Ann Senne, head of RBC Wealth Management U.S. Advice & Solutions, has focused on one thing for the past four years: modernizing the bank’s systems, processes and talent to create a more efficient and effective wealth management resource center.
In 2016, Senne came back to RBC (after short stints at U.S. Bank and LoCorr Funds) to revamp the firm’s “old school broker-dealer” into a “digitally enabled investment advisory business,” she told ThinkAdvisor.
Today, the bank has 2,000 advisors, up 200 from 2016. They work with $414 billion in client assets.
Senne first joined the bank in 1994 as a senior financial auditor after earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MBA at the University of Minnesota.
“[To better serve advisors] we spent a lot of time thinking about what are the key areas to invest in,” she said. “The first was really creating the planning experience, and to do that, we built out our team.”
That included hiring former U.S. Bank pro Angie O’Leary to lead wealth planning at RBC Wealth. O’Leary also has helped expand the tool set for advisors.
In addition, Nate Angelo from Russell Investments was hired as head of wealth management consulting, to educate advisors on in-depth resources they can use to better help their clients.
The modernization also meant adding strategists and consultants to an “internal wealth center,” who could help advisors build certain skill sets, including those tied to the use of annuities and insurance.
But key to the changes, says Senne, was getting advisors “to feel empowered [and] to provide clarity and confidence” so their work could become more focused and in tune with client needs.
This effort included investments in “enhancing for our solution set and then our practice management capabilities, and by that I mean product feeds. So we enhanced almost all of our products on platforms over the course of the last few years.”
They also added technology such as Envestnet’s MoneyGuidePro, a web-based product to help advisors work with and manage client portfolios. Plus, having strong customer relationship management software was critical to the modernization, according to Senne.