A customer’s real relationship with a financial institution begins with “on-boarding”—a term that refers to what has become a crucial component of an advisor’s practice.

On-boarding encompasses the processes, paperwork and asset transfers that happen between the time a prospect agrees to work with you and when he or she becomes a fee-generating client. Because it is so tied to revenue growth, compliance and the client experience, on-boarding is considered a key to a wealth management company’s success.

Whether new clients are happy with the on-boarding processes can impact whehter they buy additional products and services or recommend the company to others. Truly bad on-boarding experiences can cause clients to leave before the on-boarding process is complete—resulting in a lost customer and unrecoverable costs that went into the incomplete sale. 

On-boarding is where client relationships are made or broken. A customer’s value and profitability is virtually set in stone in the first 90 days of a relationship.

Companies try everything to improve their on-boarding systems, which are usually a mix of multiple software packages and manual processes. But the path to true advantage lies in modern work platforms that enable end-to-end processes to be configured, not coded. Modern work platforms allow for rapid development of fully automated on-boarding processes, without the time and expense of custom solutions or the limitations of packaged software.

What follows is a look at how financial services firms use modern work platforms to manage on-boarding process challenges—and what you need to look for in developing a solution on your own.

• Edward Jones Trust Company provides personal trust and investment services to nearly seven million clients through a network of over 10,000 financial advisors. Its on-boarding of trusts was complex and required paper documents and spreadsheets to route information across departments. That old approach wouldn’t scale and held back the company’s growth, so Edward Jones turned to a modern work platform for the solution. Four months after starting the project, its new on-boarding system cut the number of steps from 154 to 67, made handoffs automatically and cut the number of forms required by over 80 percent.

• To serve the needs of its Islamic customer base, Bank AlJazira needed to create a system for purchasing real estate that avoided the payment of interest. Using a modern work platform, the bank created an Islamic real estate transfer framework that handles on-boarding of the contracts generated through a single Shari’ah compliant transaction. The platform generates all contracts and handles all clients’ paperwork. The system has 50,000 concurrently running processes and over 400 users access the system daily.

• One of the largest institutional investment managers in the United States had relied on purely manual systems to on-board large clients, often with 20 or more locations to be on-boarded around the globe. Implementing a modern work platform allowed the company to eliminate errors due to manual entry, create proper compliance trails and significantly reduce the time to on-board assets, leading to increased revenue. A key feature of the system is the ability to customize on-boarding to fit within the organization’s practices and government regulations which can vary by country.

The on-boarding systems developed by these companies meet their needs today and can rapidly adapt to new customer needs, new regulatory requirements and new opportunities in the market.