Duncan is an Investment Solutions Specialist at Clearwater Analytics. In his role Duncan works across the investment industry to build client partnerships and ensure Clearwater’s technology solves pervasive industry challenges. In his previous role Duncan headed Clearwater’s Edinburgh-based Investment Management team of client servicing professionals, working with firms to transform their operations, data management, accounting, and client reporting. Duncan has experience in developing world-class client servicing partnerships utilising SaaS technology. Duncan is a Chartered Accountant has a BSc with Honours in Mathematics from The University of Edinburgh.
Today’s world is focused on convenience, driven by information, and centered on technology. The same should be said for your client service model.
As client expectations shift, firms face challenges in scaling their client service models to keep up with the new demands of their clientele. Longstanding models are too often built on a fragmented operations structure with disparate teams and sources of information. Whether it’s onboarding a new client or answering questions for an existing client, this puts an undue burden on the client services manager to collect and verify information in a timely manner.
Client service professionals can avoid these problems by harnessing best-in-class technology to scale their models and create long-term, successful client partnerships.
The best smart infrastructure comes down to the simple concept of centers of excellence. The most fruitful client/vendor collaborations establish an intentional and strategic division of particular centers of excellence.
The investment manager is the center of excellence for investment strategy. The portfolio management team can explain what has happened and why it happened.
The client service team are the center of excellence when it comes to managing the client relationship and understanding the client’s needs.
A technology firm is the center of excellence for aggregating, processing, and making data available for client consumption.
A combination of multiple centers of excellence is what is required to truly support and succeed in creating a long-term client partnership.
When firms take on a new client, the client services manager becomes the face of the organization and is responsible for the success of that client as well as creating a positive experience for the new client. This includes collating all relevant information and liaising with internal teams, often going back and forth with the client to gather what’s needed.
Clients today are used to seamless onboarding and having data at their fingertips during their everyday lives, so they expect the same from your firm. The back-and-forth can leave the client feeling frustrated that the onboarding doesn’t resemble the simple process they were sold.
For existing clients, the client services manager is the center of the relationship, triaging and coordinating client requests. Without a central system and integration of all teams, the client services manager is charged with consolidating all information and responding to requests.
Clients expect information to be readily available, and don’t want to wait for answers. They expect transparency into their data, and they want their data aggregated into a format that’s easy to consume. If clients want to dig into issuer exposures concentrations, research why there has been a period of up or down returns, or understand any credit downgrades, they want self-service abilities to understand themselves or at the very least have the client services manager give them an instant response.
Client service professionals are positioned to lead initiatives that can transform the client experience at their firms. You can show how technology can be used to deliver the best client experience and reduce cost.
The most successful customer services organizations partner with a managed service provider who understands their business, its challenges, and their client needs. The right technology will centralize your data and empower you to deliver consolidated, reconciled, and accurate investment management data to your clients in a timely matter. It can also significantly reduce your operational overhead.
All of this means a better experience for your clients, and for you, the time and opportunity to focus on making your client successful.