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  • Digital is the word
    Digital is the future. Digital promises great things for the wealth management business. Robo advice, chat bots, AI and Omni channel solutions will be run of the mill. Big Data analytics, biometrics and client segmentation by persona—of course! They were some of the visions, opportunities and concepts articulated at a conference * I spoke at recently. Exciting stuff. But as evangelical as I undoubtedly am when it comes to matters digital, I’m also a pragmatist—i.e. it’s a question of balancing the practicalities of the here and now with the possibilities of the future.

    But there’s no digital, without digitisation
    In reality, AI, biometrics, chat bots, omni channel, et al can only work if the ‘basics’ are sorted (digitised) first. The basics being the nitty gritty processes and routines that underpin the day-to-day operations of any wealth management firm. So the first—and arguably most critical—step on the road to digital enlightenment, is the digitisation of the firm’s analogue books, records and related activities. Having accurate, secure and joined up transactional, management and accounting data makes it easier for the business to scale: it also forms the platform on which further digitalisation can take place. And once that which can be digitised has been digitised, the firm is in shape to become a truly digital entity.

    A la carte or the table d'hôte?
    Whether you share the digital evangelists’ views or not, with increased volumes, more complex transactions—and simply for reasons of costs and margins—moving from manual to digitised working improves efficiency and helps contain costs. For some, the digital journey can and will end there. But for firms that envisage an all-singing, all-dancing digital future, then a digitised operational platform must be a number one priority.

    Get the simple, bare necessities right, and you can have all the robo, biometric analytics and personalised services you desire.

    Ed Lopez - Chief Revenue Officer - JHC

    * ‘Digital Integration in Wealth Management’ conference, London, hosted by Arena International, 21st & 22nd February 2018.