Client Roadmap – From a Compliance Perspective
As “Client Roadmap” is a relatively new product for the financial services industry in North America, we know that one hurdle for advisors interested in implementing it into their practices is gaining compliance approval. This post is being written to help address issues and help you to have a productive discussion with your compliance department.
Q. Client Roadmap is a new program.
A. Although Client Roadmap is new, it is really an adaptation for the financial services industry using a program – Central Desktop, a successful company founded in 2005. Central Desktop is a social collaboration platform that helps you work together better by managing people, projects and documents in the cloud. Central Desktop centralizes all files, discussions, tasks, communications and more in one location so all information is accessible anywhere, at any time.
Q. How secure is information stored in Central Desktop?
We take the security and privacy of your data very seriously. Our advanced security infrastructure is third-party audited, meeting strict enterprise-grade requirements. Geographically separate, fault-tolerant and redundant data centers are SAS70-compliant, and daily backups are kept for 90 days. For more information on the security and reliability of our infrastructure, please visit our Security page
Each client workspace is password protected and is only accessible by people who have been invited into the workspace. Only administrators can invite new people into a workspace.
Q. How does Client Roadmap assist improve compliance?
Client Roadmap is designed to help financial advisors to take collaboration to the next level. One of the major roles of compliance officers is to monitor sales practices of advisors. Collaboration is an ideal approach for advisors who want to be more compliant in the way they work with their clients as the level of transparency is significantly increased. Collaboration is much less based on selling than traditional advisor approaches. In collaborative relationships, discovery sessions help clients to identify needs, preferences and priorities, and then discuss possible financial solutions (products and services) that can help the client to solve a financial problem or achieve a financial goal.
Transparency – By creating and maintaining a workspace for a client, an advisor is increasing transparency in all aspects of the wealth management process:
More formal and transparent method of scheduling meetings and telephone communication with a client – a 12 – 24 month plan is suggested with meeting purpose, agendas
Actions in the form of promises, tasks and milestones are dealt with in a much more formal and transparent way. These are documented with due dates and responsibility and are available for advisors, their team and their clients on the home page of the Client Roadmap workspace and notices of overdue tasks are sent via e-mail to all members of the workspace.
Client awareness – Existing methods of disseminating information to clients are ineffective. Advisors do research, attend conferences and teleconferences to keep up-to-date with industry trends but have difficulty passing this information on to clients. Through Client Roadmap, advisors can link clients directly to information about investments or wealth planning strategies so information can be passed on much more effectively. Each client’s workspace is designed based on his preferences, priorities, investment and wealth planning strategies.
Monitoring of communication – There are a number of ways that a compliance officer can monitor activities in a workspace. He can be added permanently to a workspace or added for a short period of time and removed. Workspace versions may be reviewed easily so a compliance officer can check to see if information has been changed by reviewing a previous version by checking for minor or major changes. E-mail notification and workspace activity can be integrated with CRMs.
Reviewing correspondence – Client Roadmap gives advisors the option of using discussion threads instead of corresponding via e-mail. This provides advisors, clients and compliance officers with a better method to review a conversation. Discussion threads can be set up for an unlimited number of discussions so that the information is more easily reviewed and discussions take place in a much safer environments than e-mail.
Uploading of information – A major concern for compliance officers is safety of client information. Client Roadmap allows clients and advisors to upload information in a secure environment instead of sending as an attachment to an e-mail. This significantly improves security.
Client newsletters and blogs. We understand the concerns of compliance officers with distribution of written material and the access of people outside of geographic licensing to that information. Client Roadmap allows advisors to to post articles in a fire walled environment and distribute them to their clients. Advisors can set up a workspace specifically for creation of newsletters or blogs and insert an application block into client workspaces for which the information is suitable. Only clients who are set up to receive specific information will have access to that information.
Compliance Approvals – Client Roadmap could be an excellent way for compliance officers and advisors to work more effectively together to gain approval on client communication. An advisor can set up a workspace for a compliance officer for all approvals.
I am sure there are other information that needs to be addressed as I am not a compliance officer or never have been. I have, however, been a branch manager and have a reasonable understanding of compliance rules. Feel free to share this information with your compliance department and ask them to contact us directly if they have questions or concerns. Any suggestions from compliance officers will be shared with readers in the future.