As technology continues to disrupt the wealth management industry and end-investor expectations evolve, firms increasingly need to consider digital strategies that provide richer, more valuable experiences for their clients. To meet the high standards of today’s investors, it’s critical to think not just about optimizing technology tools, but about transforming the user experience through comprehensive, streamlined platforms that help drive collaboration.

To make the shift, we believe firms need to embrace a digital mindset and increase what McKinsey & Co. calls their “Digital Quotient.” Just as IQ measures intelligence quotient and EQ establishes the capability of individuals to recognize emotions, DQ is the metric for the digital maturity of a company based on its practices related to digital strategy, capabilities, tools and culture. Having a high DQ can help deepen client relationships by moving your firm up the advice value stack, helping your clients achieve true peace of mind and fulfillment.  It can also make your firm a destination for top talent.

DQ Focus Areas

Continuous digital transformation involves a focus on the four key components of DQ: strategy, culture, capabilities and organization.

  1. Create a common strategic vision. Start with the firm’s “why.” Can employees articulate why the firm exists and how they differentiate themselves in the marketplace? It’s important that everyone understands the overall vision for the firm, including the experience you want your team and clients to have. How can digital create a better experience and drive better outcomes?
  1. Develop a strong culture of learning — and live it. It starts with leaders who promote the mindsets and model the behaviors critical to recognizing and capturing digital opportunities. Leaders need to live and breathe the culture they are trying to instill. Firms that are purposeful about encouraging employees to try new things, and that are willing to fail fast and learn from those experiences, are more likely to flourish.
  1. Evolve digital capabilities. The best digitally enabled firms tend to move from investment management to planning, from paper to anytime access, from standard in-person meetings to dynamic interactions and deep virtual collaboration. Each facet is focused on delivering more value to clients and helping them meet their life goals, not just their financial ones.
  1. Hire the best talent for the organization and nurture teams. Value employees who are adaptable, entrepreneurial and curious about new ways of working. Work with your team to develop their talent and build their strengths — similar to how coaches put players where each will contribute the most to the bigger picture. This sets the foundation for a team that should be capable of not only enduring, but thriving.

We believe that wealth management firms and advisors who embrace transformational change with the right mindset will increase their DQ and, in our rapidly changing industry, will be the winners.


Tricia Haskins is vice president, digital strategy & platform consulting, Fidelity Institutional. The content provided herein is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. © 2018 FMR LLC. All rights reserved.