As digital transformation continues to impact the financial services sector, Asset Servicing (AS) firms are under significant pressure to modernize their processes. To transform successfully, they need to work closely with their clients to create frictionless alignment during the end-to-end investor lifecycle journey.
1. Straight-Through Processing and End-to-End Journey Orchestration
When designing a best practice approach to digital investor onboarding, the primary goal should be to automate and enable straight-through processing where possible, particularly for low-risk investors. With an end-to-end Digital Investor Lifecycle Management solution, Transfer Agents and Fund Administrators can benefit from an API-first ecosystem that supports a managed-by-exception approach.
The onboarding case can be digitally directed through all internal approval processes across the middle and back office – from account origination, compliance, legal to account opening. This is achieved with an integrated, rules-based workflow along with seamless integration with front-office systems to automate the consumption, processing and internal routing of client and investor information.
2. Compliance by Design
AS firms can further automate the regulatory compliance process with a robust regulatory rules engine that accurately calculates the exact AML/KYC rules and other regulations (tax, derivatives, market reform rules, etc.) in scope based on particular inputs from the investor portal, including client entity, jurisdiction, funds used, etc. From here, it assigns a classification and an appropriate client risk rating to the legal entity, which dictates the appropriate level of customer due diligence required. Both the investor and compliance team benefit from swift indication of the exact data and documents required to fulfill multi-jurisdictional regulatory obligations.
In terms of automated screening and risk assessment, AS firms can gain a true picture of complex investor structures and identify beneficial owners with legal entity hierarchies that further summarize the nested relationships of parent/child associations for enhanced auditability. This is enabled by integration with a range of industry data and AML screening providers.
3. Centralized Client Data
Data is the lifeblood that powers efficient investor journeys across the lifecycle. With a ‘one and done’ model, AS firms can internally connect all data repositories to create a centralized, shared view of both the client and investor. This encourages re-use of existing data and documentation across business lines and jurisdictions, subject to local data privacy rules, for future investor onboards, cross-sell, upsell, and regulatory purposes.
4. Intelligent Document Automation
The customer due diligence (CDD) process involves a significant amount of document collection to create an investor profile that accurately depicts and measures the risk each individual investor may pose to the AS firm.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Machine Learning technologies can help alleviate the pain of document processing and client due diligence during the onboarding process and subsequent account maintenance with automatic data extraction and validation of prospectus documents.
5. Event-Driven Client Due Diligence
KYC is an ongoing process and doesn’t cease once the investor has been onboarded. Investor risk ratings change as their circumstances change, requiring transfer agents and fund administrators to remain vigilant throughout the investor lifecycle. AS firms can improve ongoing due diligence throughout the investor lifecycle by moving from periodic reviews to an event-driven process. An automated Digital KYC solution can help streamline this by delivering real-time data monitoring against enhanced due diligence (EDD) requirements, prompting intervention only if attention is required by the compliance team. Features including trigger event management, automated document refresh, and the processing of updated client information for accuracy ensure ongoing compliance and enable resources to focus their efforts on high-risk cases.
6. Provider Greater Transparency with Real-Time Reporting
A key pain point for many AS firms is the limited management information (MI) on service status they can provide to clients and investors. This lack of visibility and oversight creates frustration across the entire stakeholder value chain, resulting in sub-optimal service quality. To improve investor and client transparency, organizations must consider a digitally-enabled solution that can provide real-time insights and reporting through multi-level dashboards.
In an evolving industry landscape, the future belongs to the Asset Servicing firms who can transform their client and investor onboarding experience into a frictionless, value-added service that delivers greater transparency while reducing operational costs.
A digital investor lifecycle management approach can enable Transfer Agents and Fund Administrators to drive greater cost efficiencies and enhance service quality by automating front-to-back office processes across the investor lifecycle and delivering a full 360 client and investor view.
Watch our ondemand webinar with RBC Investor & Treasury Services to learn how Asset Servicing firms are digitalizing the end-to-end investor onboarding process