Driving sustainable behaviour change at a global Wealth Management Company


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Driving sustainable behaviour change at a global Wealth Management Company

To be perfect is to change often…

The most successful companies recognise that driving change is what keeps them ahead of the curve… as the adage goes “to improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often”. In 2020, a FTSE 100 wealth management company found that their current systems and processes were hindering their ability to provide a market-leading customer experience. In addition, lack of consolidated data inhibited their potential for growth. Additionally, in wealth management, like most industries, there were headwinds; digital competitors with lower-cost pricing models coupled with the rise of robo-investors.

The company selected Salesforce as the platform to enable their digital transformation. However, leaders recognised that this wasn’t only about technology. Instead, it was the opportunity to launchpad long-term transformative change and contribute to the next phase of future growth for the business. Roberts Group Consulting, being recognised leaders in People, Change & Transformation, were asked to support the organisation to drive a culture of customer centricity, data-driven behaviours, and digitised ways of working among the firm’s financial adviser community.

Rising to the challenge of change…

Moving to the new ways of working would not be an easy task given the traditional methods employees currently used to engage with their customers. It was important to not try and erase the past traditions and values that had made the individuals and company successful to date, but to help evolve ways of working in a progressive and sensitive way. Added to that, the company had also previously experienced a major system change – one that was not well received by the majority – a study by Microsoft declared that ‘many businesses still see digital transformation purely as a customer experience or operations exercise’ – and indeed, it appeared that the prior system change lacked consideration for the end-users involved, which meant that we were now dealing with a company which already held a negative perception of future changes and leaders who were not convinced of the value of change. 

Moving the needle on long-term, sustainable behaviour change

Having identified the challenges, it was clear that to drive sustainable business value, the focus would need to be on people and organisation:

Leadership Alignment and Coaching: Leadership is the single most important factor in driving change. In this instance, it was vital to ensure all leaders across the business were part of defining the vision. This guaranteed their buy-in and also resulted in them leading by example. Leaders were kept updated of the progress and where necessary, reminded of the commitments they had made at the visioning stage. When an employee sees that their boss values something, they generally follow suit…

User Involvement: Those with earlier bad experiences of organisational change, unsurprisingly, tend to show the most resistance. They also have a negative impact across the organisation. Taking a ‘user-centred’ approach meant that there was a strong understanding of the specific needs of each user group; they were engaged early, appropriately and throughout the programme. Additionally, engaged users are always the best source of information; they provide constructive feedback which allows the project team to course correct as necessary. Throughout this process the user engagement builds a loyal base of knowledgeable advocates for the programme.

Training:  In established teams, behaviour change can be difficult to influence and sustain, and happens at different rates. In order to ensure the change was done ‘with’ the organisation, rather than ‘to’ the organisation, we took a ‘train-the-trainer’ approach and launched and managed a change task force. Building capability within the organisation always works well at driving accountability and making change sustainable. With clearly defined roles to cascade information down through the company, and the benefit of being invited to undergo the initial training ahead of their peers, the change task force was key to building trust and increasing awareness and buy-in amongst all levels of the organisation.

People make the difference…

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and human beings don’t change their behaviour overnight! However, by focusing on bringing leaders and employees on the journey, defining the ‘rules of the game’ (behaviours) that were expected and embedding the capability within the heart of the organisation, real impact was achieved. Advisors experienced a 10% uptick in productivity, client satisfaction improved from enhanced ways of working and visibility of data enabled a new wave of growth.

As always, technology was the enabler, but it was people who really made the difference.

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If you have any questions regarding your digital transformation journey, we’d love to hear from you.

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Roberts Group Consulting is a transformation, change and HR consulting firm helping organisations to get the most from their people, and people to get the most from their organisation. With offices in London and Singapore and a customer delivery hub in Bangalore we partner with clients around the world to ask and answer the big people & organisation related questions.

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