Empathy and Expansion: Crafting Client-Centric Growth in Wealth Management

Frazer Rice on the Pod, OpenAI’s First DevDay Recap, and Milemarker on the Road

Happy Friday! I am writing you while in Omaha, NE.

While I’m here, I’m meeting with some new members of our team at Milemarker, seeing old friends and connecting with clients.

Tacked onto this trip yet another college tour for my son - this time, The University of Nebraska at Lincoln and hopefully a great football game on Saturday. Go Big Red.

Here is a breakdown of what I covered in this week’s Connected Advisor.

  1. Empathy vs. Scale — Can They Coexist Within Your Advisory Firm

  2. Delivering Strategic Wealth Planning Services for HNW Clients - Frazer Rice 🎧

  3. OpenAI’s DevDays

  4. Milemarker on the Road

Here we go.

Empathy and Expansion - Crafting Client-Centric Growth in Wealth Management

Last week, I shared my frustrating experience as a T-Mobile customer and how it got me thinking about client experience in our own firms.

This week, I want to dive a little bit deeper into process empathy and the themes we can apply to all of our businesses across the wealth management industry.

Empathy is essential to our processes. When applied into a feedback cycle it can become foundational to improving experience and connection in our work. 

In medicine, this process is termed the ‘empathy cycle.’ It’s a process of continual relational deepening that happens between a patient and a doctor. Doctors have to first recognize the patient as a fellow human being and work to develop a sense of fraternity.1

Of course, that’s not how all doctors deal with patients. You can probably recall a time when a healthcare provider did not attempt to enter this cycle with you, which is exactly why the idea of an empathy cycle needed to be studied, codified and taught.

I'm certain that many of you reading this are well-acquainted with the concept of empathy — you've built thriving practices that have evolved into businesses, and in some cases, even enterprises.

That sort of feat is impossible to do without genuinely understanding and caring about your client’s wants and needs.

The problem is that empathy and scale are often at odds, especially if they’re not carefully managed. 

In many ways, larger RIA’s are battling their own T-Mobile-esque retail experiences.

They are working to find ways for their systems and employees to implement an empathy cycle for their client experiences.

Here are a few tips on how to approach this. 

  1. As a leader in your firm, you need to window-shop your experience. 

    1. Call one client a week and ask 

      A) how they’re doing?

      B) how your team meeting their needs and expectations?

  2. Inspire your team with the best stories of client experiences. 

    1. Inspiration doesn’t come by comparing yourself versus client care at Wells Fargo or Morgan Stanley. You may have started in that world, but those companies have never been the pinnacle of client empathy or experience. It’s often much more helpful to model off of hospitality industries versus peer organizations. While we can certainly learn from one another, inspiration often arises from a more transformational example of experience.

    2. If you have people who are sitting in the lanes of your client experience who don’t actually care about your clients, you need to set them free. Don’t wait. 

  3. We need to be able to label each step of your experience and make sure that key team members know where each client is in the process.

    1. Ideally, we should be able to close our eyes and visualize where any given client is within our process. That’s harder to do when our processes aren’t clear.

    2. Work to understand the average amount of time each step takes in the process for each persona your firm serves. Right size your expectations and then communicated, coached, and collaborate with your team around opportunities to scale. 

Here’s hoping your client processes are documented and that you and your team are making continued strides toward delivering an increasingly empathetic client experience. 


On the Pod

Delivering Strategic Wealth Planning Services for High-Net-Worth Clients with Frazer Rice

Episode 019: In this week’s Connected Podcast episode, Kyle sits down for a conversation with Frazer Rice, Director of Family Office Services at Next Capital Management.

The episode focuses on the role of family office services in managing the wealth and lifestyle of high-net-worth individuals and families.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  1. The wealth management industry requires a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving, combining expertise in law, finance, and other domains.

  2. Communication is the biggest challenge in preserving wealth across generations, and conflict resolution is crucial in avoiding destructive situations.

  3. The ultra-high net worth space requires independent advice and a focus on minimizing conflicts of interest.

"The biggest threat to wealth isn't bad tax planning or investments. The ecosystem of smart people to solve those problems is broad and wide. But the biggest issue is communication. And it's amongst in between the generations."

- Frazer Rice, Director of Family Office Services at Next Capital Management

The episode is available now on your favorite podcast platform as well as a video version on YouTube. While there, please don’t forget to Download, Like, and Subscribe.

OpenAI’s First DevDay Recap

On Monday of this week, OpenAI (aka ChatGPT) hosted their first DevDay, their version of a developer conference.

A lot of new features were announced. Full replays of the keynote speakers will be available next week, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of the model and developer products announced at DevDay:

Milemarker on the Road

Catch our team on the road at the following events or cities:

  1. November 9-10 - Omaha, NE

  2. November 16 - Baltimore, MD

  3. December 7 - Dallas, TX

If you’re in any of those cities and want to arrange a meeting time, reply to this email, and we’ll get something on the calendar.


Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week. Enjoy your weekend!

Written by Jud Mackrill

Edited by Amy Simpson