Best Ideas from the Best of the ABA

March 17, 2012

After exploring my inner geek the week before at the Microsoft Research TechFest2012 and the GeekWire Summit, it was time to put the pinstripes back on this past week (figuratively, at least) as I headed to Scottsdale for the American Bankers Association Wealth Management Conference.

There were more suits and ties and fewer jeans (and no North Face or Marmot jackets), and more pads and pens and fewer iPads and utlrathin notebooks, as I might have expected. I didn’t have live Twitter conversations about the carpeting that looked like QR codes; but just like last week, I still found some bright and engaged people trying to navigate turbulent and uncharted waters to engage their customers and grow their business. Here are the highlights:

Best quote:

“Watching the stock market last year was like watching a chicken try to fly.  

Too much ballast and not enough lift.”

–  Dr. David Kelly, Chief Market Strategist, J.P. Morgan Funds

Back to the Future: 

Go back 10 years to 2002– the key question was when to get back into technology stocks? No one was asking about REITs, commodities, emerging markets, gold, or any of the things that have outperformed since. U.S. stocks have out-performed BRIC (Russia, Brazil, India and China) for 4 years straight, but no one is interested.”

Richard Bernstein, founder, CEO and chief investment officer,

Richard Bernstein Advisors, LLC

Ready and Willing, but Unable?

“Fifty percent of high net worth clients are willing to interact with their advisors via mobile, but only 18% have it available to them.”

 –Eileen VanScoy, Executive Vice President of Product Management, SunGard

What Drives Client Loyalty? It Depends:

What Drives Loyalty To Advisors:

  1. Trust
  2. Proactive communication (1x/month)
  3. Quality of advice

What Drives Loyalty To Firms:

  1. Quality of advice
  2. Service
  3. Value for money

(Note that clients think advice is a firm’s responsibility- Top driver of loyalty to the firm, third driver of loyalty to the advisor)

Michael Kostoff, Partner, WISE Gateway LLC,

former Executive Director of the VIP Forum

What Drives ‘Brand Love’ and Trust?

  • Integrity
  • Intent
  • Capabilities
  • Results

Define the desired service experience, make culture a verb and make sure everyone in the organization understands and lives the desired experience as “The way we serve”:

  • Starbucks- the “third place”, as comfortable as your living room.
  • Ritz Carlton- re-create the home of loving parents.
  • Zappos- “wowful happiness”

Joseph Michelli, PhD,
Author and Organizational Consultant

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