What is client onboarding?

Client onboarding is the process of helping clients transition from the sales process to becoming successful, well-informed, and satisfied clients. It is important because it helps firms build strong client relationships, ensure regulatory compliance, and create a positive client experience. Streamlining client onboarding can have a big impact on a firm's success.

Building an Effective Client Onboarding Process

To create a robust client onboarding process in wealth management, firms need to follow a systematic approach that encompasses various key steps. Here are the essential elements of an effective client onboarding process:

1. Defining Goals and Objectives

Before diving into the onboarding process, it is essential to clearly define the goals and objectives. Firms must determine what they aim to achieve through the onboarding experience, such as establishing strong client relationships, ensuring regulatory compliance, and delivering a superior client experience.

2. Identifying Key Stakeholders

Identifying the key stakeholders involved in the onboarding process is critical. This includes wealth advisors, compliance officers, operations teams, and IT personnel. Collaborating with these stakeholders allows for valuable input and insights, ensuring a well-rounded and effective onboarding process.

3. Mapping the Onboarding Journey

Mapping out the client onboarding journey is the next step. Starting from the initial contact to the completion of the onboarding process, firms must identify the touch points, activities, and interactions involved at each stage. Taking the client's perspective into account is vital to creating a seamless and streamlined experience.

4. Identifying Required Documentation

Determining the necessary documentation and information required from clients is important. This includes identification documents, financial statements, investment goals, risk tolerance assessments, and regulatory disclosure forms. Having a clear understanding of the required documentation ensures a smooth and efficient onboarding process.

5. Designing Processes and Workflows

Designing efficient processes and workflows for each step of the onboarding journey is paramount. Defining specific tasks, responsibilities, and timelines for each activity ensures smooth execution and adherence to regulatory requirements. Leveraging technology and automation can further enhance efficiency and scalability.

6. Integrating Technology and Automation

Leveraging technology and automation is a game-changer in streamlining the onboarding process. Implementing digital onboarding platforms, electronic signature solutions, and document management systems minimises manual tasks, eliminates paperwork, and enhances efficiency. Embracing these tools empowers firms to deliver a modern and seamless onboarding experience.

7. Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

Incorporating regulatory compliance checks and processes into the onboarding workflow is non-negotiable. Conducting thorough know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) checks is essential to verify the client's identity and assess any potential risks. By prioritising compliance, firms can safeguard their reputation and maintain regulatory adherence.

8. Providing Training and Support

Equipping team members with the necessary training and support is essential for a successful onboarding process. Clear roles and responsibilities must be communicated, and training sessions on new tools and technologies should be offered. Well-trained staff ensure a smooth and efficient onboarding experience for clients.

9. Monitoring and Continuous Improvement

Monitoring and continuously evaluating the effectiveness of the onboarding process is vital. Gathering feedback from clients and internal stakeholders helps identify areas for improvement. Regularly reviewing and updating the onboarding process ensures it remains aligned with changing client needs and regulatory requirements.

10. Delivering Personalised Service

Throughout the onboarding process, delivering a personalised experience is paramount. Tailoring communications, recommendations, and interactions to meet the unique needs and preferences of each client builds trust and establishes a strong foundation for long-term client relationships.

A streamlined onboarding process sets the stage for a successful client-advisor relationship and unlocks growth opportunities for wealth management firms.

Automating Client Onboarding: The Modern Approach

Wealth management firms are increasingly turning to automation to streamline client onboarding. By leveraging technology and digital solutions, firms can enhance efficiency, reduce manual errors, and provide a more convenient and streamlined onboarding experience. Here are some common methods used in automating client onboarding:

1. Digital Onboarding Platforms

Wealth management firms leverage digital onboarding platforms to streamline the onboarding process. These platforms often include features such as online application forms, document upload capabilities, and automated data validation. By digitising the onboarding experience, firms can save time and improve efficiency.

2. Electronic Signatures

Electronic signature solutions enable firms to obtain client signatures on necessary documents without the need for physical paperwork. This saves time and allows for a smoother onboarding experience. By embracing electronic signatures, firms can eliminate the manual handling of documents and expedite the signing process.

3. Workflow Automation

Automation tools play a crucial role in streamlining repetitive tasks and workflows in the client onboarding process. By automating processes such as populating client information, conducting regulatory checks, and generating client documentation, firms can reduce manual errors and ensure consistency.

4. Data Integration

Integrating various systems and data sources is essential for accurate and efficient onboarding. Seamless transfer of client information across different platforms minimises manual data entry and reduces the risk of errors. By integrating data, firms can enhance the overall onboarding experience and improve data accuracy.

5. Document Management Systems

Document management systems facilitate secure storage and sharing of onboarding documents. This ensures easy access to client information and facilitates collaboration among different teams involved in the onboarding process. By leveraging document management systems, firms can improve document organisation and enhance efficiency.

By embracing automation techniques, wealth management firms can streamline their client onboarding process, enhance efficiency, and provide a superior experience for their clients.


Estimated combined AuM of Invessed key accounts. We work with Asset and Wealth managers, Private banks and Fintech creators across Europe and beyond.

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Choosing the Right Client Onboarding Solution

When selecting a client onboarding solution for wealth management, firms must consider several factors to ensure the solution aligns with their needs and requirements. Here are some key considerations:

1. Functionality

Evaluate the features and capabilities of the client onboarding solution. Ensure it aligns with specific needs such as digital application forms, document management, regulatory compliance checks, and integration with other systems.

2. Scalability

Consider the scalability of the solution to accommodate the growth of the wealth management firm. It should be able to handle increasing client volumes without compromising efficiency or performance.

3. User Experience

A user-friendly interface and intuitive user experience are crucial for both clients and internal teams. The solution should be easy to navigate, with clear instructions and minimal friction throughout the onboarding process.

4. Integration

Assess the ability of the solution to integrate with existing systems and data sources within the wealth management firm. Seamless data transfer and integration streamline the onboarding process and reduce manual errors.

5. Security and Compliance

Ensure that the client onboarding solution complies with industry regulations and security standards. Data encryption, secure document storage, and adherence to privacy regulations are essential for protecting client information.

6. Customisation

Consider whether the solution allows for customisation and configuration to meet specific branding and workflow requirements. A flexible solution can be tailored to the firm's unique processes and enhance the overall client experience.

7. Support and Training

Evaluate the level of support and training provided by the solution provider. Adequate support and training resources help the team effectively implement and utilize the client onboarding solution.

By carefully considering these factors, wealth management firms can choose a client onboarding solution that best fits their needs, enhances efficiency, and delivers an exceptional onboarding experience for their clients.


Streamlining client onboarding in wealth management is a journey that requires careful planning, collaboration, and the right technology. By following a systematic approach, embracing automation, and selecting the right client onboarding solution, wealth management firms can enhance efficiency, ensure regulatory compliance, and deliver a superior client experience. In an increasingly competitive landscape, a streamlined onboarding process sets the stage for a successful client-advisor relationship and unlocks growth opportunities for wealth management firms.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Readers are advised to consult with relevant experts and professionals for their specific wealth management needs.

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Adam Weston is a Founding Director at Invessed
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