As more and more professional investors use digital methods to stay informed about products and developments, asset managers who provide them need to increasingly offer a broad range of digital solutions. That goes from having an active presence on social media, to personalized features that inform clients about their portfolios.
To meet this growing need, Robeco has launched a secure online portal for institutional clients. The MyRobeco platform offers access to a client’s portfolio information in one place, including fund performance and its associated reports. After strong feedback about its usefulness, reliability and built-in security, it was launched in the domestic Dutch institutional market in late 2019. We added the UK and Italy early this year and will roll out the portal across the world in the coming months.
“The entire value chain in terms of the client experience is increasingly becoming more important these days, and digitalization has a crucial role in that context,” says Alexander Preininger, Head of Institutional Sales for EMEA at Robeco and the business sponsor of the project. “It's not just about the performance of our products, it's also about how well we can serve our customers.”
“So, we try to be innovative, but also to raise the bar in terms of our servicing capabilities towards our clients to make life easier for them. Technology will increasingly play a big role in this. If you miss the trend here, what is currently perceived as a competitive advantage could quickly turn into a competitive disadvantage if you don't move quickly.”
“Therefore, it’s very important to digitalize multiple steps within the entire value chain. As Robeco has a reputation of being innovative, quantitative and technology-driven, it's super important to have this kind of offering in place as holistically as possible.”
The portal allows a client to view his or her portfolio’s performance, along with charts, graphics and other means of visualizing how the investments are doing. It collates all relevant documents, such as performance reports and regulatory information, and make them easily accessible at the click of a mouse. Clients can also directly download raw data via an API connection, so they can use it in their own systems for consolidation purposes.
“Client reporting very much relies on email and attached reports, and we wanted to raise the bar there,” says Ton van Gaalen, Head of IT Delivery at Robeco. “We started out with portfolio performance insights and a client report repository, and over time we added interactive features like portfolio holdings and movements at a given date range.”
“The portal is currently geared towards reporting based on month-end data, but we're moving towards offering daily updates. We will be expanding the portal capabilities significantly this year, and aim to further improve the customer experience from all perspectives.”
“Much of the innovation was focused on how modern clients now expect to receive information. There is a generation of people who increasingly take their digital and flawless personal experience with devices such as their iPhone as a standard, and have high expectations of the way you professionally interact with them.”
“On all touchpoints, we want to at least meet customer expectations and – where possible and feasible – exceed their expectations. This goes through the entire customer journey, from the initial engagement and client onboarding, to the actual service delivery and operational processes such as deposits and withdrawals. That's where the myRobeco client portal comes in.”
Now that the service is up and running and has proved to be working well, it can be rolled out further, says Preininger. “It would be great to have all our clients online from day one, but the advantage of a more gradual rollout is that we can incorporate feedback from the client side as well,” he says. “We are building a rich treasure of helpful feedback which we can use to create solutions that we might not have thought about had we not received the customer feedback.”
“As the portal and underlying processes become more scalable, this also offers advantages to Robeco, as it removes the need for manual involvement and makes us more efficient,” adds Van Gaalen. “It's a win-win situation, primarily for the client, but also for us.”
“Our ambition is to have as high a coverage as possible,” says Preininger. “We’ll never get to 100%, because there will always be some clients who opt out for individual reasons, cultural reasons or jurisdictions where it is simply not common to do this. But I think if we get a significant amount of our clients who use it over the next 12 months, we would certainly view that as a big success.”
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