COVID-19 made businesses rethink how they operate, and the financial industry has been no exception. Throughout the early portions of 2020, nearly every firm was scrambling to get systems in place that would allow their employees to do something as basic as logging in from home so they could do any work at all.
And while digital transformations within financial firms started to quickly ramp up, it hasn’t stopped—and won’t any time soon. Some firms struggled, but others had previously invested in the necessary technology, so transitioning was nearly as simple as sending laptops home with their employees.
First Citizens Bank was one of those firms that had already invested in the technology required for remote work. Even before COVID hit, their focus was on meeting the rapidly evolving expectations of their clients, who are increasingly demanding a frictionless digital experience, seamless and instant access to their full financial pictures, and actionable advisor guidance in real time.
How First Citizens Bank Found Their Team’s ‘Center Channel’
The financial industry has been moving more and more toward productization and a siloed approach – but not at First Citizens. They focus on bringing everything together – even though it hasn’t always been easy.
To that end, they’ve gone through numerous projects in combination with the Wealth Access team. In fact, its original implementation focused on Wealth Access’ fully mobile personal financial management tools and aggregation technology, which was most important for its trust accounting system.
From there, First Citizens looked for ways to integrate their custodian, Pershing, into their broker-dealer. The next project was to add capabilities to their consumer bank—including bringing clean, quality data from their financial planning solution, MoneyGuidePro, into their digital client experience.
Here again, Wealth Access built the infrastructure for all the necessary data to seamlessly and consistently be used across systems.
Thanks to all of this pre-existing focus on consolidation, First Citizens was able to weather the forced transition to digital—and the heightened client expectations that came along with it—with relatively little disruption to their workflows.
Now, with the Wealth Access platform fully in place and at the center of all of the firm’s data and systems, the team at First Citizens has been able to utilize its data in a way that meets quickly evolving client expectations by measuring progress in real time, and bringing relevant insights to clients in a way that’s easy for them to understand.
“Wealth Access is what I term my ‘center channel,’” said Michael Wilson, Managing Director of Wealth Management at First Citizens. “It’s like an aggregator of aggregators. It’s the glue that pulls disparate systems behind my firewalls together, which ultimately creates a single pane of glass both at the advisor view, and then also allows me to turn the screen around for the client as well.”
There’s a lot more to the story. Hear directly from First Citizens’ Managing Director of Wealth Management, Michael Wilson, in our latest case study.