The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

Customer segmentation: the smart route to growth

A global wealth management firm is exceeding targets after we helped it better understand client needs and develop a new digital service model.

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The better the question

What’s the right path to accelerate your growth journey?

Accelerating change to accelerate growth

The wealth management division of a global Swiss bank approached us for support with a strategic program that aimed to contribute to its growth ambition of CHF1 billion in the next three years by:

  • Identifying markets around the world with a high potential for growth for the targeted client segment
  • Determining what products and services to offer investors in these target markets
  • Leveraging digital capabilities to enhance its offering and differentiate it from competitors

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The better the answer

Identifying high-potential growth markets

Assessing every opportunity

We supported our client by screening Europe, Latin America and the Middle East to develop a shortlist of countries that presented the best opportunities for growth. “We weighed the attractiveness, accessibility and competitiveness of each market and arrived at 24 countries where we believed the offshore business was most promising,” explains Eric Sebbagh, Ernst & Young Strategy, Engagement Manager, Switzerland. “We looked at factors such as individuals’ investable assets, how local competition was structured and their attitude toward risk.”

Our team classified each country as high potential, neutral or challenging, enabling the company to check whether those markets that it already knew about had been accurately assessed. We also suggested new markets that the company had not yet considered, and pinpointed countries that it had decided to withdraw from but which we believed were worth re-entering, with the necessary clearance from its risk department. Our EY Global Wealth Model supported the analysis with its future development of in-scope countries about bankable assets.

Creating archetypes to understand investors’ needs

The company anticipated that a new segment of investors within these countries would be one of the growth engines to achieve its CHF1 billion growth ambition. We helped reach a deeper understanding of this new client segment, who have between CHF0.5 million and CHF5 million to invest, and are referred to as entry high net-worth individuals (eHNWI).

To do this, we used our EY psychographic profiling methodology that measures individuals according to more than 30 different attributes, resulting in a rich and complex set of archetypes. “Psychographic profiling helps to better predict client behavior based on personality traits, values and lifestyle, typically comprising client activities, interests and opinions,” says Sebbagh. This is in contrast to many wealth management companies, which market their products based solely on customers’ risk profiles.

In close collaboration and during workshops with relationship managers, business area heads and marketers, our team explored what each archetype expects from the bank, how they make decisions and how they like to operate. The process enabled us to map customer needs against the proposed product suite and ultimately formulate the most effective value proposition for each archetype.

“Some people want their own relationship manager, while others want to do everything themselves, with anytime-anywhere access,” says Sebbagh. “We helped our client to define differentiated service levels through a range of channels and service packages.”

An enhanced digital capability that led to growth

The eHNWI segment is only profitable if the business can handle higher volumes, and the only way to do that is to leverage digital capabilities. The final piece of the puzzle, therefore, was to make sure the bank could provide a seamless customer experience and deliver on its promises with a digital service model.

Such was the success of the project that in the 12 months since its completion, our client’s new business area exceeded its annual growth target by 10%.

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The better the world works

Positioning our client for the future

Delivering complex global projects through close relationships

In the long term, the company plans to move to a greater level of automation, leveraging data from many sources (investment history, social media, new information captured from face-to-face interactions) to continually better understand its customers and identify products and services that might be of value to them.

We were chosen as strategic partners, ahead of other leading strategy consulting companies, because of the close and trusting relationship we built with the client. The company also valued our reputation for delivering complex strategic projects globally as well as the expertise of our team in the area of customer experience design.

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