Developing New Strategies for More Sophisticated Customers – How Advisors Can Leverage the Cloud

In the wake of the recent financial crisis, wealth management clients are more focused than ever on the value financial advisors deliver.  While portfolio performance has always been an important element in the calculation of value, customer service remains the most critical factor in retaining customer assets. And a fundamental component of customer service is developing highly customized investment strategies that better fit the needs increasingly skeptical, and often increasingly sophisticated clients.

The evolving mindset of wealth management customers

Why have wealth management customers become more skeptical?  The market downturn revealed that many portfolios were not adequately calibrated to the risk their owners were willing to tolerate.  Ensuring risk alignment is a critical component of wealth manager service, so these misalignments resulted in an erosion of trust in many financial advisor relationships.

In parallel with this erosion in trust, the ubiquitous availability of financial information and advanced trading capabilities has resulted in a more sophisticated breed of clients who are prepared to invest on their own behalf if they don’t perceive adequate value in wealth management services.  These customers not only demand that investment and allocation strategies are fully aligned with their unique risk requirements, but are also looking for full transparency into potential risk factors and the market data that drives underlying investment decisions.

In response to this shift in customer attitudes, financial advisors must escalate their commitment to customer service and produce differentiated, risk-cognizant portfolio strategies that look further afield for growth.

Simply recommending a basket of mutual funds, ETFs, and equities may not address unique client requirements.  To attain a heightened level of customer service, wealth management firms need to provide their customer-facing teams with tools that enable them to investigate a broader range of opportunities.  But as the investable universe expands, firms need to also ensure that the supporting market data is readily available within all relevant applications, including those that deliver information to customers.

How the cloud can help financial advisors develop new strategies

The market data cloud lessens administrative and data infrastructure burdens on wealth management firms by enabling them to quickly bring together disparate sets of market data into any application via the web. Potential applications include basic tools such as Microsoft Excel and internal research portals, advanced mobile applications that help financial advisors better engage customers during account reviews and new sales pitches, and reporting applications that provide necessary transparency.

The market data cloud offers instant access to a broad range of financial information spanning equities, fixed income, mutual funds, ETFs, commodities, options, futures, foreign exchange, and more.

Having immediate access to this wide swath of market information at their disposal enables financial advisors to better respond to the widening variety of client requirements and create customized strategies that differentiate from the competition.

But how does a cloud-based market data solution improve upon other more traditional methods of market data access?  Let take a look at broker/dealer portals for example.  These portals often contain the necessary data, but lack the ability to take that data and easily integrate it into other wealth management enterprise applications.  In contrast, the market data cloud uses flexible web APIs that enable data to flow freely to any application.

And as compared to traditional datafeeds, the market data cloud enables wealth management firms to bypass the costly infrastructure and maintenance headaches that are associated with hosting and parsing datafeeds to extract the necessary information and feed it to end user applications.  Again, the cloud proves to be a much more flexible delivery mechanism, saving firms time and money in implementation.

About Xignite

Xignite is the leading financial market data cloud provider, offering more than 50 financial cloud APIs and fulfilling more than five billion service requests per month for real-time, historical and reference data covering global equities, commodities, currencies, options, fixed income, mutual funds, derivatives and OTC instruments. The Xignite market data cloud powers mission-critical applications for financial services front, middle and back office, financial websites, investor relations, corporate ERP and BI, e-commerce, and mobile for more than 900 clients in 47 countries, including Citi, GE, Wells Fargo, ING, BNY Mellon, Natixis, Forbes.com, SeekingAlpha, ExxonMobil, Starbucks, Netsuite, and Barrick Gold. The award-winning XigniteOnDemand cloud platform also provides new online channels for stock exchanges, trading venues, OTC brokers and market data originators including CME Group, NASDAQ OMX, BGCantor and Pearson. For more information, please visit www.xignite.com or call 1-866-XML-SOAP.  

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