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Pandemic Accelerates Team Mentality Towards Clients - RBC Wealth Management

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , 8 December 2020

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The pandemic, and all the changes it has prompted, has shown that managers cannot claim exclusive "ownership" of clients and need to operate as a team. This philosophy was already in play before the crisis struck, and has proven itself over the past 12 months, the wealth management house said.

The global pandemic has changed many wealth management business practices and it has reinforced the wisdom of not making clients the sole property of individual relationship managers, Royal Bank of Canada says.

RMs and other professionals working with high net worth and ultra-HNW clients at RBC Wealth Management haven’t been jealous of sharing their clients or been afraid to refer their clients to colleagues when tackling tasks, according to Juan Aronna, new head of investments for the firm’s International and Asia business. (This news service reported on his appointment here.) Aronna is responsible for leading the bank's investment teams in London, Jersey, Singapore and Hong Kong. Previously, he was head of investments and products for Asia only.

There isn’t a “silo” mentality at RBC in terms of bankers “owning” clients; in fact that mentality became even less prevalent because of COVID-19, he told this news service in an interview. “We have a One RBC approach rather than being concerned about losing clients if they are referred to a part of the business overseas.”

This collegiate approach to clients was already in place before the virus struck, he said. 

The comments come as wealth managers have wrestled with how to manage clients – as well as trying to find and onboard new ones – during the extraordinary events of 2020. With so many RMs and others forced to work from home - handling clients via video tools and the phone - how they collaborate with colleagues over business has become even more critical. 

Such challenges are also clear in a region such as Asia where wealth management is moving towards a more discretionary approach and away from the traditional transactional model.

Aronna noted that discretionary wealth management is getting more important in Asia. “We have seen a big shift in Asia from transactional products into more much fee-based advice.”

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