The Vision: CRM Within the Wealth Management Client Lifecycle

Robert Hupe, Robin Nowell, Conan Phimister

Deeper client relationships, increased lead generation, reduced operational cost. This is the wealth management business case for investing in CRM. When delivered correctly, the benefits of a CRM solution are felt across the entire client lifecycle:

Navigating the CRM Journey

However, whilst many are awake to the potential that CRM has to offer, few have managed to realise these benefits in practice. In our experience, this is typically down to one of three challenges:

  • Challenge 1: Failure to define and communicate a formal CRM strategy aligned to the business’s strategy. This step is key if the right features are to be prioritised, the business is to understand why adoption is crucial, and buy-in is to be sustained to deliver the full CRM vision
  • Challenge 2: Failure to define the target operating model before implementing the solution. To do this is to digitise inefficient and duplicative ways of working, increasing delivery cost, and reducing commercials benefits
  • Challenge 3: Failure to use the right delivery model. Making highly competent, but busy front office people accountable for the successful delivery of the solution rarely yields positive results. Whilst front office people have a critical role to play in representing business priorities and outcomes, they are rarely experienced in what it takes to translate these into technical solutions or ensuring the solution is adopted.

Before thinking about the operating and delivery models, wealth managers must begin with creating a clear strategy. This means defining and synthesising their target outcomes, and establishing the core CRM capability needed to deliver it, before identifying the elements that will provide a competitive edge:

How to define a CRM Strategy

From our experience delivering CRM projects to over 80 firms, we typically find wealth managers are starting from one of three bases of frustration:

  1. No CRM: They have no CRM solution and are operating off Word and Excel
  2. Unusable CRM: They have a basic CRM, but it lacks the core capabilities and/or user experience to make it functional
  3. Basic CRM: They have a usable CRM with the core capabilities, but it provides little value beyond reducing key person risk.

Without a systematic approach, defining a CRM strategy from these places can be hard and fraught with risk:


CRM is increasingly becoming a hygiene factor in Wealth Management success. Automation and insights are the solutions to the competing demands of scalable growth and exceptional service. With rich, accurate client data being the foundation upon which all automation and insights are built, design and execution of the right CRM strategy will distinguish the firms that are able to deliver on these competing demands, versus those that are not.

How Alpha Can Help

Alpha’s CRM capability, developed through supporting 80+ asset and wealth managers, operates across the full project lifecycle, from strategy through to implementation. We support clients in achieving their CRM vision by leveraging our deep understanding of Wealth Management business processes and extensive knowledge of the technology vendor landscape.

If you would like to discuss your CRM capability, whether you are new to CRM or have an established system, please get in touch here.

About the Authors

Robert Hupe
Associate Director

Robert is an Associate Director at Alpha. He has worked within the Private Banking and Wealth Management sector for nearly 20 years, covering a broad range of roles from investment management and client facing, through to strategic design and change delivery.

Robin Nowell

Robin is a Manager at Alpha, with 10 years of project management experience, including 4-years consulting within Financial Services. He has specific experience in CRM strategy for Wealth Managers, operating model design and complex transformation delivery.

Conan Phimister

Conan is a manager at Alpha, working primarily in the Client & Digital practice. He has experience working on CRM strategy, design, and implementation across Wealth and Asset Management clients.