Hybrid Engagement In The Financial Services With Michael James From Altus
3 min

Hybrid Engagement In The Financial Services - Michael James, Altus

Posted by Picture of Paul Holland Paul Holland

For episode 8 of the Sense Of Identity podcast, we caught up with Michael James from Altus Consulting, a company credited as one of the top consultancies by the Financial Times.

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Among other things, Michael discussed the future of hybrid advice, cross-platform customer experiences, and the trade-offs in moving relationships from online to face-to-face and vice versa.

Altus is a recognised expert in the Life and Pension, Insurance, Investment, Banking and Wealth sectors, providing a unique brand of specialist consultancy and a series of market-leading software solutions for some of the industry’s most challenging problems.

As Digital Director, Michael helps clients define architectural approaches for customer propositions, driving the delivery of new applications over new and legacy platforms, and advising on mobile, integration, delivery architecture, and risk.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover how top financial firms are leveraging vast amounts of data to better understand their current and potential clients, aiming to enhance client journeys and experiences.
  • Learn about the emerging trend of hybrid advice in financial services, where clients can seamlessly switch between digital self-service and personal advice, addressing the high expectations of modern consumers.
  • Gain insights into how the financial services industry is maintaining a balance between providing digital solutions and preserving the essential personal interactions, especially for significant financial decisions.

Interview Summary

Paul: Welcome, Michael James, Digital Director at Altus Consulting. Can you tell us more about Altus and your role?

Michael: Sure. At Altus, we're seeing a trend where companies have vast amounts of data and want to leverage it to better understand their current and future clients. They aim to improve client journeys, similar to retail sectors, which is challenging in financial services due to less frequent client interactions.

Paul: How are traditional FS businesses adapting to understanding their clients better through data?

Michael: Companies aim to use data to improve their understanding of current and future clients. They want to enhance client experiences and attract more customers, a goal that involves making client journeys smoother and more personalised.

Paul: How are digital capabilities aligning with consumer expectations in the FS industry?

Michael: There's a strong push towards hybrid advice, where clients can switch between digital self-service and receiving advice. However, integrating various channels like web, phone, and in-person advice is complex. The market expects high-quality digital experiences, from basic transactions to high net-worth individuals wanting online access to their wealth.

Paul: Do you see the FS industry maintaining a balance between digital and personal interactions?

Michael: Yes, especially for significant life events like retirement. People want human interaction when making big financial decisions. This need varies among individuals and financial products, but a personal touch remains vital in FS.

Paul: Are different financial sectors adapting differently to digital transformations?

Michael: Each sector has unique challenges. Banking has shifted significantly to mobile platforms, but pensions, with less frequent interactions, face more significant engagement challenges. The insurance sector has seen a mix of digital adaptation and traditional broker use.

Paul: How do you see the future of financial advice evolving, especially considering the pandemic's impact on remote interactions?

Michael: The pandemic has accelerated the move to mobile-first engagement and reshaped client expectations. Financial services must adapt to offering advice on client terms, whether it's digital or in-person.

Paul: Finally, what personal advice would you give your younger self based on your experiences?

Michael: I'd advise pushing harder and not being afraid of failure. Every experience, especially the challenging ones, positively influences your future. Remembering the principles behind your experiences helps you succeed in the long run.

Paul: Thanks Michael. Good to talk to you.

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Reviewed By:

Sam Kendall, 07.06.24

Sabrina McClune, 07.06.24


Originally posted on 16 06 23
Last updated on June 21, 2024

Posted by: Paul Holland

Paul, CEO and Founder of Beyond Encryption, is an expert in digital identity, fintech, cybersecurity, and business. He developed Webline, a leading UK comparison engine, and now drives Mailock, Nigel, and AssureScore to help regulated businesses secure customer data.

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