Date: Oct 09 2020
Kent Lawson, Director of Technology Integration Services at FOX, explains how we can drive efficiencies by employing technology.
In short, efficiencies means doing things quickly and with productivity, in a way that makes sense and is user friendly. Lawson recommends looking at things very specifically, taking a micro view. And then as well, we must evaluate a higher prospective overall, as a macro view. Further, you must make sure technology is involved in the strategic decisions in your family office.
Lawson walks us through a case study showing how technology efficiencies can be employed.
- A very large 6th generation family office with four living generations
- 100 family members and over 1100 business entities
- Large array of divisions for varying operations
- The processes for providing reporting was archaic and not at all efficient.
Lawson was hired to create efficiencies and was able to decipher the real issues:
- 80% of all reconciliations were incorrect.
- It was taking 3-6 months to reconcile an account.
- Incoming data was not reviewed and wasn’t always accurate, but reconciliation and cash management was simply based on the download of the bad data.
- Reporting output was in excel, not by using the technology tool.
- Reports were not purposeful or impactful.
- There was a huge amount of staff overtime.
Lawson helped the family office build efficiencies to incorporate technology. Here are some of the changes put into place:
- Revised the workflow so staff was arranged by area of expertise and interest.
- Employed the technology tool to automate data creation.
- Reconciliation and reporting became a daily cycle.
- Performance measurement was now be provided two times daily.
- A fully reconciled and automated report was created overnight.
Although the family office’s technology budget doubled, the staff went from 27 people to 5 people, and 22 people were reallocated to other roles. Further, the team found $27MM that never even got delivered. As well, the operational team rarely worked overtime, and this saved an enormous amount of money.
Lawson closes by reminding us technology isn’t the bad guy! Technology should be shared, standardized, transparent, timely, and it needs to be understood and managed creatively.
Kent Lawson is the Director of Technology Integration Services for FOX and leads endeavors focused on technology among other important deliverables to members of FOX. Kent has spent over 25 years serving the wealth management community in a variety of roles.
Areas of Expertise: Technology Integration