Three ways for building differentiation into your private markets client experience

Three ways for building differentiation into your private markets client experience

Gareth Lewis 12th March 2024 Gareth Lewis - Delio

As the alternative investment ecosystem continues to progress, individual investor access to flagship products is becoming easier. Thanks in part to new market entrants driving seamless investing experiences, but also down to larger asset managers further developing their distribution strategies to directly access the high net worth and sophisticated investor channels. 

There’s a noticeable upward trend of investment firms, wealth managers and private banks adopting a multi-channel distribution strategy, rather than these emerging investor pools replacing the existing ones. This includes a strategic focus on capitalising on, and reacting to, the growth of the industry/particular asset classes through product innovation, be it new investment structures or deal by deal strategies. 

So as this develops, what are we seeing and hearing from those looking to directly engage with investors when it comes to building differentiation and client engagement within their private markets proposition? As access becomes easier, it’s on those with the client relationships to ensure they remain differentiated and value-adding. 

1. Hybrid approach to product sourcing

Both existing providers and new entrants are coming up with ways and means of unlocking new segments of demand for private markets. Breadth of access to a range of asset classes and strategies is being built out through a hybrid approach of leveraging internal capabilities alongside working with a range of third party providers. Inevitably, leveraging both internal capabilities and wider relationships enables offering a broader product suite. 

Additionally, this provides a uniquely positioned proposition that can help entrench those client relationships through providing a framework that makes it easy to adapt and grow in line with changing investor demands. Though it relies on having internal standardised processes that are a foundation for scalability and seamless evolution of a proposition, without going back to the drawing board. 

2. A two-pronged approach to client relationships

A digital client experience doesn’t mean the disintermediation of relationships, but can reinforce the trusted client relationship. It’s a strong enabler in taking distribution from the one-way approach to an “always accessible” model that enables clients to engage in their own time. The emphasis lies in creating seamless interactions and empowering clients with the tools they need to navigate their journey effectively and efficiently, in a way that they have now come to expect in today’s digital age.

Whether that’s a client portal designed to streamline specific aspects of the customer journey, or a comprehensive end-to-end solution, it’s important to focus any digital strategy on providing digital client tools that are versatile and adaptable, irrespective of the product’s origin. These tools aim to enhance the overall user experience by offering convenient access to product, information, and support on top of the personal existing service they receive. Owning your own digital client experience enables adaptability on the product strategy, but consistency for how clients are interacting with your brand.

3. Leveraging technology to improve and centralise existing offerings

Rather than overburdening clients with various logins and inconsistent user journeys, an end-to-end solution can integrate the various client touch points, requirements and processes when going through the investment journey. Right the way from the simple things such as document storage, through to integrated reporting, KYC and deal engagement tools. Client engagement can benefit substantially from having on-demand access to a single source of truth, especially when it comes to everything a firm can  provide them with to diversify their private markets portfolio. 

By establishing a standardised client experience framework across different market segments, you are building for scale. This standardisation ensures consistency in how products are developed, marketed, and delivered, reducing complexities associated with product rollout.

In our recent discussions, we’ve observed a shift among clients away from a focus on “point” solutions only solving for a small part of their overall operating model. Instead, they express a desire for a more integrated approach that eliminates the need for multiple fragmented systems  and seek a standardised capability that empowers them to interact with various product providers seamlessly, whilst still ensuring optimisation of user experience for different stakeholders. 

This is a particularly interesting development for clients managing numerous service lines and products. They are exploring innovative methods to leverage their existing product capabilities, often allowing them to uniquely position themselves as valuable to their end investors as they look to increase their engagement in private markets. 

We remain hugely excited by the growing appetite for private markets differentiation and end-to-end digital transformation. Through Delio Plus, we’re working with a number of firms to help them on their journeys in adopting new ways of driving value for their clients in private markets. Book a demo to find out more.

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