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Archive for February, 2016

Hybrid Robos – a close-up look at Schwab Intelligent Institutional Portfolios

Friday, February 19th, 2016

The launch of Charles Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolios and Institutional Intelligent Portfolios last year was undoubtedly the most significant robo-advisor development in the U.S. in 2015. MyPrivateBanking  profiled Schwab Intelligent Portfolios in our Robo-Advisor 2.0 report and in our just published Hybrid Robo report, “Hybrid Robos - How Combining Human and Automated Wealth Advice Delivers Superior Results and Gains Market Share” , we take a closer look at Schwab’s Institutional Intelligent Portfolios (SIIP) as one of the report’s five case studies.

SIIP provides most of the advantages of digital investment management with the opportunity for a wealth manager to customize their own recommended asset allocations from a choice of 450 exchange traded funds that Schwab makes available for the purpose.

One aspect of the Institutional Intelligent Portfolios that took our attention was the way in which different advisory firms can use the Schwab solution to enhance their own offering in different ways. For example, it is perfectly possible for a wealth manager to to make SIIP available as an almost completely separate service with its own website and completely different branding. In effect, a registered independent advisor or financial planning firm that did this would be creating their own ‘pure’ robo-advisor. This limits the danger of cannibalizing the firm’s main client-base but it also restricts the possibilities for the users of the robo service. Longer-term, we believe that the future lies with greater integration of the digital component with a firm’s other services to create a hybrid offering of robo features and tools and personal interaction.

The most obvious kind of integration would be full integration on the wealth manager’s website with the SIIP option standing alongside a wealth management firm’s existing services, whether these are discretionary investment management, retirement planning, tax planning, specialist advice services for alternative investments or the other specialist services that a firm has made into USPS. This kind of transparent approach has much to recommend it and it is already being followed by some firms. For a firm specialising in just financial planning but which wants to provide an investment management component, this policy has clear benefits.

One more subtle alternative approach might be to have, say, a client rewards programme that is shared by a firm’s SIIP users and by its full service clients. Perhaps even more effective would be to allow SIIP users to make use of a finance management dashboard like eMoney that your full service clients are already benefiting from. Allowing the users of a firm’s digital offering to participate in behind the log-in features like these signals a much clearer welcome to smaller accounts (which will hopefully become full service accounts in time) than a standalone robo-advisory website can achieve on its own.

 

An ultra-luxury brand’s learning for private banks

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

In the course of our research for the forthcoming report on digital offerings for ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) we came across inspiring and challenging campaigns from non-financial ultra-luxury brands. In an effort to better promote their products while also inviting consumers’ feedback and suggestions, the Marc Jacobs fashion house challenged the public to send their offline form of feedback (graffiti their ads) via a Twitter photo (#StreetMarc) and get the chance to attend the fashion show staged by the luxury brand. This campaign also plays the theme of co-creation and linking the offline world with social media.

Connecting online and offline to create a multi-channel experience, luxury brands captivate elitist consumers’ attention by means of innovative ads and events followed by entertaining and less time-consuming quizzes to better understand consumer behavior, collect client suggestions and increase client retention.

There is no magic shortcut and no instantaneous Jamie Oliver recipe for success in engaging HNW/UHNW individuals but there are challenging opportunities for open-minded, passionate advisors and engaged private banks willing to make the best of the latest trends in FinTech, luxury industry or social media. From sharing a wealth of high-quality videos of successful clients’ stories/ case studies on the website or investing time in updating a Twitter stream or blog series as a high-level representative of the private bank, up to integrating indispensable features like a chat tool, digital vault, concierge-like assistance functions especially for the next generation of wealthy individuals, the pool of opportunities is unlimited.

 

Why wealth managers should consider to add Pinterest and Instagram to their digital portfolio

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

In our latest research report “Social Media for Wealth Management – Learning from the Best”, we analyzed the social media presences and their popularity of more than 200 wealth managers from around the globe. Our intention was to find out who is the most popular wealth manager on the main networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube) and to identify major success factors that led to high numbers of likes, followers, and subscribers. Additionally, we took a closer look at Pinterest and Instagram to analyze how wealth managers handle the visual social networks’ specific features, user base, and conventions. While most wealth managers nowadays have an account on Facebook and Twitter, only very few are active on Pinterest and/or Instagram. However, there are clear benefits derived from the industry best practices, they should not ignore:

(Potential) clients see their ‘human face’. Showing the staff, vernissages, branch openings, and sport events visually brings you closer to your clients – and those users who might be clients in the future. Online users like to get the full picture and look behind the scenes and photo and video sharing networks are great platforms that allow wealth managers to offer that.

Great customer support. We’ve seen terrific examples that offered helpful infographics on their Pinterest board, containing FAQs or information on mobile and online offerings. That way, customer support is expanded and presented in an easy-to-understand and engaging way.

Company updates. Posting news and upcoming events helps to keep clients informed about what is going on and makes sure that they don’t miss anything. Especially for HNW clients in might be highly interesting to meet with peers on their wealth managers’ events. Knowledge exchange and networking are additional advantages that help to strengthen your brand and reputation.

Actually, we found few but great examples of well-performing wealth management presences on Pinterest and Instagram. While Instagram is clearly U.S. dominated, wealth managers on Pinterest show a more mixed picture. You can find the case studies for the most impressing wealth management presences on Instagram and Pinterest in our latest report.

 
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