Wealth Management Onboarding Q&A

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We spoke with Kayvan Parvin, a Client Partner on Unqork’s financial services team, to discuss how wealth management firms can get on board with better onboarding.

Facing pressure from shrinking margins, digital disruptors, and a growing number of investors switching to passive funds, wealth management firms must seize every opportunity to get ahead. Client onboarding—a ubiquitous aspect of the client lifecycle—presents a common stumbling block for many wealth management firms, particularly in the COVID-19 era. Most firms still rely on paper-based processes and manual data entry to complete onboarding, which stunts advisor productivity and locks clients into a long and frustrating journey.

With no-code, there’s a better way. We spoke with Kayvan Parvin, a Client Partner on Unqork’s financial services team, to get an inside look into wealth management onboarding with no-code.  

Does wealth management onboarding differ from onboarding in other industries?

Given the highly personal nature of a wealth management relationship, the onboarding experience is a critical opportunity for advisors to build lasting trust and credibility with clients. Advisors need to be able to provide a personal touch at the right moment in the right way. Certain clients might want white-glove service and a guided onboarding experience, while others might want only one or two touchpoints. Either way, “canned” solutions simply don’t fly anymore, not for the fees that wealth management firms are charging. Having a flexible yet powerful toolset can help businesses efficiently create unique, customized wealth management onboarding experiences that cater to various client personas and enable the right level of collaboration throughout the onboarding process.

What are the biggest challenges facing wealth management firms in terms of onboarding?

The biggest challenge wealth management firms face in terms of onboarding and ensuring a good client experience is definitely manual paper-based processes, exacerbated by a lack of integrated systems and processes. A lot of advisors still onboard clients manually by collecting information from clients over email or by phone. Then, they have to key that information into their CRM and financial planning software, and re-key it again when they open up accounts in their downstream systems or custodians. Not only does this leave a lot of room for error, but it’s not dynamic for the types of accounts they’re interested in. This means that advisors are gathering and storing duplicative data that might not even be relevant, which is a poor use of both the client’s and the advisor’s time. All of this ultimately results in increased processing times, delays in account funding, and in the worst case, drop-off by clients who never fund their account. 

Aside from manual processes, another big challenge is transparency and control. Particularly in light of COVID, there’s an increased need for transparency in terms of where different prospects are in the onboarding process. Here’s what we hear a lot from our clients: they don’t know where onboardings are in the process, they don’t know what the bottlenecks are, and they don’t have a sense of how the process is trending over time. Our platform can create connected ecosystems that are well-integrated and more transparent, so there’s less double-entry of information, and advisors have the visibility they need to onboard effectively and continuously improve their onboarding processes. 

What do you think makes for a smooth onboarding process?

A smooth wealth management onboarding process is efficient, scalable, and provides for a frictionless experience for both clients and advisors. Some key elements include the following:

  • The process should enable intelligent workflows based on account and product types so that clients and advisors are only required to input the information needed.

  • Integrations should facilitate prepopulation of data already collected to minimize rekeying of information and enable automation of manual processes via straight-through-processing.

  • Automated validations should minimize NIGO errors and the need to reach out to clients multiple times.

  • Automated logic should streamline due diligence and compliance checks like AML/KYC. 

  • Clients should be able to digitally and dynamically receive any account documentation and e-sign. 

  • Real-time dashboards should provide advisors and support teams with transparency throughout the onboarding process.

In addition to the above, onboarding platforms should enable ongoing flexibility to adapt to the ever changing needs of the business, clients, advisors and regulators. No-code platforms like Unqork enable the agility needed to quickly adapt to these changes.

Are there any financial benefits to having a smooth onboarding process?

A smooth onboarding process saves wealth management firms money by boosting advisor efficiency and reducing costly NIGO errors and high advisor turnover.

In short, streamlined onboarding processes are quicker, meaning businesses can get assets through the door, start earning fees faster, and lose fewer accounts due to drop-off. Also, a smooth onboarding process saves wealth management firms money by boosting advisor efficiency and reducing costly NIGO errors and high advisor turnover. Today’s advisors are expected to handle more clients and more prospects than ever before, and they can only do that effectively with better onboarding and maintenance tools. Manual onboarding processes take time and money, and the cost of errors during manual processing can be very high. 

Tools like Unqork allow advisors to collect information digitally, have validations around how they collect that information, and have intelligent workflows that are dynamic based on the account type. There’s less of a need for manual review and processing, and that’s a huge cost-saving element.   

Why is Unqork’s Onboarding and Account Maintenance solution the best choice for wealth management firms looking to optimize onboarding?

Unqork’s Wealth Onboarding and Account Maintenance solution provides the accelerator you need to quickly get started on the most common onboarding processes. Our intelligent no-code platform uses powerful tools like real-time status updates and digital end-to-end workflows to improve accuracy, save time, and reduce costs throughout the onboarding process. We know that wealth management firms have very specific preferences in terms of how they want to onboard clients, so we allow our clients to customize the solution to fit their needs. 

Got a few minutes? See how easy it is to onboard a high-net-worth retail client.

Customizability and flexibility are very important, but I also want to reiterate the ease of integrations with Unqork. Wealth management firms use a lot of different internal and external tools to serve their clients—financial planning software, custodians, and middle and back-office systems. One of the most important aspects of Unqork is our ability to connect with not only a client’s internal systems but also their external vendors, creating the glue between the different ecosystems that they have. That’s really powerful because it creates a more seamless onboarding experience for both advisors and clients, ultimately minimizing manual processing of onboarding requests. 

If you’re interested in optimizing onboarding with no-code, schedule a personalized demonstration of the Unqork platform with an in-house expert. For the latest no-code developments and news, sign up for the Unqork newsletter.

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