Digital Transformation: Client Services Models


The Fraught Hunt for a Best Practice Model

This report presents an analysis of a subset of the datapoints garnered from GreySpark’s annual Trends in E-commerce Survey, which – in 2020 – was carried out over the first half of the calendar year. Contained within the sub-set of survey data was a series of questions posed to more than half of the world’s top-30 Tier I and Tier II Commercial & Investment Banks (CIBs) focused on the digital aspects of their global client services models, from which 15 institutions provided a number of meaningful quantitative and qualitative responses.

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Analysis of the survey response data by GreySpark found that the need to review and reconsider the client services models of capital markets execution franchises in the context of CIB digital transformation is not much discussed publicly, although these models remain under near-constant review within the firms in question.

For example, in two-thirds of CIBs, client services models remain segregated by asset class, and roughly half of responding institutions use the same client services models globally within the respective asset classes. Yet Tier I institutions, driven by the large e-commerce client base built up over the past 15 years, universally have dedicated e-commerce client services team, more than twice the rate of Tier II institutions. Qualitatively, CIBs struggle to provide channel-agnostic support services in which support teams have a comprehensive view of client touch points and interactions. In 2020, almost half of the CIBs in question lack a client relationship management tool to support e-commerce client interactions.

Despite repeated, incursive efforts to slash the cost of sellside front office costs, particularly among staff, GreySpark identified significant room for improvement as related to client support. However, in GreySpark’s view, no overall best practice solution for sellside client services models exists. As such, this report examines GreySpark’s belief that a fit-for-purpose digital investment banking client services model should reflect two key elements of the DIB transformation process:

  1. Client services should focus on delivering well-executed, service-optimised client experiences on the one hand; and, on the other hand
  2. The provision of client services should reflect and cater to the ongoing centralisation, specialisation and modularisation of CIB capital markets services.

Published on: 6 Nov, 2020


  • 1.0 Seeking Best Practice Client Services in Digital Investment Banking
    • 1.1 Re-imagining the Client Experience
    • 1.2 Centralisation, Specialisation & Modularisation
  • 2.0 The Current State of Affairs
    • 2.1 Variety is the Spice of Capital Markets Client Services Models
    • 2.2 E-commerce Client Services Model Resources
    • 2.3 Qualitative Client Services Model Data
  • 3.0 Reflections on the Changing Landscape of Client Services Models
    • 3.1 The Absence of Evidence Is Not the Evidence of Absence
  • 4.0 Appendices
    • 4.1 Table of Figures

Report Data & Figures

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