes to the wider business. “A culture of innovation really stems from the top - from you, as the leaders, really empowering your people with the strategy, the client engagement model and how your staff can help shape and drive how things work.”
“In this way we have a more focused workforce, and one that will come up with new ideas and deliver solutions for how things can develop. As a result of automation, we are finding that the requirements of the human resource need to be of a higher standard. More than we originally expected it to be and therefore, you not only need them to think smarter but to work smarter too. Ultimately, attracting and retaining the right quality staff plays a big impact on success,” Ms Khalil said.
Commenting on the client service lifecycle, Ms Khalil said: “Looking at client on-boarding, client suitability and portfolio modelling, right through to the end result of client reporting, there are chances for collaboration in all these cases. Fintech firms are focused on niche parts within that end-to-end process, proving that you can have innovation at every stage and it doesn’t need to be a big bang approach. The key thing is staff engagement around the ideas that come from you and your teams. Essentially you are entrepreneurs – understanding what has taken place with the markets, your clients and collaborating to discuss new ideas driving the real change.”
Furthermore, innovation is taking place right at the operating model stage. “Gamification methodologies are coming through where, for example, users can set themselves fines for guilty pleasure spending. Technology is available beyond our comprehension and as an industry we are behind, but we will catch up,” Ms Khalil said.
She added, “it really comes down to this: with things being so uncertain today, can you afford to be in the late majority, or even worse, the laggards, in not exploring potential ideas and use cases from your teams to see where they might take you. If you employ the right people and develop the right culture, they will help ensure that your business is constantly innovating and improving.”
The PAM Annual Front Office Dinner took place on 8 May 2017 at the Goring Hotel in London. It was attended by 20 members of senior front office staff, three speakers and was chaired by the founder of PAM Insight, James Anderson. The evening was kindly supported by Multrees.
Multrees wins two WealthBriefing European Awards
Multrees is pleased to announce that we have won two awards at the WealthBriefing European Awards 2018: 'Outsourcing Solution' and 'Global Custodian to Private Client Businesses'.
Showcasing ‘best of breed’ providers in the global private banking, wealth management and trusted advisor communities, the awards were designed to recognise companies, teams and individuals which the prestigious panel of judges deemed to have ‘demonstrated innovation and excellence during 2017’. Sky News, Sunrise Anchor, Sarah-Jane Mee, presented the awards during a glitzy gala black-tie dinner, at the Guildhall in the City of London.
ClearView Financial Media’s CEO, and Publisher of WealthBriefing, Stephen Harris, was first to extend his congratulations to all the winners. He said: “The firms who triumphed in these awards are all worthy winners, and I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations. These awards were judged solely on the basis of entrants’ submissions and their response to a number of specific questions, which had to be answered focusing on the client experience, not quantitative performance metrics.
The judging panel also offered comments on each of the winning entries. For the Outsourcing Solution award, the judges thought that our ‘focused approach on tailoring its work for customers was a winning factor in this category’. In their comments for the Global Custodian for Private Client Businesses, they said that: ‘This was a tricky choice, but the panel were attracted by one firm’s approach to the safety of client assets and its use of technology to enhance the client experience.’
Chris Fisher, CEO at Multrees, said: ‘I’m proud of each and every one at Multrees that has worked so hard to help us to this fantastic double achievement. After eight years in a competitive marketplace, a great team and happy clients makes this recognition very satisfying.
Fintech Finance: Multrees appoints new Chairman
- Hugh Mullan joined as a Non-Executive Director in 2015
- His appointment is in succession to the late Nigel Pilkington
Multrees, the support services partner for wealth management and private investment offices, today announces the appointment of Hugh Mullan as Chairman. Mr Mullan had been acting as interim-Chairman since Nigel Pilkington’s death in January.
Mr Mullan said: “I’ve had the good fortune of being part of Multrees’ growth story for a number of years and have seen first-hand how it has become a quality outsource provider with a growing client base. As Chairman, I look forward to continuing Nigel’s remarkable legacy of leadership and stewardship which has served this business so well.”
Prior to joining Multrees, Hugh was the UK CEO at Fidelity Worldwide Investment. He has extensive experience managing investment and retail savings businesses, having held senior positions at Barclays Wealth, Schroders and Citibank.
Whilst at Fidelity, Hugh was also a member of the company’s Global Operating Committee and, prior to his UK CEO role, as COO he managed customer services, operations, technology and fund accounting across all of Fidelity’s European businesses.
Chris Fisher, CEO of Multrees said: “The Board and I are delighted to have Hugh as our new Chairman. Hugh joined us in 2015 as a Non-Executive Director and has played an integral part in the success of the business. He brings a wealth of industry expertise and insight which benefits us and our clients. Hugh’s appointment is befitting of his predecessor Nigel, who was instrumental in helping our start-up business become the strong organisation it is today.”
Multrees shortlisted for three WealthBriefing European Awards
Multrees is pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted in three categories for the WealthBriefing European Awards 2018. The categories in which we have been shortlisted are:
- Client reporting
- Outsourcing solution
- Global custodian to private client businesses
Showcasing ‘best of breed’ providers in the global private banking, wealth management and trusted adviser communities, the awards were designed to recognise companies, teams and individuals which the prestigious panel of judges deemed to have ‘demonstrated innovation and excellence during 2017’.
Winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner, which will be held in London on 26 April at The Guildhall.
Multrees mourn the loss of our Chairman, Nigel Pilkington
It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the death of our friend and Chairman, Nigel Pilkington, who passed away on Sunday night after a long battle with cancer.
Since our establishment in 2010, Nigel was instrumental in helping our start-up business become the strong organisation it is today. He will be sorely missed by those who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.
Despite this terrible loss, my colleagues and I are very grateful to have the privilege of continuing his remarkable legacy.
Hugh Mullan, a Non-Executive Director since 2015, will succeed Nigel as interim Chairman with immediate effect. Hugh’s previous roles include UK CEO for Fidelity Worldwide Investment and senior positions at Barclays Wealth, Schroders and Citibank. We are delighted that he has accepted the position.
Please send any messages of condolence to Nigel’s family c/o Multrees, 33 Castle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3DN.