Investing In Relationships Global asset management firm strengthens its client a r t i c l e services around the world with Pivotal CRM Whether working with large organizations or one-on-one with wealthy individuals, investment managers face the challenge of delivering high-quality advisory services to their clients while also building personalized and long-term relationships. Daily—even hourly—they must deliver targeted advice to clients, based on extensive research, at exactly the right moment. in this business, relationships are everything. One Pivotal CRM customer (name withheld for confidentiality reasons) provides a perfect example of how customer relationship management (CRM) technology can help asset management firms get ahead in this relationship-focused industry. A global investment management firm headquartered in the U.S., the firm manages more than $65 billion in assets for its clients—primarily large institutions from around the world. Building relationships to last As a long-term investor, the firm has to build lasting client relationships. Institutional clients today outsource many of their investment decisions to trusted advisors, which is exactly how this Pivotal CRM customer positions itself—as an advisor providing clients with asset-allocation strategies and detailed reporting well beyond traditional fund-advisory services. In the late 1990s, the firm was under substantial competitive pressure; the wake-up call came when they lost a few significant long-term clients. Early in 2000, in response to these challenges, the firm began re-tooling its CRM capabilities. The company’s head of client-services technology was appointed to lead an ambitious project to develop a system that could connect all of the company’s offices around the world and enable the company to provide better customer service. “Quality client service can effectively double the client retention period in a down market," he notes. “There’s a very practical side to making sure that our client service offering is carrying through a down market cycle.” At the time, the company was working with disparate legacy applications scattered around the world. These systems were not web-enabled, reporting was extremely labor intensive, and the same contact information was duplicated in multiple systems, so employees could only get a partial view of a contact’s relationship with the firm through any one system. Contact integration was the most immediate issue facing the company. “The firm often has complex client relationships with individual and institutional clients. We absolutely needed to be able to mirror the complexity of the company’s client relationships in the CRM system. The ability to have a single contact record for a client in the CRM database is both strategic and tactical for us,” explains the head of client-services technology. “Strategically, it lets us see all of the ways we relate to that person; tactically, it means that we don’t have to maintain an address in dozens of places. I can’t overstate how critical this piece of the solution was for us.” Pivotal CRM | Article Making The Connection By integrating Pivotal CRM with multiple systems, this Pivotal customer provides users with a central information hub and increases the value and utility of the system. Integration has allowed the firm to reduce errors and increase customer service without increasing expenses or headcount. The firm has multiple points of integration with their Pivotal CRM system, enabling a variety of functions: • Importing Prospect Data. Integrating data from Nelson Information allows the firm to view key prospect data through Pivotal CRM. Integrated URLs allow the user to link directly into the Nelson website for further information. • Updating Client Accounts. Every night, data from the firm’s account and transaction management system is imported into Pivotal CRM, enabling users to easily access account balances and other information. • Displaying Performance Data. Special .NET applications are linked to the Pivotal CRM system to perform complex calculations in real time and display performance metrics that can be viewed through the system’s client record. • Tracking Reporting Preferences. The firm integrates Pivotal CRM with their client report preference system, which compiles and sends out reports such as account statements. Information about which reports to create and for whom is imported from Pivotal CRM; after the reports are created and sent out, a copy of the report is then stored in the Pivotal CRM system so that users can see exactly what clients have been sent. • Supplying Website Content. The firm’s clients are able to log into a personalized self-service website that displays information furnished by the Pivotal CRM system. Client-services employees are also able to see what the client sees by accessing the website through Pivotal CRM. As the firm’s head of client-services technology notes, “Performance and client reporting are a key area for us and one where the Pivotal CRM system’s highly integrated and ‘integratable’ nature has served us well. The more that we can exchange data and integrate these systems, the more efficiently we can take on new business.” Selecting the right System experience, Pivotal CRM is ahead of competitive products in Although technology enables the firm to consolidate and terms of its web client and its web-facing aspects.” share client information, the quality of the client experience is not solely based on technology. The company’s business has a Unified, accessible client View a high number of customer touch-points, both during the sale The firm has been evolving towards a model in which the and during the client-service phases of the relationship. organization can follow a consistent sales process globally and at the same time provide services at a regional level to Together with the company’s CIO and head of client-services suit the needs of the client—regardless of where the original administration, the head of client-services technology was sale took place or where the investment decisions are being instrumental in implementing the Pivotal CRM system at the made. According to the head of client-services technology, firm. In selecting a CRM solution, he and his team opted for accessing clients actively through the web using Pivotal CRM a mid-market product because the firm had outgrown its now enables everyone involved with a client to be “on the small-office platform for contact management. “We’re too big same page.” for stand-alone contact management applications, so Pivotal CRM was one of the obvious vendors on our shortlist,” he Pivotal CRM stores the master records for all of the firm’s says. clients and contacts. All of the updated daily valuations, account holdings, currency exchange rates, and other critical The firm also engaged an independent consultant to data are integrated from the accounting system back into conduct a product-comparison analysis. In the end, ease of Pivotal CRM. “We’ve been able to build and extend these deployment tipped the scales in favor of Pivotal CRM. “One systems as we go without having to shut anything down,” of the things we liked about the Pivotal CRM solution from says the head of client-services technology. “The customer the outset was that, being web-based, it is a much easier experience has not been disrupted. We’ve also been able to package to deploy than some of the other products we have transition from using a separate web registration database to seen, which is important for user acceptance,” says the head moving directly to the Pivotal CRM system without forcing our of client-services technology. “Pivotal CRM is a really strong customers to create new accounts.” product. It was our assessment at the time that Pivotal CRM provided better integration than other vendors did. In our Now that the CRM implementation is complete, the issues facing the firm have changed. Globalizing operations and improving operational efficiency are now priorities. The organization is extending Pivotal CRM into the client-facing parts of the business. “Some of our key client services functions take place out of [head office], but if we need to Pivotal CRM | Article automate functions in one of our satellite offices, Pivotal CRM all of the ancillary benefits our clients receive as part of our becomes the glue that connects everything together,” says investment strategies,” says the firm’s head of client-services the head of client-services technology. “Client reporting is technology. “This includes access to our research and the principal among these functions.” quality of our client services.” Pivotal CRM is the central repository for client access to investing in the Future the corporate website; it is also the central interface for the Over the past few years, the firm’s assets under management company’s client reporting system. Relationship managers have increased from approximately 21 billion dollars to over can see client or contact account records directly through 60 billion dollars. “During this period, we have only increased Pivotal CRM and, on the other side, the entire history— headcount incrementally—on both the technical and client everything that clients have received to date—is updated service sides of the business,” says the head of client- on the company website, where clients can review it. services technology. “Pivotal CRM has been instrumental in helping us accomplish this.” “ One of the things that we are proudest of is that our Pivotal CRM deployment is truly global. Everyone The client-services technology team has begun to create new modules in Pivotal CRM for other areas of the business, such as workflows to support cash-flow forecasting. Using this new comes back to the same system and it helps capability, the firm can minimize the risk between the moment us ensure that our staff worldwide are properly a client notifies the company they are going to be wiring funds and the moment the money is invested. coordinated and sharing information—all of the things you could hope for. ” “One of the things that we are proudest of is that our Pivotal CRM deployment is truly global,” says the head of “Performance and client reporting are key areas in which the client-services technology. “Everyone comes back to the Pivotal CRM system’s highly integrated nature has served us same system and it helps ensure our staff worldwide are well,” says the head of client-services technology. properly coordinated and sharing information—all of the things you could hope for.” Pivotal CRM now integrates all Using Pivotal CRM to deliver client reporting and services of the company’s contacts, including contact information is about more than just efficiency and service—it’s about and activity from its field operations. Accessing vital client competitive differentiation, an important goal for attracting information—once an incredibly labor-intensive process for and retaining clients on more than just portfolio performance. the client-services group—now only requires a simple click of “One of the things we hope we can distinguish ourselves on the mouse. is the quality—not just of our investment performance, but in For more information, please visit www.pivotal.com or call +1 877-748-6825. Copyright © CDC Software 2007. All rights reserved. The CDC Software logo and Pivotal CRM logo are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of CDC Software.
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