Today there is a lot of emphasis placed on client experience – it’s a buzzword that’s quickly forming across the industry. But it can sometimes lack authenticity.
For me and the relationship management team here in the UK, partnership is simply about making sure we are always attentive and agile to the needs of our clients, taking custody (and other products), developing solutions that properly address their needs and finding ways to proactively help them in a consultative way.
It also means there should be no surprises for us. If we are having regular dialogue at the right level and frequency we should know what is coming around the corner - what keeps them up at night- so we feel like an extension of the team. This is how we define partnership.
And we apply this approach across all the clients we service because they are placing trust in us to meet their requirements. In our experience, we don’t think asset managers and pension schemes interact with their custodians enough – we want to change this. We are therefore addressing this by being very proactive, having regular touchpoints with our clients.
If we take a step back, custodians form a critical part of the investment value chain because they are safekeeping all the assets. Custodians form part of the foundations and everything else is built up from there. So, developing a close partnership with our custody clients really matters.
Part of the family
Another important component in how we partner with our clients is access. Many of us across the CACEIS group regularly meet our custody clients. This ranges from strategic meetings with senior executives through to facilitating discussions with our people who are experts in their field on areas such as digital assets, operational resilience, cyber security and climate risk.
We’ve also expanded on this further by launching CACEIS Academy, which brings together all our insight in one place for our clients. One defining feature of CACEIS Academy is our training modules, which we deliver face-to-face or virtually without cost to our clients, fund boards and pension scheme trustees.
Learning with our clients
Learning from each other is another important part of our philosophy on partnership. One way we practice this is hosting roundtables with clients sharing insight about future trends and challenges on areas such as digital and the UK’s upcoming Sustainability Disclosure Requirements.
From a client perspective, one ‘live’ example of our philosophy is the way we’ve worked with one of our clients to help them think about their changing regulatory obligations. We formed a workshop and introduced them to our Head of Risk and Head of Operational Oversight to give them additional insight, proactively helping them to meet their goals.
Being a responsible partner
Custody is evolving and this requires us to formulate a different way of thinking in how we support clients.
A key ambition of ours is to be the sustainable governance partner of choice. This requires a clear focus on responsibility and a commitment to help our custody clients navigate the changing pace of sustainable regulation. It’s led to the development of new solutions such as access to market leading tools on ESG and Climate reporting through our partner, Clarity AI.
And it includes developing insight for our clients, such as the CACEIS Climate Briefing, our podcast series that beings together experts from academia, asset management, pensions and securities services to provide a full perspective on climate risk, helping our clients to navigate this complex topic.
If I was to sum up our thinking, clients have needs and we have to respond to these needs. We also have to be agile and flexible in our approach. For new clients, this might involve more regular interaction as we embed them into CACEIS. So the level of engagement constantly changes.
And as clients grow, the level of interaction may change. For example, one of our longer-serving fiduciary manager clients has been with us for over 15 years. They’ve expanded considerably over this time. At certain points in their growth path, we’ve been flexible in the engagement we’ve had as their needs evolve. We’re truly working on their behalf and as a team that’s very client-focused, it’s incredibly rewarding to see the relationship develop.
Kate Kyle, Head of Relationship Management, CACEIS UK
If you are a UK pension scheme looking for custody, please contact:
Director, Head of UK Pensions Sales
If you are a UK asset manager or host authorised corporate director looking for custody, please contact:
Business Development Director