Embracing digital technology in the financial services industry with IGM Financial

Embracing digital technology in the financial services industry with IGM Financial

As it undergoes a strategic digital transformation, IGM Financial has established three key pillars to form its digital technology strategy. The Canadian wealth and asset management firm aims to create a more engaging experience for its customers, provide a productive insights-driven toolset for advisors and also create a new digital platform for employees. IGM has accelerated its digital transformation significantly over the past couple of years, helping its clients improve their financial well-being and achieve their goals. To accomplish this, the company has leveraged scaled agile delivery to aid the digitization of its processes. “In the last 12 to 18 months, we’ve made significant progress. We’re utilizing technology faster and delivering solutions in an accelerated cycle,” says Milorad Stefanovic, Vice President of Digital Technology. “We believe agile provides a new way of working that allows us to deliver a connected digital experience to our IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Investments clients and advisors and build a strong culture of collaboration across our joint business and technology teams.”

Joining IGM in June 2018, Stefanovic’s previous leadership experience with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and IBM has furnished him with an understanding of how technology is transforming business operating models in the financial services industry. “My previous roles focused on digital banking for business and retail banking clients. I see important parallels between wealth management and business banking when it comes to connected digital journeys for clients and advisors,” he explains. “In both lines of business, there is an important role that the advisor or business banker plays in terms of managing the relationship with clients and growing their practices. I think that experience in business banking and wealth management has helped me to drive the strategic transformation for IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Investments here at IGM.”

Through the implementation of a new integrated toolset, IGM began two large initiatives in a bid to accelerate its transformation and deliver digital capabilities for advisors. “We are rolling out a new Salesforce-based digital platform for our advisors and accelerating our transition from paper-based processes to a digital business,” Stefanovic explains. “We also launched a new digital client platform, providing a seamless omnichannel experience to our clients and advisors. Both the client access and the advisor digital capabilities are based on Salesforce which allows us to share the data and insights across online and mobile for clients as well as the digital platform for advisors.”

Recruitment is a vital task for any company, and Stefanovic maintains that due to his firm’s digital priorities, it has become a central part of IGM’s strategy. “Talent is absolutely front and center to our digital strategy. It’s been recognized as part of our roadmap and is considered one of our main enablers. We believe in both the importance of developing talent within the organisation and the ability to attract external talent as we move forward,” explains Stefanovic. “In terms of development of the talent within the organisation, we have a structured, focused approach in developing the key skills related to digital technology, specifically Salesforce as well as the skills related to agile delivery at scale. Both agile and Salesforce are specific learning paths that we have made available to our employees.”

Vital strategic partnerships

In order to accelerate its growth, IGM has established an important partnership with Salesforce and Stefanovic believes collaborations with firms such as this has been paramount to his company’s digital transformation. “The connected experience and capabilities available through our digital platform allow us to accelerate our transformation and empower our advisors to deliver relevant and timely advice to our clients” he says. “Salesforce has been an important partner, helping us drive business and technology innovation at IGM as well as by accelerating our digital transformation roadmap.”

In addition, IGM has established other digital partnerships with Slalom and Portag3 as the company continues to digitalize its operating model. “Given the accelerated pace of our digital transformation, we aren’t able to develop everything in-house. It has led to us forming several partnerships, including Slalom as a solutions integrator. Slalom is a US-based company with a strong presence in Canada and they have helped us considerably through the integration of the solutions and project delivery,” explains Stefanovic. “In addition, we have a strong partnership with Portag3, the venture capital arm of Power Financial Corporation. Our partnership with Portag3 and the portfolio companies will help us stay ahead of the curve moving forward as well.”

Future plans
Looking ahead to the future of the financial services industry, Stefanovic anticipates an increased focus on effective application of artificial intelligence (AI) over the next few years. “The adoption and application of AI and machine learning capabilities is well under way and these capabilities will play a central role going forward. I expect the application of AI in our industry to become a common practice in the future with a broad range of relevant use cases from marketing and sales to operations and service capabilities.”

Predicting the future for IGM, Stefanovic is confident his company will continue to be a leading provider of wealth and asset management products and services to Canadians in the upcoming years and beyond. “We believe we can be the best company in Canada, in terms of delivering relevant and timely investment advice to our clients and helping them reach their full financial wellbeing potential. We also feel we can draw a significant market share in the Canadian market too.”

IGM Financial