No uniform way exists anymore of delivering updates and education to financial advisory clients.
Family matriarchs and patriarchs log in to their accounts in the early hours each morning, and 23-year-olds check account balances on their iPhones.
This is why Atlantic Trust, a private wealth management firm in Atlanta, has appointed Logan Allin to the newly created post of head of strategy and client experience.
Atlantic Trust is the latest in a string of high-profile financial services firms to adopt that approach in an effort to buttress care of their customers and distinguish themselves from competitors.
Allin's short-term goals are to include working with senior operations and technology officers to develop a vision and strategic plan for client service.
Everything about how clients get access to their account information and an understanding of their money is to be his responsibility.
It is not enough to have quarterly statements ready whenever clients come in for updates, Jack Markwalter, the chairman and chief executive officer of Atlantic Trust, said in a phone conversation on Sept. 10. Clients want to see their asset allocations in real time, whenever they like.
"He is going to look at how all of our systems work together to enhance client service," Markwalter said. "Different clients have different needs. It is a constant interaction with them."
This includes the 14 client-oriented educational events that Atlantic Trust has sponsored around the country since January. Twenty-two more are planned this fall and into next year. Client interaction also involves educational webcasts and conference calls, Markwalter said.
Allin, a former senior vice president in the wealth management division at City National Bank, has spent a large part his career consulting for large global financial services companies and wealth management firms. He has worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, EMC Corp. and Capgemini, all in New York City.
"He got to see the best-of-breed systems, and that makes him uniquely qualified," Markwalter said.
But he will not be doing it all on his own. Atlantic Trust appointed Julia Beisel as a director of client administration to carry out the company's daily tactical client-service operations.
Atlantic Trust is growing in another way, too, Markwalter said. It is closing in on adding $1 billion of net new assets under management; it had more than $15.4 billion under management as of June 30.
"Logan is part of building, expanding our presence," he said. "If it is important to the client, it is important to us."