Efficiency for wealth management firms through access to data and security

Kristian Borghesan
November 10, 2021
wealth management data security

Efficiency for wealth management firms through access to data and security

Wealth management and financial advisory firms continue to look for ways to bolster productivity and improve daily workflow. Wealth management firms want to ensure more time can be invested in nurturing client relationships and to gain share of wallet. A highly effective, yet extremely under-utilized way, to improve operational efficiency is to create processes that allow your firm to securely manage corporate and client documents with ease and at scale. As data gets shared between clients and firms, the data needs to be accurate and the data needs to be secure.

Back and front office teams at wealth management firms are overwhelmed by the amount of information and documents they deal with on any given day—from new compliance policies and procedures as well as new client agreements to financial plans, insurance policies, and investor statements, the current insecure, manual, paper-driven, time-consuming processes often mean that advisors (and their back office) spend most of their time getting bogged down by administrative tasks.

Let’s look at the stats below to paint some color on this topic:

The statistics and numbers related to document management inefficiencies go on and on. To say the least, there’s a real issue here at hand for wealth management and financial advisory firms looking to improve their productivity. Having access to normalized financial data allows firms to trust the data they receive and make accurate wealth management decisions for their clients.

Below are three of the many ways having secure access to corporate and client documents improves operational efficiencies for wealth management firms and financial institutions.

Improve compliance across the entire organization through data security for wealth management firms

First and foremost, having secure access to both corporate and client documents are like a compliance dream come true. The financial repercussions and business implications around noncompliance costs your firm not only a significant amount of money but it impedes with your general workflow and business disruption is known to be the costliest consequence of non-compliance.

In fact, almost every other week it seems as though regulatory bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are cracking down on and penalizing wealth management firms for noncompliance related to data breaches as a result of insecure information and document management practices. If you’re still sending sensitive corporate and/or client documents via email, including statements, it’s time to rethink that workflow entirely as it might be costing your firm more than you know.

Not only does having secure access to corporate and client documents help front and back-office teams button-up compliance practices, it also directly improves audit readiness cycles by being able to securely access any and every type of information asset when required.

It’s important to remember that compliance is not relegated to just your compliance department and that every employee plays a critical role in making sure standards are upheld and adhered to.

Improve advisor-client relationships through data security for wealth management firms

Next, having secure access to documents, importantly client documents in this case, can significantly improve and strengthen the relationship your advisors have with their clients.

Improve secure document management for wealth management firms

When it comes to acquiring new wealth management clients, it’s important to pay attention to your onboarding experience, including how information and documents are shared, accessed, and managed.

For clients themselves, sharing personal information and documents can be a nerve-racking experience, which is especially heightened during the initial onboarding experience considering most, if not all, will be unfamiliar with the processes and systems in place for sharing, gathering, collecting and managing information. By providing them with an easy and secure way to deliver, access, and manage their documents, not only will you reduce the back and forth efforts of collecting such information, you’ll also be well on your way to building a lifetime of trust.

Secure document management for existing clients of wealth management firms

Providing your existing clients with secure access to information and documents, including their own personal documents such as financial plans, insurance policies, claims, loans, etc., means that they’ll be able to easily find and locate required documents when needed. Again, you’ll benefit by saving your clients time looking for their information, providing them with peace of mind knowing that their most important information is safe and secure, which results in more trust with your firm and the level of service your advisors are providing.

Going the extra mile to help your clients organize their digital life enables them to naturally become better clients and you to become a better service provider, leading to mindshare and share of wallet over time.

Secure document management for advisors of wealth management firms

By helping your front office (advisors) effectively organize their own practice and securely manage information assets, including how client documents are organized and stored, you’re essentially giving them more time back in their day that they can then spend with new and existing clients.

At the end of the day, information should be handled with the same level of fiduciary responsibility as one’s financial assets–yet, unfortunately, that’s hardly ever the case.

From filling out an insurance claim or getting approved for a loan to completing a financial plan and going through the KYC process, there are a lot of different types of information and documents that continually get shared back and forth and across different mediums. What’s necessary, if you want to win while protecting your clients’ information, is to make sure that any and every piece of information and document is securely organized, structured, and accessible.

Reduces and eliminates the cost associated with paper - go digital with your data

Last but certainly not least, having secure access to corporate and client documents reduces and eliminates several costs related to physical paper and paper-driven processes.

There is a good majority of wealth management firms and advisors that rely heavily on physical paper and processes that involve using paper. Unfortunately, doing so makes it extremely difficult for these wealth management firms to remain competitive while still being burdened with outdated, unsecure, and inefficient methods. Not only does physical paper cost money but the manual intervention required with these processes slows down timelines while also taking away from the necessary time advisors could otherwise spend with clients.

A few key statistics to highlight the ineffectiveness of paper usage include the following:

  1. Professionals spend nearly 50% of their time searching for information and take an average of 18 minutes to locate each paper document.
  2. More than 70% of today’s businesses would fail within 3 weeks if they suffered a loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.
  3. Approximately 45% of all pages printed in the offices eventually end up in the trash by the end of the same day.

Having secure access to corporate and client documents significantly reduces overhead costs and backend processing costs associated with paper by transforming manual, paper-driven processes into automated, secure, digital processes of the future. Beyond that, accessing accurate financial data from your customers allows your wealth management firm to make the best possible financial decisions for your clients.

Kristian Borghesan is a well-known Canadian marketing leader with a proven track record of helping FinTech and SaaS startups gain early traction and build scalable momentum. Currently, Kristian is the Director of Marketing at FutureVault, an industry-leading provider of document management and Digital Vault solutions for financial services, where he remains responsible for overseeing and executing on all areas of marketing.