Some common traits have emerged as we've worked with asset management firms grappling with digital transformation—or the overhaul of business processes brought on by rapid technology innovation.
Firms making this fundamental shift want tighter control of their clients' experiences. To innovate quickly, they're looking outside their own walls for specific user-experience expertise and the capacity to scale. Even the largest firms (with the largest budgets) look to outsource capabilities like portfolio analysis, investment comparisons, or proposal and reporting systems, to power their new experiences.
The willingness to think big and an organizational chart that crosses internal business lines are telltale signs that a firm is transforming. We've seen financial services firms rethink their business models, and many are making room for new leaders with titles such as “chief digital officer.”
These digital transformation examples reflect what we’ve heard from clients again and again. They want to forge new or better relationships with their clients, stay competitive by bringing products to market faster, and operate more efficiently.
Bottom line: Firms that pursue lasting digital transformation go beyond a facelift of their website. They're digging deep and forging a path across the organization, so they can make better use of the resources available and offer a personalized and end-to-end user experience.
Here are three examples of digital transformation that we’ve seen:
- Every portfolio is personal. Most investors are uncomfortable comparing and choosing individual investment options. What should they be looking for? As an asset manager with a solid track record of reaching out to investors built their online presence, personalization in portfolios was an important requirement. The firm wanted to arm advisors with illustrations of how its investment offerings impact and work within investors’ personal portfolios. To get there, the firm used APIs to pull in the hypothetical growth of a portfolio, holdings analysis, and interactive reports. The firm could source the analytics centrally and integrate them throughout the user experience.
- Create what your users need. An insurer took on the role of disruptor in its local retirement savings market by delivering investments directly to investors, focusing on low cost and high-quality options. Competitors used an entrenched practice of saving through bank-led advisory relationships with unclear, high prices paid by investors. Using APIs, the firm built a screener to highlight investment cost. They licensed fund reports to provide detail on the products available, and they used a forecasting engine to let users model portfolio scenarios. They licensed a risk profiling methodology to match investors with portfolios and hired Morningstar Investment Management to run model portfolios in the low-cost lineup for their clients. When pulled together, they built a robust, investor-centric experience from a single source.
- The power of coordinated content. The wealth management arm of an asset management firm wanted to rebuild its online customer experience: from website, to apps and online portal for advised accounts. The firm wanted to save money by automating processes for managing content across channels. The firm constructed a common data source that combines its own data and Morningstar’s global investment database to power the APIs, components, and automated report production services to run the new digital experience. The transformation process was fast and furious. The firm used its in-house design and user experience capabilities while rapidly deploying new content and using a new automated reporting solution.
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