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Live at Viva technology, the Europe’s biggest Tech event

with Mariam Rassai, Chief Digital and Data Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management.

Live at Viva technology with Mariam Rassai

On the BNP Paribas stage, Mariam shared the journey of how BNP Paribas Wealth Management is reinventing itself and embracing digitalization to transform clients' experience.


Mariam, could you explain how new technologies are transforming the Wealth Management industry?

We are here at Vivatech today, and I would like to tell you how this industry as a whole and BNP Paribas Wealth Management specifically is reinventing itself, and how digitalisation is transforming the experience we provide to our clients by presenting what has been developed in a tangible way, to accompany all our clients in their new uses of banking and financial services.

In 2017, we took the strategic decision to invest more resolutely in our digital transformation. We launched our Client Experience Program co-designing as much as possible our digital features with our clients, before deploying them progressively in various entities. Client input is extremely precious to ensure the digital experience we envision is meeting their requirements. Then when it comes do delivering the digital product, we have adopted agile practices, in line with digital standards, and our small empowered teams are leading the delivery of our digital features. We are leveraging on design factories all across the world, and our Squads include Product owners, designers, developers, scrum masters, and growth hackers. We had to develop new skills, this was a huge transformation for the organization. The digital transformation led during past years has also raised a global awareness and interest on new technologies within the organization at a large scale.

Another important element is the partnerships that we have built over the past years. Our strategy is not necessarily to develop everything ourselves, and we leverage on the technology provided by best in class fintechs. We rather see ourselves as an orchestrator, designing a global client journey offering a cutting edge experience, and relying on various partners.

What was the output of this great mobilization?

The digital experience we have designed through continuous feedback with clients covers every phase of the client’s life, and all areas of our expertise, particularly Advisory, Private Assets, Impact solutions, with dedicated digital solutions. Let me give you some examples. Together with our partner Raise, a French start-up, we developed ‘Allocation Designer’. This service is an interactive modelling tool for private banker, it allows them to run strategic asset allocation simulations and visualise the associated expected risk and returns in real time. This tool complements our approach of focusing on clients’ overall wealth allocation, including non-traditional assets, before presenting product solutions.

Another example is myMand@te, the tailor made discretionary portfolio management service we have developed leveraging on our partner Gambit. This service provides clients access to an innovative, personalised Discretionary Portfolio Management (DPM): they can test MyMand@te before subscribing, customise their mandate and track their investments online.

Another service we developed in partnership with a UK based start-up, CityFalcon, allows us to aggregate external sources of information, press articles, select the most popular ones, and provide to our clients this personalized newsfeed. We believe that access to this external information complements our own views and opinion, that we also provide through our digital channels, in various formats that can be articles, videos or podcasts.

And on an asset class which is very emblematic for Wealth Management, one of our latest achievements was the launch of our Private Assets Portal: this Portal provides our client with 24/7 digital access to all the information they need on their investments in private asset funds proposed by BNP Paribas Wealth Management. It’s an impressive one-stop-shop to access the fund activity, reporting and performance, as well as educational content.

What about the client relationship? Isn’t human interaction what clients value most?

Human interaction is definitely what makes our business unique and we will continue to leverage our hybrid service model, capitalising on the combination of our RMs’ expertise and Digital technology. The more digital our world becomes, the more we value personal connections: our aim is to create the best digital experience for our clients, while keeping a close trusted human interaction.

Our client can interact with us through their preferred channel, be it a chat, a video conference, or instant messaging, depending on their need. They can place their orders through secured WhatsApp for Business channel. Our clients can be in touch with their RM and with experts easily, with a balance between personal and digital interaction. The relation between the client and the private banker remains central in our business, and technology is there to facilitate this relation. Adoption of digital features is rapidly growing, with an increasing trend on mobile devices.

Does rapid digital adoption in Wealth Management suggests there is an appetite for AI?

There is indeed a potential wide range of AI use cases in WM: that we could categorize under 3 groups: enhancing client knowledge & experience, optimizing risks, gaining in efficiency.  

And some of them are already implemented. Up to now, many use cases were more internal use cases with the objective of gaining in efficiency and risk management:  automation of controls, processes, cybersecurity, client onboarding are some examples. If the take the example of client onboarding, the completeness and accuracy of data is key for this process, so we can easily imagine how AI can be a strong support to collect data an perform controls in an extremely optimized way. There is also already a good level of maturity on use cases related to natural language. We are at a turning point where we can see the first client facing use cases. So we have to develop use cases where we leverage on all sources of data and this means that we also need to build robust fundamentals, allowing secure access to all these sources of data. In parallel we need to build an ecosystem integrating various technologies at the service of these use cases, some use cases rely on internal development, some others on external partners, in line with our strategy. And on top of that we need to be prepared to integrate latest LLM technologies when we will have the right level of comfort to do so.