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June 6, Session #2 Strengthen your foundation with operations excellence

Four experts came at us in this one! Jeremy Johnson, a VP at Pershing, moderated a panel of Pershing experts emphasizing it is time for all firms to “sustain a culture of quality management.” Jeremy and Anthony Ruffo (VP Pershing) together made some great points:

  • Make client onboarding a wholistic process. It’s not just opening accounts, but a client experience that needs to be managed for quality.
  • Pershing helps their clients with the shrinking margin problem by adding efficiencies that increase productivity that in turn drives profits. (I guess they aren’t self-driving?)
  • There is technology to help the efficient onboarding. Ask for help from relationship managers.
  • Training is available on all aspects of onboarding, so no excuses!
  • The systems if used correctly will help at audit time as they capture the total workflow.
  • If you are experience 7 days of ping-pong paperwork on workflow items, systems can turn this into a less than 2-hour process.

Jason Betz (Director, Pershing) chimed into the discussion saying, “Client onboarding creates the client experience” while reducing errors. “You can set up all your required forms so every registration has all required forms whether yours or ours. This is integrated into client onboarding which eliminates almost all NIGOs.”  This allows scale for greater productivity. Another productivity tool is eSignature capability accepting most major providers’ formats. Stephanie DiMaulo (Director, Pershing) is a great fan of the onboarding systems since it “allows What’s Next input (I’m not a user, so this is close to right, I think) for funding, standing instructions, account openings all at once.” This gets rid of the waiting around time for each piece to complete in order to do the next.

        In the “coming soon” category, operations excellence will be enhanced multiple registration capability to facilitate new clients getting it all done at once, which is what they expect!  Also, Jason says an Advisor Transition Tool is being built to mass upload groups of accounts for processing to complete opening of new accounts (end of year?). Anthony summarized the session saying it is important to be a leader in this process at your firm: Create goals, work with the training group, rollout the new way of doing business in stages for quality control. Create champions and advocates of those who will adopt new processes and technology. And yes, there will be those who don’t want to change, so a leadership skill here is to sideline them to avoid poisoning the well.

        Jeremy finished with comments such as, “The culture of the firm is respected… ultimately it is your firm.” Pershing is there with the Quality Scorecard to see how your firm is doing and work for improvement. Training is personal and online and they will help design firm-specific certifications to help employee development. Millennials love certificates by the way.

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