Wealth Management in a Post-Madoff World focus of First Rate Financial Performance Conference
Arlington, TX, June 27th, 2011--Like twin tsunamis, the global financial downturn and Madoff Ponzi scandal have forever altered the wealth management industry. Financial advisors are coping with consumer confidence meltdown and the toxic residue from anger, distrust and cynicism. The recent First Rate Performance Conference provided insights, inspiration, and specific training to increase customer confidence and improve customer service in client communication for the financial services industry.
“When investor confidence has hit the basement, a higher standard of transparency and disclosure are necessary to restore trust” said Dave Stone, founder and CEO of First Rate, which provides investment performance technology software services for asset managers and financial services providers. “Customers are the core of what we do. It is our goal to be a strategic partner to wealth managers by providing extra-ordinary service, tools and reports so that our clients can have more time to focus on their customers.” Stone shared during the opening session.
The Performance Conference keynotes included industry professionals Stephan Campisi, Brian Casey, CEO of Westwood Trust, Michael Tropaeno and Karen Vincent.
Lesson for Post-Madoff World
Stephen Campisi addressed Post-Madoff and Post-2008 Downturn: What Have We Learned? “To be good fiduciaries means that we must evaluate a total portfolio based on a client’s goals as well as question strategy, diversity and risk tolerance,” stated Campisi who is director of institutional investments at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. His presentation challenged investment performance professionals to revaluate former trends, watch details and to initiate rather than be reactive. “Common sense trumps math,” added Campisi. “To build trust we need to adopt a servant’s heart, adopt a stewardship mindset and have the courage to tell people what they need to know.”
Investors Returning to Basics
What’s on the Horizon for Wealth Management was addressed by Brian Casey, CEO of Westwood Trust Inc. Casey outlined that winning asset managers share five competitive advantages –
- Investment Quality
- Competitive, long-term incentive alignment
- Ability to Service total portfolios
- Access to broad cost effective distribution
- Global clients and products
“The economic outlook indicates the fundamentals are sound but risk remains,” explained Westwood. “It’s important to rethink traditional asset allocation frameworks to increase product diversity. Even though investors are turning back to basics, they expect a higher level of customer service from managers; including new products, better reporting tools, enhanced analytics, color graphics, and technology like the First Rate Performance 6.2.”
Evaluate to Optimize
Delivering an excellent client experience depends upon Optimizing Your Operations and Technology Resources presented by Michael Tropeano, Vice President of Wealth Manager Services. “Successful process improvement depends upon identification, evaluation, ROI and resource consideration,” explained Tropeano. “Outsourcing can be a good option as long as you select the right partner, provide training and oversight. The success of any action to improve customer service depends upon goal alignment, communication and accountability.”
Building a First Rate Tool Box
First Rate’s Performance Conference provided wealth managers the opportunity to expand their investment performance toolbox with interactive workshops and hands on training with First Rate professionals, including:
Revolutionize Your Performance Experience demonstrated new solutions with First Rate Advisor Express to improve the efficiency of reports to help increase customer face time. A more detailed look was provided during the New Financial Reporting Performance Solutions, conducted by Deborah Repak, General Manager of Products for First Rate.
The Portfolio Valuation Relative to Benchmarks was conducted by Todd Brunskill Director of Marketing and outlined First Rate performance solutions for benchmarking.
Alternative Investments, with Christian Jaeger of First Rate, explored the effects of alternatives and how to integrate them into the performance measurement process.
What’s Next For First Rate presented the new First Rate 6.3 Enhanced Performance Measurement and Reporting Options which is scheduled for release in July 2011. This next generation was developed from client requests for a streamlined system for faster access and integration.
Other workshops included Highlights of Changes to GIPS Standards by Karyn D.
Vincent of CIPM, Automated Composite Engine, Asset Summary Review and Multi-Row Editor and “This and That” which was an interactive panel session to discuss industry problems and technology issues.
During the opening session CEO Dave Stone announced organizational changes including Craig Wietz’s move to President of First Rate. “This is a natural step for Craig who has been instrumental to our success and corporate growth,” explained Stone who has been president for twenty years. “I look forward to helping direct First Rate in providing new solutions to help our clients achieve greater success with our cutting edge performance technology,” Wietz added.
Dave Stone, CEO concluded, “Serving our clients is foundational to everything that we do. We believe in going the extra mile and building relationships.”
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The 20thannual performance measurement conference was approved from CFA continuing education (CE) credit. For more information about First Rate and Financial Performance Technology, visit www.FirstRate.com.
About First Rate
Wealth management companies nationwide trust First Rate for superior investment performance measurement technology. Dedicated to providing a unique level of focus, depth and expertise, First Rate’s solutions optimize all facets of asset management: risk assessment, portfolio analysis, GIPS compliance, investment reporting, and more. The First Rate Performance Suite™ allows investment firms to calculate accurate rates of return, efficiently analyze the results and generate dynamic, client-ready presentations that empower internal resources to deliver improved client service. For more information about First Rate, visit www.FirstRate.com.