This article was first published in the Summer 2014 issue of Finance on Windows.
Headquartered in New York, Citi Private Bank is part of Citigroup and delivers private banking services to ultra-high net worth customers across the world. Three years ago, the company launched Project Sheen – an initiative focused on delivering an optimal client experience across all touchpoints.
“Following the financial crisis, there was a great deal of distrust and we had a lot of things to fix as an industry,” explains Dena Brumpton, global chief operating officer at Citi Private Bank. “During that time, we re-evaluated our target market and made sure that we were focusing on the right end of the spectrum. Ultra-high net worth customers require more bespoke services and so we started to consider ways we could improve their experience through Project Sheen.”
Brumpton explains that in order to provide the best possible customer experience, it is key that the firm understands its clients – their needs, what they want from the organisation – and is able to determine how well its bankers are delivering its value proposition to them. Furthermore, bankers at Citi Private Bank have the lowest ratio of clients than any other private bank, meaning they have an advantage in being able to get closer to and understand the needs of these clients. Citi Private Bank also wanted to ensure that customer information is held in a logical and ordered way that enables bankers to best evaluate clients’ portfolios and to identify investment opportunities.
When it launched Project Sheen, Citi Private Bank decided it needed a customer relationship management (CRM) system to help capture and manage all its customer information. “We started a regional roll out of a CRM system, but realised that it wasn’t going to meet our global needs,” explains Brumpton. “So our technology team considered Microsoft Dynamics CRM and found that it was everything we wanted and more. Most importantly, it could serve as a global solution and integrate with the platform we were currently using.”
Microsoft Dynamics CRM was implemented across locations in Asia in November 2012 and the full roll out across all regions worldwide was completed by August 2013. The implementation was smooth and the organisation found the new system to be intuitive, requiring limited training to get everyone up and running. “Ease of implementation was important for us. We had already experienced the challenge of trying a new CRM system that didn’t work and so it was important that the switch was seamless – and it was,” says Brumpton.
“Another factor we found to be positive with Microsoft Dynamics CRM was the ability to be compliant with regulatory requirements in each jurisdiction,” adds Tim Tate, head of client management at Citi Private Bank. “Our regulators are particularly stringent in Asia and Switzerland around the housing, storage and protection of client data. This solution isn’t cloud based and so we are able to ensure we remain compliant by storing all client data in our own data centres in key locations.”
Today, approximately 1,000 Citi Private Bank employees are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “Feedback from employees has been positive, particularly around how intuitive the new CRM system is to use. We’ve also been able to resolve some of the challenges we previously experienced with the old system in terms of speed and performance,” explains Tate. “In Europe, for example, the previous system would run very slowly because of the way we have to manage data going in and out of Switzerland. This is no longer a problem and we’ve witnessed a significant improvement in performance with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”
A key feature Citi Private Bank employees value is the Outlook client, where bankers can have instant access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM when viewing e-mails. By using the new CRM system, bankers are able to access client information more quickly and ensure they deliver an improved customer experience. “We can deliver solutions to our clients in a much more relevant way because we understand their needs,” explains Brumpton. “We know what they’re interested in and what their preferences are, which means we can target them better.”
When launching Project Sheen, the organisation also looked at how it could provide the banker and the client with the same view of relevant information. Its digital platform – Citi Private Bank In View – achieves this, and Citi Private Bank plans on extending the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics CRM by integrating it with the platform. “This will mean that bankers will have two entry points for the CRM system – one will be through the tool itself and the other will be through the client engagement tool In View,” explains Tate. “This integration will give bankers even more access to information on the go, wherever they are. Subject to local regulations, bankers will be able to view customer and account information on mobile devices away from the office, rather than being limited to their desk, which our basic CRM system required.” The success of Project Sheen and the use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a testament to the partnership between Citi Private Bank’s technology team and its front-line bankers. “The teams have worked really well together across all regions to develop the innovative client-based solutions we have today,” says Tate.
“We have been working with Citi Private Bank for the last few years and have seen the great progress they have made in developing excellent, close relationships with their clients,” concludes Ian Anderson, Microsoft Financial Services business manager. “We’re thrilled that Microsoft Dynamics CRM has played a major part in helping them achieve this and look forward to continuing to work with Citi, identifying how Microsoft technology can further help them meet their goals.”
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