Most sell-side firms exploit their client interaction data to improve efficiency and customer service to some degree, but if it is captured and analysed in the right way this data can provide a rich source of business insights that can transform productivity and enable new levels of profit-led client servicing.

By Cath Rawcliffe, Vice President Sales, Singletrack

Most sell-side firms exploit their client interaction data to improve efficiency and customer service to some degree, but if it is captured and analysed in the right way this data can provide a rich source of business insights that can transform productivity and enable new levels of profit-led client servicing.

With the market disruption promised by research unbundling and further industry regulation, firms will need significantly higher levels of segmented data access and analysis in order to comply and meet growing client information requirements.

By analysing the key components of client relationships, interactions and metrics, this data can be leveraged to maximise business returns on a firm-wide basis:

  • Sales, Research, Trading and management teams can make rational economic decisions around resource allocation and commercial targets
  • Account Managers can identify profitable client behaviour, through comparison across key metrics such as activity, revenue, and readership, and use it to inform account game plans.
  • Underperforming or under serviced accounts can be identified to ensure that account resources are targeted for maximum return
     

A number of investment banks and brokers have started using advanced analytics tools to harness the value of their client data in several ways.

360 degree client views

High level account-centric views of all main coverage information, metrics and relationship activities:

  • Comparisons of business data across key revenue, resource and voting metrics for a chosen account, as well as research targeting statistics
  • Significant events involving the account and a summary of main people relationships/interactions
     

This provides answers to questions such as ‘are our rewards commensurate with the resources we have committed to this account’, ‘are we getting sufficient votes in line with our servicing,’ what are  our clients’ real interests based on readership’ and who within our business are key to this client relationship?

Client profitability

A clear picture of client profitability requires analysis of activity, research consumption, revenue and votes, together with trend analysis to show where focus may need to shift as business patterns and relationships change over time. This enables firms to optimise how resources and coverage are aligned across the client base:

  • Matching up the best/most appropriate internal resources for optimal revenue stream
  • Metrics to enable a full understanding of  the client universe to drive effective tiering / targeting and research monetisation
     

This intelligence provides answers to questions such as ‘which clients are increasing or decreasing their revenue over time and how does this correspond with changes in service level?’ and ‘what do successful/unsuccessful account looks like, and how many do we have?’

Readership insights

A better understanding of clients’ readership behaviour is vital to improving the reach of research distributions and the targeting of individual asset managers:

  • Analysts can monitor contacts who may be consuming research but have not been targeted
  • Provides a better sense of what types of readers you have, what they are interested in, choice of device, any daily patterns of consumption, and changes over time
     

Readership insights can indicate who is reading the top downloaded/read research articles within a specified period of time, the most popular read times for research, who persistently forwards content and which accounts and/or contacts are the worst offenders.

Gaps & opportunities

Advanced analytics can also provide valuable insights to a client’s current status so that opportunities in terms of gaps between readership, client activities and revenues generated can be identified i.e

  • Who is not talking to whom, but should be, and what topics should be discussed
  • Identification of coverage gaps for key accounts
     

This answers questions such as: ‘Are we following up promptly on research being read by contacts showing a particular interest?’, ‘who is reading research but not interacting with us?’ and ‘is the coverage of our top clients aligned with our strategic and tactical goals for those clients?’

Analyst and sales performance insights

Management metrics on the performance of individuals and teams, and measurement of individual contributions to client accounts:

  • Highlights gaps between the services provided by staff members vs the client interest
  • Drives alignment & improvements of client servicing to clients
     

This reveals which analysts/salespeople are most popular, how their standing changes over time, how they perform relative to their peers/teams, and how this is reflected in votes received / revenue earned.

Stock insights

Although banks and brokers collect a lot of stock-oriented data, limited coordination and awareness between teams can mean that opportunities, such as an asset manager who has repeatedly downloaded research on a particular stock, may be lost. Stock insights enable firms to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the client, so that they can proactively engage with them across business teams
  • Establish who is showing interest in the stock
  • Target corporate access around stock interest and holdings intelligence
     

Stock insights provide answers to questions such as ‘what are the top 10 stocks being talked about?’, ‘which clients have we been interacting with on this stock?’ and ‘how can our sales trading  and research teams collaborate to best effect on this stock?’

Alerts and Notifications

With systems capable of delivering the answers to these types of questions, it will be possible to continuously analyse the data and alert management according to pre-determined factors e.g.

  • Warn if a client’s service level falls below a certain measure over a four week period
  • Warn if a key client’s revenue level falls below a certain measure over a three month period.

Competitive differentiation

Access to this new raft of business intelligence will give firms a distinct competitive edge, enabling them to identify their key strengths and leverage these to build distinct differentiation, while generating comprehensive client service metrics that will ensure maximum compensation.

About the author

Cath Rawcliffe, Vice President Sales at Singletrack, has worked in the capital markets industry for many years and was formerly Global Account Director at SimCorp, a leading provider of investment management solutions and services.

Singletrack was established in London in 2009. The company’s cloud-based CRM, client engagement and research monetisation systems are used by leading institutional brokers, investment banks and Independent Research Providers on four continents.