Neil Gregory, senior portfolio manager with CG Wealth Management in Calgary, recently had to rebalance 300 client accounts involving about 3,000 trades. He was able to do it in minutes thanks to the firm’s advanced technology. Most important, that freed him to focus on what matters most: serving his clients.
“If I was working at a different firm, that task would take a whole day. That would mean I couldn’t spend time with clients, answering their questions and providing much-needed advice,” he says.
Technological innovation in the Canadian wealth management industry has accelerated with the advent of direct investing and robo platforms. But the private wealth channel has been slower to adopt.
However, a small selection of private wealth firms have been prioritizing strategic technology investments to enhance how investment advisors are able to serve their clients. CG Wealth Management is one such firm.
“Client expectations have changed, and we are changing to keep pace. We have built our technology platform from the bottom up and aren’t encumbered by legacy technologies. We bring in new solutions that enable our advisors to deliver highly customized solutions and create a client experience that is seamless, digitized and easy,” explains Fera Jeraj, CG’s chief technology officer.
In Canada, wealth management firms typically face structural limitations around technology.
In the Big Five banks, wealth management units are restricted by legacy systems. Their size drives more centralized control over advisor and client experiences. Independent wealth management firms can be more agile. But many of them lack the resources to invest in cutting-edge technology and the teams to support a large implementation.
CG Wealth Management isn’t restricted like the big banks or the independents. The firm’s continuous technology innovation helps create smooth client experiences and reduces administrative burden. Both enable advisors to do more for clients.
“We know that technology is key to enabling advisors to better serve their clients,” says Stuart Raftus, president, CG Wealth Management. “We have the agility and resources to move quickly in technology adoption, and we are proud to have created an end-to-end wealth platform that is unlike anything in the industry.”
Seamless experience, instant access for clients
Consumers have grown accustomed to accessing information, products and services at a touch of their smartphone. Investors are now demanding the same convenience and instant access from their investment advisors.
From client onboarding and financial planning, to reporting and portfolio construction, CG Wealth Management is investing in the tools that allow advisors to deliver an intuitive digital experience.
The CG mobile app, for example, provides clients with instant access to their accounts. And the firm’s adoption of electronic and cloud-based signature tools enables clients to sign off on important documents instantly.
“It’s unbelievable what these tools have done in helping me save my clients’ time and create a much more integrated experience for them,” says Will MacInnes, a senior wealth advisor and associate portfolio manager with CG Wealth Management in Toronto. “CG’s focus on continually assessing and improving technology means that advisors here can meet client demands, and engage with them in a faster and more effective way.”
Easing the administrative burden
CG Wealth Management is also breaking new ground among wealth management firms by fully integrating its advisory practice with Envestnet, a powerful portfolio management platform.
Envestnet offers strong investment proposal functionality, sophisticated management tools, and comprehensive performance reporting capabilities. The platform allows wealth managers at the firm to manage all of their accounts in a unified way.
“My clients appreciate the ability we now have to generate very comprehensive and customized performance reporting for their unique needs,” says Mr. Gregory. “We’ve collaborated with our clients to understand what they need, and the Envestnet platform is allowing us to deliver that information in a more efficient manner.”
Technology improvements in every area eventually touch on client service. For instance, CG Wealth Management recently completed an overview of its administrative processes to understand the paperwork burden on its advisors.
“We found hundreds of manual processes in that journey, and we now have a roadmap to automate them to drive efficiency,” Ms. Jeraj says. “That means more time for advisors to spend with clients, deepening relationships.”
Smart technology investment isn’t about jumping on the latest fad. It’s about building infrastructure that can adapt. The key is continuous innovation. CG Wealth Management’s ability to embrace new technologies is enabling top advisors to deliver customized solutions for their clients
“While the technology we use today is useful, tomorrow we might choose another option if it serves our advisors and clients better,” Ms. Jeraj says.
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Canaccord Genuity. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.