It can be argued that in wealth management there has been a general shift in emphasis over the last several years from manufacturing to distribution. The popularity of open architecture and indexing has commoditized the wealth management “product,” moving providers’ “value-add” to the substance and quality of the client relationship.
This shift, we believe, is also reflected in how technology is being used by wealth managers. Traditionally, portfolio management systems were considered the core of wealth management technology platforms. TAMPs expanded these systems, adding functionality that enabled open architecture product construction, client profiling, portfolio construction, enhanced reporting and straight through processing (STP).
Now, however, new and improved CRM systems are vying with traditional platforms to be system coordinators. From their traditional role as a contact management tool, CRM systems have morphed into centralized hubs of client and firm information delivering and directing firm activities through customized, interactive dashboards. Real time integration with information sources from both manufacturing and client management has given CRM providers an edge in making this evolution possible.
As traditional RIAs increasingly compete on service and relationship building, and not on product, we believe the demand for enhanced CRM systems will grow significantly and that, for many, these systems will assume dominant roles in their overall ecosystem.