The rise of the machines is something you would expect a Fintech to embrace. To quote someone we have worked with before, @DaveCoplin, the rise of the machines does not mean the machines are taking over, in truth, they enable the “rise of the humans”. This is something we strongly believe at Wealth Wizards. It is not just the role of our tech to make advice businesses work faster and smarter in the back office or create the best digital engagement in financial advice to help close the advice gap. It’s the role of our people to make that experience a joy. Yes, you read it right. A joy.
Making our customers relaxed, happy and successful – even when contemplating complex system integrations as part of their digital transformation journeys is what motivates the teams at Wealth Wizards to get out of bed in the morning. We would say that though, surely? The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so here is a look in a little more detail about what makes us tick and what the customers think of our approach to ensuring customer success in what we do.
Our customers already know Kim Jenkins and Donna Makey who lead this team. Both Kim and Donna are motivated by ensuring and (dare we say it) enjoyable implementation and digital transformation experience to all customer projects they work on. We kid you not when we say that, we’ve been told that working here is genuinely more exciting than an afternoon partying with Kylie Minogue.
Donna hails from a tiny seaside town in Yorkshire called Withernsea and got a case of wanderlust at an early age which resulted in a trip to Australia in search of adventure, followed by time working in a hotel in The Hamptons near New York helping organize events for famous pop stars and fashion icons like Kylie and Vera Wang. Not drawing any comparisons here, but did experience at a young age of managing exceptionally high demand from famous folk, who know exactly what they wanted and didn’t want, prepare her well for a career working with financial advisers?! You decide! It’s Donna who told us that meeting Kylie Minogue came a close second to the job satisfaction she gets from making our clients feel connected, happy, informed and confident on a daily basis. We found this hard to believe, but as she has experienced both, who are we to argue? Donna met Kylie and then she got a job at Wealth Wizards! Yes, she was that lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky…!
On returning to the UK, Donna started working in financial services chasing policies for advisers and moved into a role as a customer service manager with Honister Capital and in later years in IT as an Account Manager and Trainer, implementing systems such as Intelligent Office and Xplan within a variety of Financial Adviser networks including; Honister Capital, Caerus and Quilter. Further time spent as an Account Manager for EValue has led to a wealth of experience of integration support with different technology providers . Donna has told us that she believes the key to implementing great tech is that the people supporting every implementation have great “learned behaviours”. We asked her what these were?
“Transparency, honesty and great communication are a given,” she told us “also integrity – not being afraid of sharing bad news, demonstrating empathy with deep understanding and clear accountability to build trust are valued as highly as an awesome product by my customers. We don’t speak tech if they don’t. We focus on the outcome and the path to reach it and are with them at every step.”
It’s clear to see that Donna is motivated by the end result -the success of the projects she works on with IFAs, including helping them understand how tech will enable their business and then simply, making it happen. She is also not easily phased, it seems!
“Our clients buy from us because we are the market leaders in automated advice, but also because the people who work for Wealth Wizards are not phased by challenge – we rise to it” said Donna. “We must always be a step ahead of the client to drive innovation but equally working alongside every person to take them on a journey at a pace that is best suited to the client’s requirements. We drive the pace but we don’t run away with it – we are in this together.”
No woman is an island. This is most definitely a team effort and an Account Director seems to represent every team at Wealth Wizards – isn’t that a lot to contemplate?
“Wealth Wizards is the best place I have ever worked.” Donna added. “There is nowhere like it. We’re market leaders in automated advice because the best tech comes with the best team of people to integrate it into your business – regardless of whether or not you are a large corporate or smaller advice business. That’s a pretty powerful combination. The best people I worked with in the industry before already work here and that is another reason I joined. We formed an orderly queue!”
Kim does not necessarily share the love of Kylie Minogue, but definitely chose to work for Wealth Wizards for the same reasons. She started working for a fintech (before they were a thing!) called 1st Software (now Iress) in 1998 and spent a decade implementing Intelligent Office within financial advice businesses. Kim has a strong track record in managing complex engagements, multiple stakeholder management and successful implementation of new technologies and brought all this to Wealth Wizards three years ago.
Kim has boundless energy and recalls a culture of work hard, play hard that frankly, makes some of us knackered just hearing about it. But that approach to life, embracing everything that it throws at you and channeling it into your career is one of the reasons she chose to join one of the top 100 fintechs, Wealth Wizards, where the quality of the working environment supports an culture that attracts top talent in sector outside of the capital.
“I have always been driven and career focused,” Kim explains. “I can operate at 100 miles an hour and put the same amount of energy into every part of my life, both inside and outside of work. As times move on, even though I am now waking up at my old ‘curfew times’ at the weekend, I find my drive and energy has not waned, it is just channeled differently!”
Even years ago, I could clearly see how technology is a great enabler for IFAs to improve their business and their own work life balance – spending less time on heavy lifting admin and more time on great client relationships is testament to a profession built on trust and loyalty – human connections. Tech exists to free us as humans to do what we do best. I feel fortunate to work with an amazing team of people. We are focused yet inclusive, energised, and measured. That’s not always easy to find and that is one of the reasons why I think clients love working with us!”
“The culture we have here is focused yet calm, work hard yet play hard, pioneering yet proven, makes this company unique in so many ways. Another advantage of working here is that no day is the same….” Kim explains.
“I love the fact that a customer success role means being so many things to so many different people. You must have more than passion for customer success to do this job. You need to be a little bit of everything; business analyst, support manager, sales person, trainer, account manager and project expert. Our agile way of working might be hard to envisage being in perfect harmony with a large corporate at times. But in truth it works because we ‘get this’ like no other. And we ‘get it’ from the customer perspective. We make the complex easy to understand. We create order out of chaos. No jargon, just focused on success.”
“One of the things I am told our customers value is the way we share the ‘show and tells’ we do twice a month to communicate what we have worked on in the fortnight. This is not innovation for innovations sake but proactively reassures our customers how our innovation will benefit them and how closer we are getting to our end goals in every project we have. I am often asked; “how is this done so quickly?!. In spite of our name there is no wizardry involved, we just know what we are doing when it comes to automating financial advice.”
You would be a planner, good at the high-level strategic planning but also focused on the detail as well as a voice for the customer in daily stand-ups. You would need to be focused on deliverables, agree phases, key outcomes, manage resources and multiple stakeholder relationships.
“Wealth Wizards is unlike any other fintech I have worked for,” Kim explains. “What other company can take on the challenge of the advice gap and not only explain how to close it, but also enable Tier One banks to do it. By the way, also doing that in lockdown as we launched our pension consolidation module from Turo for Advisers with a Tier One customer just last month. We jump through every process hoop with patience, calm and pragmatism. One day you will be working with the project owner, then with the sponsor, advice expert, compliance lead and commercial procurement teams. You are the voice of the customer.”
“Kim, you personally have been an absolute joy to work with. You’ve been fully engaged, diligent, concise, thorough and friendly. I’ve really enjoyed working with you, and hope that we continue to do so in the same way. “ (Project Manager, Retirement Programme, Tier One bank)
“Donna has been critical to our success. She’s our go-to person for any issues, and her dedication to our work is outstanding. We’ve formed a great team across our organisation and Wealth Wizards and that’s in large part thanks to Donna. I hope we can work together for some time yet.” (Project Manager, Provider)
Customer Success Manager, bringer of joy, bring it on.
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