With customers ranging from huge Tier 1 firms to smaller $2B customers, Appway is a proven vendor in Canada, further highlighted with the release of its Client Onboarding for Wealth solution – purpose-built for the Canadian market.
In this session, 3 Canadian wealth management firms – all ranging in size – will share their transformation journeys to solve pressing challenges, plan for the future, and improve the onboarding and client lifecycle management experience for their clients, advisors, and staff.
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James: [00:00:04] Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us for today's event in which we will delve into client onboarding for wealth and hear lessons learned from Appway customers. My name is James Burton, managing editor of Wealth Professional Canada, and I'll be steering you through the session. Appway is a proven vendor in Canada with customers ranging from huge tier one firms to smaller $2 Billion customers. And it's client onboarding for wealth solutions is purpose built for the Canadian market. Now today, as well as hearing from Appway themselves, this session will feature three Canadian wealth firms of different sizes who will share via interviews how they solved pressing challenges, were able to plan for the future and improve the onboarding and client lifecycle management experience for their clients, advisors and staff. Now these case studies with Baskin Wealth Management, iA Private Wealth and CI Assante. will provide insights into lessons learned before, during and after implementation, as well as strategic and tactical priorities for business success. Now, before we dive in fully, a couple of very quick housekeeping pointers. Now you'll see there's two boxes on your screen, one Q&A box. We are aiming to have some Q&A questions at the end. So if you have any questions for our guests and our speakers, please put them in that box and I'll be monitoring them. And secondly, there are two polls that will run through the session, and we'll we'll highlight them when they when they arrive. Click on that poll button and cast your vote at the appropriate time. So let's kick things off. First of all, it's my pleasure to introduce our two live speakers from Appway a Test. Ates Civitci, Head of sales North America and Harold Reimer, Sales Director Canada. Welcome, gentlemen. Now, perhaps first of all, you can kick things off and give us a bit of background on Appway.
Ates: [00:01:58] Sure. Sure. Absolutely. Thanks for having us, James. It's a pleasure to join the today. So I just want to give you a quick introduction to Appway. Appway, has been helping financial institutions to automate and digitalise workflows since 2003. Our solutions allows to businesses to transform and scale core workflows, processes across client onboarding, changing client circumstances, regulatory reviews, as well as many other related client lifecycle management workflows. We're recognized as a market leader and we are definitely a specialist in this space. So this slide shows you guys that very good picture of how starting a new business relationship is not simple. There are so many different players involved, there are so many different internal and external moving parts and teams involved. So our vision and mission is, and as it has always been, to be able to enable a new era of digital connectedness that removes the friction between the customer and the end customer or their end clients as well as the internal teams for our customers. So how we do that is we really focus on that digital transformation by combining the workflow automation and the client centric tools to help our customers increase the operational efficiency and turn the engagements into more digital, digitally connected manner. There's a really good thing internally with Appway we connect the disconnected, so that's a really mono. And in essence we are partnered as an orchestration partner to many and we sometimes call ourselves the maestro of an orchestra. So if you can go to the next slide and take a look at and quickly onto who our customers are, we've been as I said, we've been in the business for 20 years. We have about 225 plus global clients. That represents about over 500,000 Appway users. We're very proud that every 30 minutes a new business relationship is formed using our solution. That almost equates to over a million relationships a year, which we found a very significant. And if you look at the next slide, talk a little bit about our partner and the ecosystem I think I mentioned I call ourselves the basically the orchestra, the maestro of the orchestra. But as you can appreciate, an orchestra needs a group of musicians and a variety of instruments. So we believe in strategic partnerships. We're really happy that we were able to build a community of 2000 co developers that co-produces and standardizes connectivity to the industry leader partner solutions with us, which is a very important part of how we build an ecosystem. One thing I wanted to also touched up today is if going next slide, we can look into something that I pretty often asked by our prospects. Our prospects come to us and says what kind of efficiencies they can expect from partnering with Appway. And I think we're going to listen to some of those experiences in quite a bit. But it's really a hard question to answer because most of our client clients are in a very different stages of their digital transformation when we partner with them or when we engage with them. So in order in order to be able to quantify that, what we have done is we partnered with Forrester and we asked them to conduct a study, independent study to our existing customers in order to be able to quantify the total economic impact of an Appway onboarding for a wealth management solution. The results are these are some of the key outcomes of the study, and results are actually even an eye opener for us. We knew we were helping our customers, but the biggest highlight was we were able to reduce the onboarding time 90%. That was a significantly higher than expected result for us and we were very proud of that outcome. The second big outcome, in our opinion, is how we reduce the the errors, which is basically not in good order or niggles. The study shows that in backs up that we were able to reduce the need goes about 80% and always most important in some of all our customers is what about the cost benefit, right? So they also study supports that our customers were able to achieve about 225% return on investment, less than two year payback period, which we thought that these outcomes were ability to quantify and highlight the needs of a solution like us. So that's a little bit about Appway and how we were and how we were focusing on the specifics. But we have very exciting news and very comedic Canada related news that I would like to also share in basically February. First, Appway has joined the ANZ group as a strategic move and now we are part of something bigger. As part of this move up we will be becoming the digital orchestration front of all of FNZ platform, which we're very proud of. And to lead that effort, our Appway CEO and co-founder Hans-Peter Wolf will be joining the NZ group as the group CTO and the leadership team. I'm very happy to let everybody know Appway will be rebranded as FNZ Onboarding Solution, but we continue to operate as an independent subsidiary offering standalone client onboarding lifecycle management products to existing and new customers, which is extremely important to us. And again, talking about the Canada specifically, we are also deepening our Canadian roots. So in February we just announced that if FNZ raised $1.4 Billion in New Capital from Canada, Pension Plan, Investment Board and of partners, and this was specifically to accelerate transformation in the global wealth industry. This capital injection will help FNZ and us accelerate our growth through R&D and in the basically new markets that we just entered, particularly Canada and the United States, to just round things up. I just wanted to touch up on FNZ for a second. So for those who are not familiar with FNZ, FNZ is the globally fully integrated front to back single provider of wealth management platform. As a service provider, what it means is it really combines a modern technology from client and advisor portals proposal generation onboarding, portfolio construction, portfolio management, compliance trading, middle office, books and records all the way. The custody under a single platform. We operate in 20 countries today. We have $1.5 trillion of US dollars assets under advisory on our platform, which represents 650 global clients and 20 million end customers. That one and a half trillion sounds like a very large number and shows our maturity, but it's also an ultra growth company. We're growing double digits and we are bringing in $2.5 Billion net capital per month. So very excited to enter the Canadian market as FNZ, which is what we've been there for for a while and we've we've helped Canadian customers. So we're looking forward to working with the Canadian market in the upcoming years. So that's a little bit about Appway and a little bit about that. And with that, I'll hand back to you, James.
James: [00:09:28] Right. Thanks, Ates. Appreciate the background and insight there. Harold, welcome again. Perhaps, perhaps you can provide some insight now into Appway's experience in the Canadian market, if you wouldn't mind.
Harold: [00:09:42] Sure. Thanks, James. So we launched the Canadian office of Appway in July of 2015, and since then have made some significant inroads into the Canadian market, building localized expertise, adding several customers, some of whom will be speaking with today, and incorporating our experience to create pre-packaged Canadian solutions to support client onboarding, client update and KYC review use cases. These solutions are hosted in Appway's Canadian Cloud instance with US Canada. And when we deploy a new customer, we actually tailor the solution using a no code configuration to incorporate that firm's branding their account opening forms as well, as well as integrating with their specific systems.
James: [00:10:29] All right. Terrific. So let's let's move on to our first poll question, as I reminded everybody. Click on that box and you can cast your vote. Now, research has shown that investors will switch switch providers to get what they want. So the question is, why do you think your clients may be at risk for switching to a new investment provider and the options are, A, better investment performance? B Access to a broader range of products see better digital experience or lower fees. So I have a little think about that and cast your vote. And while we calculate the results of that poll question, let me introduce our first video. So earlier in the week, Harold had a chance to speak with his customer, Baskin Wealth Management and Baskin Wealth realized it had challenges around increased regulatory burden, more required documentation, more data entry and as a result found it inefficient with an increased risk of errors. So this interview details what it looked for in the solution and why Appway was a good fit.
Harold: [00:11:39] Today we're going to be speaking with one of our clients in Canada Baskin Wealth Management. They're headquartered here in Toronto and found that about 25 years ago. And they serve the high net worth families. They have approximately 100 clients and they focus on long lasting relationships, providing clients with a managed growth kind of peace of mind. And joining us from Baskin Wealth Management today is Rob McDonald. He's their chief operating officer as well as their chief compliance officer. And I want to welcome Rob to our discussion today. Welcome, Rob.
Rob: [00:12:10] Thank you, Harold. My pleasure for being here.
Harold: [00:12:13] Excellent. Perhaps we could start by having you tell us a little bit about Baskin wealth management and also your role in a little bit more detail.
Rob: [00:12:21] Sure. Thanks. Yes. So as you said, we're a wealth management firm based in Canada. We've got just one office here in uptown Toronto. We're an independently owned firm providing wealth management to clients across Canada, and that includes financial planning real estate planning and investment management. We have 25 employees, including seven portfolio managers. Our investment management approach is is building balanced portfolios, fixed income primarily in Canada and the equities in North America. These are focused portfolios allowing us to conduct in-depth research on each of the companies we own on behalf of our clients. Our client service approach is structured to ensure that we have an in-depth understanding of each of our clients. To this end, we've invested significantly in people and technology over the years to ensure we can be responsive and have the information at our fingertips for all interactions. My role as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer is really everything other than managing money or sitting in front of clients. So from human resources to operations to compliance to technology. Really from from one end of the spectrum to the other.
Harold: [00:13:36] Excellent. And certainly we we've all been going through this this COVID pandemic that's now thankfully wrapping itself up. But I'm sure that was one of the driving forces behind. And you're also you mentioned about investing in technology that kind of precipitated you looking for maybe solutions in the marketplace, perhaps challenges to the business around client engagement given the pandemic?
Rob: [00:14:05] Yeah, exactly. So I think we're no different than many other firms out there. We've been thinking about a lot of these solutions for for some time, and the pandemic has really accelerated the need for that. And whether that's e-signature or document management going paperless, all of these things, you know, we've we've moved up the calendar and started looking at them sooner. So this particular solution. So I guess for a business like ours, so the wealth management space, you know, it's highly regulated. And so, you know, the number of documents that we need to onboard a client, it never seems to go down. There's been a growth. The securities regulation industry has been a growth industry over the past at least past five years. On top of that, new privacy rules, FINTRAC rules. So, you know, the number of documents that we need to sign up a client is is not going down. All that being said, a lot of paperwork to bring on a client. And what that means is often you're entering the information multiple times, so you might be entering the client's name into multiple forms. And then on top of that, as I said earlier, we're putting in systems to be able to make sure we have the information about our clients so that existing in a PDF on a drive somewhere, it doesn't help us very much. So then we need to transpose that information from the PDFs into our contact management system. So lots of data entry, which means not not great use of staff time plus it also of course leads to errors. If you're entering a client's name, you know, six different times and different forms and different systems, there's a good chance at some point along the way you're going to make an error. So we were really trying to streamline the onboarding process, reduce the number of errors, help us get better information into our contact management systems. And also with the pandemic, you know, more and more clients are interacting with the companies they deal with and in an online way. So whether that's Amazon or whomever, but they're all signing up, opening up accounts in an online way. They're getting their documents by email. So we needed a safe and secure and intuitive way for us to collect that information from the clients to populate the various documents.
Harold: [00:16:37] So when you were going through, I guess, reviewing the challenges that you've kind of identified there, what were the specific things you were looking for in a new solution? And certainly I know that you would have looked at at Appway and probably several other solutions as well. But what were some of those key elements that you were looking for?
Rob: [00:16:55] First and foremost, we needed a system that had proven integration capabilities with other platforms. And for us in particular, the two important ones were with our custodian and with our contact management system, which is Microsoft Dynamics. So we needed the application to be able to communicate with those downstream systems to send the information so it could be made available to us. Secondly, and is that interface with the client? We wanted something, as I said earlier, that could, in a secure way collect the information from the client needed to be intuitive. And so for our clients, you know, our average client age is 55, but we have lots of clients that are in their seventies and eighties. We need something that they're going to be able to comfortably go into and enter that information. Let's say, lastly, that we were a small firm, as I said, 25 employees. You know, our IT department is is me and maybe one or two other people. And as I said, my full time job is not IT. And similar for the other two people that are in my department. Everyone has a day job, so we needed an application that could be supported and maintained without us having to hire new staff, which would defeat the purpose of trying to streamline, but also, you know, put demands on us that we're just not prepared to to deal with.
Harold: [00:18:33] So from from an Appway selection perspective, certainly we checked a number of boxes with the integration providing that I'll say orchestration layer to bring it across the data across multiple systems. Was there some other specific things in the app way decision that that sort of checked the boxes from, you know, to give you the comfort of an Appway versus versus taking another path.
Rob: [00:19:00] Right. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I guess out of the gate was is the integration you had shown you that existing integration with four of our key vendors? So that was gave us a tremendous amount of comfort, I would say very positive. Part of it was your experience in the Canadian market and with other PM firms that, you know, a little bit bigger than us, but very similar in approach in how we deal with clients. So that gave us a tremendous amount of comfort. I think also being in the Canadian market, you understood the tax and the regulatory environment I've worked with when vendors at some of my previous positions and you know, they come in from Europe or the U.S. and they promise you that, you know, don't worry, we can make this work for your environment. But at the end of the day, it really has impacts on the project. There's a there's a steep learning curve to understand the Canadian regulatory and tax market or industry. So so that was another factor, I think, coming to the table with a cloud based solution that spoke to having a product that would require minimal support from us. It was going to be highly configurable and not only at the outset, but on an ongoing basis. So we'd be able to support it for the most part on our own. Certainly we know that from time to time, depending on the changes we'll need to your support, but we know you're always going to be there. So that was that was big for us as well. And I'd say finally, you know, received solid recommendations not only from the vendors, the names that you gave me, but I reached outside of that as well and got very good feedback.
Harold: [00:20:49] So Baskin Wealth is currently still active in its implementation process. How have you found the appway team that you're working with and what's your sort of general impression of Appway? I'll say post contract.
Rob: [00:21:02] Sure. Yeah, I'd say very positive. You know, this is not a straightforward implementation. You know, we're designing a user interface for both clients and for staff to collect the information. It's going to go into two sets of documents. We're sending it to four downstream systems, and there's two other systems that we're going to be touching along the way. On top of that, this is an Agile project implementation. My team has little to no experience on this, so we were coming in and needing to learn that the app team has been incredibly helpful, accommodating and patient. They provided us training on Agile and never once have they've shown any sign of frustration. When we trip up and and don't really understand and ask them to explain terms again and again and again. So that's been that's been great. Their familiarity with with the with the wealth management space and the Canadian market has definitely shown through as we talk about how we're collecting information, the type of information and why we're collecting certain information, clearly they understand, you know, the importance of KYC and the various pieces of information we need to collect and know the difference between an RSP and a TFSA from a tax perspective. So, you know, that's just you know, it means that we don't have to educate them on every on every requirement that we're building into it. So they've been great. You know, building out the stories has been incredibly helpful in providing us guidance and best practices. So, so far, so good.
Harold: [00:22:46] So, Rob, is there anything else that you think would be helpful to share with, you know, you're with with our audience today. They sort of wrap up thoughts that you have or.
Rob: [00:22:57] Again, probably no magical insights on this. But, you know, what everyone hears on a daily basis is go digital and go cloud, right? You know, you may think that a digital solution for onboarding clients is not necessary because, you know, maybe your clients are older or that this will take away from your goal to deliver a high touch experience. But I said at the outset, or the reality is everyone is moving in this direction, clients and companies. So you see, you need to move there. And this will a solution like this will solve that for you and allow you to get your people to focus on more value added tasks. Yeah. So I think that's probably the only piece of advice if you want to call it that. I'd have.
Harold: [00:23:46] Excellent. And I would concur with that. And in talking with other folks in the industry, if you don't kind of take on the challenge of digitalization and move towards that, you'll be left behind and your competitors will will kind of get ahead of you on that. So you really want to keep current?
Rob: [00:24:03] Yeah, no question.
Harold: [00:24:04] To echo that, Rob, thank you so much for your time today. It's been it's been wonderful. It's very appreciative that you would share your thoughts with us today. So I do want to thank you. And and I'm glad so far the process has been good. And we look forward to circling back with you in the not too distant future when you're in production and you're really starting to enjoy the benefits of an Appway solution.
Rob: [00:24:26] Great. Thanks so much. My pleasure.
James: [00:24:36] Excellent. What a great first video. A ton of insights there. Now, Baskin Wealth, as Rob mentioned, is not a large organization. And I suspect that many smaller organizations believe potentially that a highly configurable solution is financially out of reach to all. But the biggest. Largest firms can either afford a to have a provider custom build their solution or have the deep internal resources to develop a solution internally. So that begs the question on a direct to a Ates, how is it that Baskin was able to obtain a solution from Appway that checked all of their boxes?
Ates: [00:25:13] Yeah, that's a great question, James, and I think you're spot on. Not too long ago, maybe four or five years ago, a CLM or onboarding solution was kind of nice to have. It was a luxury. It was for the larger organizations. And as a matter of fact, appway 20 years ago we started our journey building custom solutions to the largest European institutions like HSBC, Credit Suisse and the like. But the industry trends and the demands of the digitalization from the end clients, I don't believe that's the case anymore. It's no longer a nice to have. It is a must have. And as a leader in this space, we always try to keep our fingers on the pulse and we made significant changes, the way we approach how we deliver things, which I think allowed us to be able to offer the solution a much wider spectrum of clients. So what we did was we tried to prioritize our 20 years of experience into pre-packaged solutions, what we call them prototypes, workspaces and application business components that is designed to expedite our time to market and reduce the implementation costs, provide more of them basically 80% out of the box solution that is available in the cloud. Predictable costs, but still gives you the constant, you know, consistent outcome for our customers. I think what Rob mentioned in Baskin Wealth is a great basically confirmation of our success being able to prepackaged things. So we're not repeating the same tasks over and over again and be able to offer it in a much lower cost to our customers, but still no to customers. Deployment of Appway looks alike, so you still get that configuration and how you want to represent yourself to your end customers. So they select you as their trusted advisor. But it doesn't have to be cookie cutter and it doesn't have to be too expensive. So I think I think that was I think Rob partnering with us was a great success story for us and for Baskin on that on that front, it's actually very interesting that I mean, I was watching the poll results, which is kind of really interesting to this right now. I was saying this is now a need in the marketplace and maybe we can take a look at them quickly to the results of the first poll and see how that's actually come by. Right. I don't know if there's a pop up, but if not, there's a polls section and you guys can take a look at them. The closer, about 30 people responded and about 50% of the votes went to better. Digital experience is the number one reason why clients are looking for a switch, according to this audience. And interesting enough, James, if you don't mind, I'm going to share a quick results that we have share with our customers in the past. So this is a results of a 2400 investors from different groups, broker dealers, robo advisor, family offices, retail. A very large group of people are asked two questions. The first question was Have you recently moved 20% of your funds from one investment manager to another? About 33% of the audience, 2400 people, investors said yes. And when they are asked, Are you looking to make a switch with the same amount of 20% of your funds in the upcoming two years and why? 44% of the people said, yes, we are looking to make a change, which is that it shows us a trend, an uptick on people's basic desire to switch. And if you look at the results, even on the 2400 people polled better digital experience was top four results, representing about 34% of the of the outcome. So I think that's very interesting points that this audience was very much in line with a much larger audience, obviously who participated in a thought lab study that we were part of it. And I mean, it is real. The digital experience is a must have these days.
James: [00:29:10] Fantastic. Thanks to Ates. Let's open the second poll question. That is, what are your top onboarding pain points? So the options are authorization slash approval process funds transfer in and out of accounts, document and evidence gathering and gathering signatures. So we have to think about that and cast your vote. Let us know what you. I think while we're doing that and calculating the results of that one, let's switch gears to the second video. With a private wealth now at play, join forces with AIA. Two years ago, after it acquired HollisWealth, meaning there were still regulatory deadlines to hit. Now this included 33,000 accounts and 500 new advisors that had to be integrated. So in this video, we'll hear about the pain points that had to be overcome, its effect on morale and how appway came on board to smooth out the takeover.
Harold: [00:30:09] Thank you for joining us today, Adam. For the benefit of our audience, can you perhaps provide a quick overview of iA Private Wealth as well as the focus of your role?
Adam: [00:30:19] Absolutely. And thanks very much for having me, Harold. So in order to understand iA private wealth, I just need to give you a little bit of context about iA wealth in general. iA wealth owns an independent distribution network with total assets under management of around $120 billion. That's as of December 31st of last year as an independent network of over 3000 advisors. We are active in both Iraq channel through the I a private wealth, which is my area and the MFDA channel which is our investor business. Collectively, the distribution network between the two of us is ranked number two in Canada for non bank dealers. iA Wealth also has a mid-tier manufacturer of mutual funds, which is our iA Clarington business, and that is assets under management of around $19 billion, 15,000 advisors. And we offer stronger stable and active internal portfolio for managers and sub advisors as well as competitive breadth of product offerings. Within my role and where I fit into sort of iA wealth, the iA private wealth side, we offer competitive and tailored wealth management solutions for the individuals, families and business owners through our network of more than 3000 independent investment advisor teams and currently assets under management, under management around $48 billion as it pertains to my role. My mandate currently encompasses onboarding, which is why we're having the conversation today. I also have the mobile app, I have the client portals. We're in the process of building out our advisor desktop, and I have some smaller initiatives around sort of single sign on authentication and authorization as well under my tenure.
Harold: [00:32:04] Excellent. So certainly you have a lot a lot to deal with. Yeah, certainly appreciate that. So Appway has been a trusted solution provider now to iA since 2019 when we first started our relationship. And I know at that time you hadn't yet joined iA, but I'm hoping you can give us a little bit of color of the 2017 HollisWealth acquisition and the regulatory requirement to paper all of the HollisWealth clients within a three year time period. And I know that time was kind of running short when Appway was introduced into the mix. Can you perhaps walk us through the challenges iA was facing and that made meeting that regulatory deadline difficult?
Adam: [00:32:46] Sure. So the strategic acquisition of HollisWealth from Scotiabank was was very large for us. You could say that it was a case of a smaller fish eating a bigger fish. We had 33,000 accounts that needed to be papered under those accounts. You're talking 50 plus forms in both English and French. You've got $500 wealth advisors, and it's not a 1 to 1 ratio with one advisor coming across. They're bringing their teams. So it was it was a big challenge. All of this business flowing in would obviously need to be repaid. But obviously, as you said, to meet those regulatory demands at the time, we had a very fractured relationship with the vendor that we were that we were using. Not many people know this, but we actually had two vendors prior to appway into two years previous to actually coming on board in 2019. So the onboarding system that we had was archaic. We, we really struggled to get the vendors to sort of be a partner with us to to help us sort of move that forward, especially with all that business coming in. We were losing advisors, you know, the manual processes, people, you know, fingers on keyboards, touching it, the amount of entries that were incorrect, the operational costs, both from the advisor's standpoint and from head office, was was extremely high. You know, the morale just generally as well was was super low because, you know, things just continue breaking. So with that being said, we pushed the relationship as long as we could. But in the last sort of 12 months of that three year timeline that we were in, we decided to part ways with our with our previous vendor and then start discussions with appway.
Harold: [00:34:29] And I know during that vendor selection process you hadn't yet joined, as we discussed earlier. But from what you now know about Appway, why was that selected over the other vendors and how did you kind of proceed forward?
Adam: [00:34:45] Sure, it's a great question. So again, the strategic acquisition of Hollis had pushed transformational conversations about technology platforms, modern architecture appways and just generally the client and advisor experience forward. You can't acquire a business like Hollis and drag them back into the Dark Ages and expect the returns of investment that you've taken to purchase them and not give them the tools that they had that made them attractive. When you went to buy them in the first place, it just doesn't work. So one of those tools obviously being the the onboarding of clients. So Appway was selected for for a whole multitude of reasons, you know, sort of off the top of my head, you know, you guys were willing to sort of work with the requirements that we had, the ease of use and the simplicity and flexible user experience of your product. We were empowered to sort of build and manage the workflows, you know, from the forms to the documentation, the actual UI as well. We had a say in that. So it very much was a partnership that we were very much lacking previously that we wanted to ensure that we had going forward. And then again, it wasn't just about bringing on someone just to satisfy the the need of repapering. Yes, that was the immediate need. You know, we were under the under the pumps because of the regulators. But we wanted a partner that could help us address all of the pain points that we've seen from previous vendors. For someone that was sort of going to help us move for the next 5 to 10 years and help us address those pain points to ensure that we were successful, you know, cut down on all those NIGOs or not in good orders. You know help us with some of those operational efficiencies that we were speaking about earlier. And just again, just generally be be a trusted partner and advocate for us.
Harold: [00:36:27] Yeah. So certainly as part of that process, I know there was a lot of collaboration and I know that the configuration of appway certainly was was very key to to one of the reasons why appway was selected. So with that regulatory deadline to paper, you know, looming, what, what then happened as far as the deployment was concerned?
Adam: [00:36:49] Well, if you remember, there were some late nights and an all hands at the pumps, but we managed to re paper the solution in 19 weeks and that's from project kickoff to the solution being in production. So a tremendous effort there. The system, logic and documentation used were fully compliant with the with the regulatory requirements and and all of the wealth accounts were successfully transferred as well. We papered basically within the timeframes that we had. So we met our deadline in short.
Harold: [00:37:16] Perfect. Yeah. And that's certainly very important. We, we certainly don't want our clients to be exposed from a regulatory perspective. Definitely. So from that initial success, obviously, our our relationship, our partnership has continued to evolve. Can you perhaps tell us what you're looking at and how to leverage appway going forward.
Adam: [00:37:37] Yes. I mean, when we initially brought it up where it was obviously first and foremost for the repapering. So that was where we started. You could think of it as phases or epics, however you want to look at it. So phase one was the was the papering phase two and three, we kind of blended into into one, which was the actual onboarding or client onboarding and the KYC or know your client updates. We then sort of flushed out all the gremlins with our best in class model continuous improvement that was phase four or five. And then obviously to really make the application per we, we started looking at straight through processing with our back office provider. So that kind of rolled into I think five phases between sort of coming on board and up until September of 2021.
Harold: [00:38:25] And so what's sort of the plan going forward? What's next, if you will, between our two or so?
Adam: [00:38:31] So right now, the team is gathering requirements around corporate accounts. I think first and foremost, that that really is a high priority item for the business to make sure we get the ROI on the investment that we've made with that way. But we have a whole slew of items in our backlog that potentially we can be working on sort of off the off the top of my head, you know. Appway is is used at the moment for for onboarding. But at its core, it's a workflow tool. So some of the items that could be leveraged for that, we have numerous group inboxes throughout sort of IT. You could consolidate all of those into into app way. Once you've consolidated all of them, you can start putting on SLA's. You could start tracking patterns for the types of queries that are coming through. Identify the pain points that are being being, being sent by the advisors. And basically from that, that will help us prioritize the backlog and more importantly, where we should be spending our dollars to address those pain points to kind of make the lives a little bit difficult and challenging.
Harold: [00:39:32] What about from, I guess, a lessons learned perspective? Certainly the people watching this are going to want to understand, you know, having lived through this experience, what advice can you kind of pass along to your to your peers in the market about challenges or challenges you faced or strategic imperatives from an iA perspective?
[00:39:54] Yeah. I mean, look, any any initiative like this is going to come with its challenges. So, you know, and not to sound like a cliche, but but it is a marathon and not a sprint. So you need to have stamina, I guess is is the first and foremost one. I would say you also need to ensure that when you bring in a vendor solution that first and foremost, it's not just a transactional item. Right? You're looking for a partner for the long haul to make the solution successful. You know, creating architectural guiding principles, I think will be your Jiminy Cricket's with the challenges as they arise. And I think anybody going through this journey, I would say it's always a good idea to take the time to sort of articulate the vision or the Northstar, and that would help sort of everybody get aligned to where it is that you're looking to go and how you need their help to help get them there.
Harold: [00:40:47] Excellent. Adam, we very much appreciate your time that you've given us today. Thank you so much.
[00:40:52] My pleasure Harold, thanks so much.
Harold: [00:40:53] Look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.
Adam: [00:40:57] See you soon.
Harold: [00:40:58] Cheers.
James: [00:41:08] Excellent. Now, in that video, Adam described how a partner without a way to solve their immediate crisis, they had to repay their thousands of accounts in a very short period of time. So, Harold, how did iA in that point make that transition from a tactical crisis management situation to a more strategic growth partnership?
Harold: [00:41:29] Sure. So one of the things that that Adam articulated was this was a marathon, not a sprint. And we've always seen onboarding. And that whole digital transformation for an organization is as a journey, and it's all about doing things in various phases. So initially when we go into an organization, we start with a minimum viable product. So an initial phase one, what is really critical to get in there first to address a particular pain point in the case of a that was repapering, but then it's doing multiple phases thereafter to address ongoing the ongoing evolution, if you will, of those transformations. So introducing client onboarding, client update, account maintenance and other types of of specific areas. As Adam articulated, I remain very focused on what their end result was, and it just became focused staying on point. He mentioned North Star, always staying on point, keeping focused, and that's led to that true sort of partner relationship between our two organizations and continuing to evolve the solution to address ongoing needs that that that they encounter.
Ates: [00:42:37] James maybe and thanks for sharing here. Maybe we can take a look at it because the pain point was the, you know, the pivot of that whole discussion. So our poll question was very relevant. So why don't we just maybe take a look at the poll results one more time?
James: [00:42:50] Absolutely.
Ates: [00:42:52] So it is very interesting. I think looking at our audience here, there's a overwhelming actually a piece of pain point in document and evidence gathering, which is very interesting. It's almost 70% of the audience is actually selected. That is their main point. And let's let's do one more pivot onto our, you know, talk lab study and maybe we can put up the results from that. Again, audience is not all this was spot on again about 2400 people. When we asked that, we highlighted the results providing authorization, providing documents and fund transfer, almost equally painful to everybody. But those were the top items. So that's one of the things we really focus on is appway. So the gathering piece, making it digital is really, really key, I think. So this is a very interesting results and it's very in line with our audience in the 2400 that's been pulled. Back to you.
James: [00:43:50] Excellent. Thanks, Ates. Thanks, Harold. Now let's push on with our final customer interview video, CI Assante. They wanted to streamline its branch operations and grow its business without adding back office employees. Working with previous vendors had failed to improve workflow amid a high number of forms and account types. So let's see how they address the issue. With the help of appway.
Harold: [00:44:18] Our final interview today is going to be with CI Assante. Wealth Management. CI was founded in 1995, headquartered in Toronto. They're a subsidiary of CI Financial and they serve the mass affluent and high net worth individuals. They have almost 60 billion in assets under management, 900 wealth management advisors, and they support both the Iraq and FDA regulatory bodies. CI Assante. Wealth Management was ranked the highest in overall satisfaction among full service brokerage firms and number one in trust with J.D. Power in 2021 for full service investor satisfaction study. Joining us today, Kathy Baran, senior Vice President Operations for CI Assante Wealth Management, and Carol Faull, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Application Delivery and Support with CI Global Asset Management. Both are subsidiaries of CI financial. Welcome.
Carol: [00:45:12] It's nice to be here.
Katharine: [00:45:13] Thank you.
Harold: [00:45:15] So we're just going to run through a couple of questions today and just feel free. I'll probably direct the question as it as it relates to the individual. But let's start with you, Carol. Back in 2019, CI Assante wealth management began a search for a solution to address some of the key challenges the business was facing with respect to client lifecycle management, client onboarding and so on. Can you perhaps walk us through some of those challenges that you were facing?
Carol: [00:45:43] Well as an industry. We were very, very paper based and we were looking at how we could digitize some of the more manual and paper heavy solutions that we were working with on a day to day basis.
Harold: [00:46:02] Excellent. And not to leave, Kathy. Not to leave you out. From an operational standpoint, what were you trying to achieve from a new onboarding solution perspective?
Katharine: [00:46:14] Well, obviously, digital onboarding provides a lot of operational efficiencies, not just for ourselves and the head office, but more importantly within our branch network. So a digital onboarding solution. We wanted to make sure that we had intelligence built into it to make sure that it's presenting the proper forms when for every different type of account that it was ensuring there would be no reduction in egos or not in good order items because something had been missed by by our advisor or our branch network. But then as well that it flowed through straight through processing into the back office to help reduce the the the workload within the back office. And what that does is allows us to continue to meet our service levels and our service expectations as we continue to grow our business without adding additional individuals within the back office. So we were able to become much more efficient and effective within our our back office processing.
Harold: [00:47:19] Excellent. Makes sense. And Carol, on the technology side, what were some of the things that you were that you were facing from a I'll say, a frustration standpoint from your previous situation?
Carol: [00:47:33] Well, we had looked at other digital onboarding tools in the past and had started down the path of projects with these tools. And we found that because of the applications that we wanted to integrate with what we wanted to automate, to Kathy's point about having the correct forms, we have a lot of forms for a lot of different account types for different transactions. We just were not successful with those other vendors because their tools, although they could create forms. It was the workflow that I think was missing, in my opinion, and that's what led us to our conversations with you, Harold.
Harold: [00:48:19] Excellent and so then as you conducted that that search to replace the solution that you that you had chosen before. What was it about applied solution that really kind of grabbed your attention?
Carol: [00:48:32] Well, as I mentioned, there was the workflow component, which was very, very important to us. There was also the fact that we had appway human resources to support us through this. In that you have taken paper manual processes in the past and you knew you were able to support us and our ideas on how to make a paper process, a digital process. And one thing that I was thinking about as we were preparing for this call was the workshops and how you and your team came and talked through every process end to end. And that workshop approach really helped us. And then the flexibility of the technology that you guys offer and our ability to work hand in hand with appway and developers when needed, but also our ability to be self sufficient when we want to be.
Harold: [00:49:32] I also recall and this is going to segway into, I think, a question for for Kathy, one of the decision points that was also, I think, helpful to to select appway was the fact that we could support multiple lines of business. So you could look at leveraging the technology across those different lines of business within the CI family. So from that perspective, Kathy as VP of Operations. Was the ability to deploy the same technology across multiple lines of business. Important from a strategic standpoint and why?
Katharine: [00:50:07] Yes, definitely within the overall CI Financial family and even specifically within the wealth management arena for for CI Assante, we have multiple lines of business, whether it's on our IROC or MBDA business or our high net worth private client business. And when you're talking account opening, a lot of the rules are the same is just different forms that you're mapping to. And so we've been able to leverage the knowledge that we built as we or that we learnt as we built out the onboarding process for Assante. And we've been able to leverage that on our private client line of business as well and looking to leverage it across other areas of the company. And so that was really important and it helps us to get to time to market much faster because we're able to reuse a lot of that knowledge and a lot of that intellectual property, I guess, that we've built within it.
Harold: [00:51:08] So certainly streamlining operations across the multiple lines is is certainly a key aspect. And Carol, I'm just thinking back to to when we kicked off the project back in August of 2019. I recall we delivered the first phase of deployment in 22 weeks, and that even encompassed sort of the Christmas holiday season. The project contains several key integration points. Can you perhaps identify and walk through what were some of those key highlights and integration points for that first phase to maybe help people understand sort of how they should approach to think about these things?
Carol: [00:51:42] Sure. Sure. So first, let's say the first phase was actually not account opening. We made a decision with the help of the equity resources as we were walking through the workshop process that we would get much more out of a solution that helped our advisors do maintenance on their accounts. So updates to client addresses, updates to client information. So because we were looking at pre existing accounts, we had to be able to pull that data wherever possible and pre populate the forms to prevent people from having to repeat. So we integrated with Salesforce and took client data from there. DocuSign Obviously e-signature is really important and then RPM is our back office book of record and we did some integration with RPM so that we could do straight through processing from the form. Once the form was signed, Cathy could do QC, but we really didn't have to have other human hands reeking information. So that was a huge win for us.
Harold: [00:52:47] Yeah. That would be actually a very key piece from a from an operational. I'm going to steal a little bit your thunder here reducing NIGOs. So so Kathy from a. As the new solutions started to roll out certainly there were some organizational change management that was involved. What were some of the successes around that or some of the challenges that you guys faced when rolling this out within, you know, across a larger organization?
Katharine: [00:53:15] Yeah. Well, certainly we've seen a dramatic reduction in NIGOs as as you mentioned, which has been quite, quite key for us. The other thing, as you know, the decision, while we do have the digital onboarding for new accounts, the decision to go with updates first was huge as we come in to the client focused reforms that have come in at the beginning of this year. And we saw a very dramatic increase in those types of transactions just because of the new requirements. And so the ability to have those come straight through has been key in order for us to be able to maintain our service levels. The you know, I was speaking to one of our branches just last week, and they mentioned they had a new advisor that came into their office and they were able the training for that and new advisor on account opening was dramatically reduced because it's such an intelligent solution. They didn't need to learn all the different forms. The system automatically presents the proper forms. So that's been a huge win for us. I will say one of the challenges has been maybe around the the change management. I think we underestimated some of the change management impact on the on our branches and helping to get them to adopt. So that's been a bit of a reset and a refocus for us this year to try and help them through that. Now that things are opening up with the post-COVID world, we're able to get into offices and really spend more time, one on one and face to face with them on on the system to just help ease their their transition.
Ates: [00:54:56] Excellent.
Harold: [00:54:58] And so I know we've we've we've done our or actually CI has done subsequent phases to that initial deployment excuse me. And one of the reasons why CY had selected appway was because you wanted to be able to take on the responsibility yourself to continue to modify the existing workflows, create new workflows both within the CI Assante. world, but also within some of the other lines of business. So maybe from an I.T. perspective, Carol, perhaps you could talk with the importance of the self sufficiency aspects.
Carol: [00:55:33] I'll first say that it's appway and the appway resources are always there for us when we have questions. So there's support from your architects that really help us through any challenges that we might have. But we have a lot of applications that we support, several lines of business, and it's very important for us to be able to move at our own pace. So self sufficiency was key. We got some great training from the resources. As I mentioned at the beginning, the first phase, we worked side by side with Applied Resources with the team kind of leading that one. And then the second phase, we took a step back and was more there to help us and guide us. And you also have really great partners in the industry. So when we have, which we do have a lot of volume in our requests that are coming in, a lot of people asking for more to go into our queue. We can reach out to appway partners. Then that helps us build up our capacity so we can do more for all of the different lines of business that are using the tool.
Harold: [00:56:44] Excellent and that's certainly one of the excuse me and that's certainly one of the mandates of of Appway is when we go into an organization, we're really trying to empower you to become self-sufficient. We're a software company. We're not a consulting services shop. So we want to help you get running as quickly as possible. And then where where possible help you become as self-sufficient as as as as as capable based on your organization's skill sets.
Carol: [00:57:10] But I would just I would just add to that, Harold, that, yeah, you are a software company, but you are very available. And that's one of the things I think that my team has really enjoyed. Working with your resources and the people on the ground. Around the globe. Really.
Harold: [00:57:28] Excellent. Well, thank you. And Kathy, from a business perspective, perhaps you can identify why the self sufficiency aspect of using a tool like app was important to to see.
Katharine: [00:57:42] Yeah, certainly. As I mentioned, we we have a number of different lines of business. And so being able to leverage that knowledge in-house and be able to deploy on a much, much more timely basis within within the team for we've already deployed it on our private client business. As I mentioned, that's an integration with our CI investment services, yet another line of business within our our wealth management family. Now we're looking to continue to enhance on both sides of that. So having that self sufficiency within our IT team that can quickly respond to to request has been really, really crucial for us.
Harold: [00:58:27] Excellent. So as a kind of a wrap up question, CI Assante. has now extended its journey on digital transformation, leveraging appway to assist with that with that process from a technology perspective. Are there any parting words that you can share wisdom to your peers in the industry that are looking to embark on a similar journey to transform things digitally? So anything you can kind of share with your peers would be very, very helpful. Carol, let's start with you.
Carol: [00:59:02] I think what I I'd say is it is a journey and it's an ongoing journey. You're not going to digitize everything all at once. So don't go for a big bang effect. Focus on the problems that you have today and the ones that are going to make the biggest impact to your business users. To help them, like Cathy said, it makes now that we're getting the adoption that we were hoping for, it really does make the day to day life where the advisor and the advisor team easier. So focus on that and then understand that it's going to be iterations and you're going to continue to add to it.
Harold: [00:59:43] Kathy anything you want to add from an operational perspective or business side of things?
Katharine: [00:59:47] Yeah, I would just echo what Carol said. You know, we made a conscious decision and I think historically maybe we've been a bit guilty of trying to get everything perfect before launching. And so this time we decided to take it as a bit more of a phased approach. And let's get something in the hands of our our advisors and our branches so that they can use and they can play with it and say, come back to us and say, hey, we really like this, but maybe this if you could do it differently than you know. So that was really important. And I think it's been it's helped us as we continue to enhance and add additional functionality and integration points. So that's been key. The other thing I would say is don't underestimate the change management with the branches that certainly when we've got 900 advisors right across Canada, you know, helping them to transition as well and come along, that change management curve is really critical in your on your journey.
Harold: [01:00:48] Kathy, Carrol, thank you so much for your time today. Very much. Appreciate it. And I'm sure the the audience today is has got gained some valuable insights. So thank you very much and look forward to ongoing discussions with you as we we delve into other projects in the future.
Carol: [01:01:08] Thank you.
Katharine: [01:01:09] Thank you very much.
James: [01:01:17] Excellent. What a good final video to finish on now. CI Assante mentioned several times about how self sufficiency was important to their long term strategic success. So maybe, guys, can you elaborate on how CIA is able to support their own needs?
Ates: [01:01:33] Yeah. James, so I think the key was CI did a really good job embracing the outwards. No code capabilities, right? What it means is in order to be able to make a change, the best way I can put it is it's putting together Legos as opposed to understanding, you know, knowing that, you know, a language like Java or C Sharp or C++, all you need to be able to do is, you know, building new workflows, making changes to an existing workflow, editing fields, which both have been addressed a couple of times on that video we use as well a place called Appway Studio, which is an intuitive tool to be able to put together these things and making changes. And they really take their time to get obviously trained on the platform and they use the phased approach and they really embrace our low code capabilities. I think that was the key for CI best case.
James: [01:02:24] Anything to add, Harold?
Harold: [01:02:27] No, I think I think Ates covered the really key aspects. Getting trained up on on on our toolset is really key to become self sufficient. And I think CI has done an excellent job with that shadowing our team and during phase one and then really sort of taking over starting in phase two I think has been a very key aspect for them to become self sufficient.
James: [01:02:49] Okay, thanks so much. Now I am very conscious that we've gone over our allocated hour and there was some questions did come in. There are going to be got to and answered via email. So rest assured all the questions will be answered. We just ran out of time a little bit today. There was so much information and insight to go through. So with that, thanks so much Ates. Thanks so much, Harold. Appreciate your insights and time today.
Ates: [01:03:13] It's great being here. It's a great forum. It's a great discussion. Thank you for having us and look forward to working with all Canadian customers.
James: [01:03:22] All right. Thanks. And for everyone for for tuning in and listening and taking part. Thanks so much. Enjoy the rest of your day. All the best.
Ates: [01:03:30] Thank you.
Harold: [01:03:31] Thank you.