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

Helping a large corporation behave like a startup

See how we helped a leading global wealth manager embrace a more agile way to meet client demands and spur growth.

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The better the question

How can adapting an agile mindset fuel growth?

Developing a new digital platform for customers and relationship managers.

Innovation is often uncomfortable — something that many large businesses prefer to source from outside. But when they do manage to adopt a more agile mindset it can be a powerful tool for growth.

That was the experience of a leading global wealth manager that chose us to help it develop a new digital platform for its clients and relationship managers. To meet fast-evolving customer expectations, the company needed market-ready solutions in a matter of months rather than the three to five years it would typically take to carry out a full digital transformation.

The principal objectives were higher levels of customer satisfaction and a new business model with a better cost to serve.

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The better the answer

Understanding customer needs

Innovation “factories” help generate prototype solutions.

We suggested using a customer experience approach, which involves understanding an investor’s needs, desires and pain points and working out how to address them, rather than thinking about the company’s products and how to sell them. We also helped our client to adopt a way of working that is more typical of digital disruptors than major corporations — something we call “collaborative innovation.”

We interviewed the company’s clients to gain genuine insight into what they needed, and then set up innovation “factories” in several markets around the globe. Each country hosted a number of small, cross-functional teams tasked with devising minimum viable products (MVPs) under a design thinking approach — lean, prototype solutions that could be trialed quickly with a selection of customers before being refined into finished apps. This is essentially an incubator model employed by high-tech startups, where teams have a high degree of autonomy and the emphasis is on learning by doing

“We didn’t want to impose solutions on our client,” explains Thierry Grouès, Associate Partner with Ernst & Young’s Strategy, Customer and Innovation Team. “Instead, we wanted to bring new capabilities to their existing teams — methodologies and approaches they didn’t previously have.”

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The better the world works

Greater control and well-being for investors

A digital platform enables a seamless customer journey.

As soon as an app had sufficient features it was launched to around 20 customers to make certain it was viable and to gather feedback, before being rolled out more widely. All were global, with the ability to adapt to local market requirements.

The 10 resulting apps include biometric identification; a secure e-vault to store personal and banking documents; fully customizable tools; real-time trading; goal-based planning; personalized information feeds based on portfolio holdings; peer-to-peer networking; and instant contact with a relationship manager. These have now been assembled into a coherent digital platform which enables a seamless customer journey that helps investors gain greater control over their portfolios, reach their financial goals and improve their well-being.

The platform has been integrated into the client’s existing business model and a new target operating model is being built with customer experience at its core. We continue to support the company with designing a new data-driven marketing approach and defining its next phase of transformation.

“The business has created significant momentum around this new way of working and is applying the methods it has learned to other areas such as impact investing,” says Grouès.

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