The pace of change

8 July 2020 Posted by: Patrick Woods Posted In: client retention


It's amazing how in some cases the unimaginable becomes normal very quickly.

- Soccer matches played behind closed doors.

- Sugar-free Irn-Bru (non-Scots may need to research that one!)

- Trump in the White House.

Yet often-times change comes slowly.

During a recent client webinar I was struck by an observation from a participant – that the asset management industry has not witnessed a meaningful innovation in client relationship management in more than two decades.

Could that really be correct? Having pondered the matter ever since I admit to be unable to come up with an example I could use to refute this assertion. So I ask myself, how can this be?

The asset management industry certainly attracts talent. The management of current and future wealth, especially as it relates to retirement income is critical to economic well-being, so whilst it may not always be obvious, innovative thinking within the industry is encouraged. Perhaps it is the case than in an ever more tightly regulated industry, managing client relationships puts emphasis on doing the right thing at the expense of seeking ways to better do that thing.

But the history of organisational development tells us that fundamental change arrives in all industries – eventually. Right now innovation is being incubated everywhere, perhaps even in client relationship management. It may be that major change in this area will emerge at the hands of disruptors from outside our industry or from existing players. Only time will tell. But such innovation, when it emerges, will likely go a considerable way to determining which organisations become generational industry front-runners and who are condemned to being also-rans.

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