Quite a few people are asking me about proposition enablement. What is it and why do we need it ?
Well the answer really lies in the answer to the questions: ‘what do you do and why should you be paid for it ?’, and the fact that many wealth management industries around the world are going to undergo a massive change of consumer and participant behaviour brought on by pricing and fee transparency, not to mention the fact that millions of consumers will now start comparting fees and charges alongside the value they are receiving. Which begs the question, ‘what is the value that I am receiving ?’ and this comes back to propositions.
The point being that moving forward the wealth management industry is going to have to be a lot sharper about articulating what it is doing for investors, not in generic terms, but specifically what are the decisions and actions that are being taken, what is the consumer benchmark for valuing this type of activity, and how will consumers compare and contrast providers of such. I suspect that it is going to get quite competitive out there as the consumer disects the overall propositions from wealth managers and wealth management web sites and start to string their own permutations of such to get the overall experience that they are seeking. The modern consumers pay for what they value, and do the rest themselves.
Now we live in very uncertain times when it comes to consumer experiences. Almost daily there are new propositions and related experiences coming out, and in wealth management this is no different. I alone am working with dozens of firms who are reinventing themselves and their proposition for 2013 recognising that consumer behaviour will be different. They are in essence placing informed bets as to what their customers will pay for. Some will win and grow, some may be tested and rework to adjust.
So what has this to do with ‘proposition enablement’. Well most of these propositions are the offering of portfolio related products or services, in various forms, styles, philosophies etc, and it makes no sense that each proposition to develop out a full range of systems to support such. In the same way that an operating system on a computer provides a set of standardised components to get access to the computers resources (ie disk space, memory, screen, keyboard etc) in order to save application developers considerable time, those who are putting ‘propositions’ together will want the same form of prepackaged componentary to help them put their proposition together. This is what we call ‘proposition enablement’. Financial Simplicity is essentially providing a portfolio based ‘operating system’ for rapidly enabling the development of portfolio propositions for investors.