Objectway is a leading software provider of wealth management digital solutions with customers distributed across four continents.
Being headquartered in Italy, we were early to deal with the COVID-19 emergency in the EMEA region. The rapid escalation of COVID-19 outbreak has forced us to test our business continuity plans, in Italy first and soon after that in our UK and Belgium operations.
Fortunately, we are a natively digital company with an existing smart-working policy; we use agile development and dev-ops methodologies, with teams spread across Europe. Therefore, soon after the initial shock of having to implement our contingency plan, we were back and ready to deliver as usual to our customers. It was now time to immediately start thinking about how this emergency would affect our customers' business and how we could help them cope with such a disruption.
Wealth Management and Private Banking have historically emerged as highly personalised professional services with customers demanding special attention and highly skilled relationship managers for frequent and intensive face-to-face interactions. Satisfied with their level of customer centricity, many firms in the sector had overlooked the importance of critical changes happening in the market, such as digital transformation, where financial services have clearly fallen somewhat behind the progress being made in other sectors.
Recent research by the Scorpio Partnership has shown that 47% of HNW investors, if they were CEO for a day, would prioritise innovation in digital services to improve their client experience, with digital engagement currently happening mainly through static website content (44%) and e-mails (40%) with only 21% via Client Portals and a meagre 8% happening through Mobile Apps (WealthBriefing research published 2020). There is a clear digital gap in the Private Wealth sector.
Now Covid-19 measures have first restricted and then completely locked-down any face-to-face meetings between advisors and investors, and there are no clear plans and dates as to when it can safely happen again. Many investors are, as a consequence of the digital gap, panicked; stuck at home without direct access to their portfolio information, apart from a phone call from their advisors.
This emergency is unfortunately exposing the delay in digital transformation accumulated today in the wealth management industry, and investors who do not feel properly served in these emergency times, will soon start looking elsewhere.
At Objectway, we have always believed in the need of ensuring the ability for Advisors and Clients to interact and collaborate digitally, and our existing customers who have implemented our Objectway WealthTech suite, are able to leverage its digital core functionalities to deliver a timely, personalised high-touch service even in such difficult times:
- Remote advisor-client digital collaboration with secure chats, remote video face-to -face meetings, secure screen sharing in full privacy where the advisor can not only talk with clients but also walk them through their updated investments showing graphs, trends, or assist them in learning how to use the self-service channels.
- Real time multi-device access to investments, market research papers and news for investors through portals and mobile apps.
- Proactive alerts and notifications generated by our integrated CRM module will alert the Advisor that a certain client’s portfolio needs attention and the client should immediately be contacted, or notify client via their apps that, for instance, a new paper on how to make your investments survive in the COVID-19 emergency has just been published in their document inbox.
We are also aware that this emergency will strain the available budgets of all companies in our market. So, we understand it’s time for us to help our customers to start or complete their digital transformation now!
We are now offering that any new subscription to our digital offering committed to in 2020, will attract a licence-free period to help our customers mobilise their investment, address the digital gap and deliver best service to their own customers during this challenging period.
Aware of the need for quick go-live plans we have set-up a fast-track approach, with a cloud-based, ready-to-use deployment model, open APIs for quick integration, focusing on rapid live delivery of your highest priorities (e.g. the investor mobile app) within a few months, and incrementally extending the service to a wider set of components.
Our mantra now should be, “Stay Safe, while making our business Stronger!”