Standard Bank Wealth and Investment is an integral part of the Standard Bank Group, which has grown out of South Africa to cover the continent. It uses this 150 year history and network to provide advice to wealthy clients, many of them emanating from the bank, but it also has a number of digitial tools to attract newcomers. This combined approach has gained it the Outstanding Global Private Bank: Africa trophy at the 30th annual Private Banker International (PBI): Global Wealth Summit & Awards, which was held virtually in 2020 due to Covid-19.

The Wealth and Investment arm achieved headline earnings of R284 million (US$17.2m) in 2019, an exceptional 37% rise versus the previous year, and the four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is very good at 27%. The unit has an earnings target of R438m by 2023.

There was a 9% growth in assets under management (AUM) in 2019 to R104 billion (US$6.3bn), entrusted by 19,908 clients, a 4% increase from 2018, located in 19 countries across Africa and some in the UK.

The combination of its:

  • well trained relationship managers (RMs),
  • network coverage;
  • & digital tools is what has delivered success.

Digital tools have contributed to a cost-income-ratio at 85%. The My360 digital tool has been an exemplar, allowing individuals to assess their own financial status, while making it plain that wealth management is not just for the wealthy but for all those interested in retirement planning, savings or just maximising investments. Its upped engagement and the initial rollout to affluent customers, since extended to everyone, saw R91bn linked to the platform from all sorts of different organisations, providing RMs with discussion openings and selling opportunities.

The Challenger model, focused on providing a data-rich insight lead experience from RMs, has been deployed to ensure that people, process and technology is aligned well. It is one of the key frameworks that won the bank an Outstanding RM Training and Development Programme; trophy at the PBI Global Wealth Summit & Awards 2020.

Recently implemented, the Challenger sales philosophy and associated toolkit is intended to prevent a mere demonstration of products in favour of encouraging a more proactive data-led client engagement model. It is reliant on Challenger training for staff supported by a portal, which gives access to guides, insights, messages and industry-related topics to ensure that RMs remain fully engaged and up-to-date. Peer-to-peer (P2P) learning capabilities mean employees can share experiences of complex problems and solutions. Daily or weekly bite size learning nuggets are distributed through digital ‘Training Bytes’. These can be saved in a Knowledge Hub for future reference.

There are Challenger coaching skills sessions for senior team leaders to ensure the philosophy is widely disseminated. Learning drills and regular one-on-one training and joint customer engagements are part of the process. Staff can progress at their own pace, following the ‘My Learning Journey’ pathway.

This is buttressed by a ‘NexGen programme’ that is focused on talent mapping and developing junior and middle management into future leaders. Networking opportunities have been increased and 15 NextGen Manco members are identified each year for the bespoke leadership programme. There is also a mentorship programme.

A 'Journey to Greatness' element with access to Harvard Online-Learning tools helps develop leadership and skills across the three key future requirements identified by the bank as necessary to achieve long-term, sustained growth across the Group:

  • Client-centricity,
  • Digitisation,
  • & becoming a Universal Financial Services Organisation.

Additionally, the bank has restructured its recruitment process to ensure it attracts the best future talent, which must necessarily combine digital and people skills in the coming years.

There are 331 employees in the team, comprising:

  • 94 Relationship Managers,
  • 46 transactional RMs,
  • 75 advisors & 116 support staff.

Staff turnover was around 2% in 2019 versus 7% in 2018, proving that the engagement drive is working. This is against a market average staff turnover rate of 15%, says the bank.

All of these efforts will ensure the Wealth and Investment team is upskilled and equipped to get the most out of Standard Bank’s investment in numerous data-led, internal digital tools that are intended to provide clients with more information and choice than ever before. The bank is digitising its platform and working towards an integrated approach that allows RMs to offer clients the best solutions and services, based on accurate, real-time data that is offered at the correct time.

Standard Bank Wealth and Investment also achieved Highly Commended (HC) status in the • Outstanding WM Technology Initiative – Back Office category at the 30th annual Private Banker International (PBI): Global Wealth Summit & Awards 2020, which were held virtually this year due to Covid-19.

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