• Jennifer Hsiung and Brandon Schwartz
  • Published: 24 June 2021

As financial institutions develop and introduce new platforms, applications, and technologies, they are constantly asking a singular question: What ROI can we reasonably expect? Wealth management firms spent an estimated $21+ billion on technology initiatives in 2020 but, despite lofty promises of robust transformations, how many firms accurately measured how far their buy-in went and if they achieved the promised ROI?

Based on prior engagements with our clients, we have found six key reasons why initiatives fail at adoption:

1. Needs – User needs aren’t being met

2. Vision – Users aren’t aware of, or invested in, the future of the change

3. Impact – Users don’t understand the benefits

4. Ownership – Users don’t feel in control of the change

5. Experience – Users dislike or are frustrated by the design and usability of products and/or services

6. Guidance – Users don’t know how to take advantage of the change or where to go for support

According to Prosci’s chief innovation officer, Tim Creasey, when an organization fails to properly manage change, they can experience decreased employee productivity and quality of work, as well as increased employee attrition. Creasey also notes that effective change management prevents long-term, post-project organizational costs and risks.  

Capco has helped organizations take measures to avoid and remediate adoption failures by helping them to:

  • Know their audience. It’s not just intimately understanding the end users, but also identifying the right channels and partners for meaningful and effective engagement.
  • Plan and prepare for the human side of change. We help strategize and plan effective user engagement, whether that’s pre-launch, launch or post-launch, and provide comprehensive marketing, communication, training, and campaign support across releases.
  • Iterate and adapt user engagement. User engagement and adoption are not one-time events. We identify and leverage metrics and continuously gather feedback to drive adoption momentum.

Our client was launching half a dozen, major, strategic initiatives at considerable expense for the benefit of their financial advisors and staff. Capco was tasked with conceptualizing and launching an engagement and adoption function to help secure the ROI for their advisor tool portfolio. 

The first phase focused on developing and executing a set of playbooks for various adoption scenarios within the business, including new tool/product launches, expanding limited adoptions, and ongoing engagement for existing tools. In the second phase, Capco developed a campaign around the end-to-end continuum of the advisor tool ecosystem to join the dots and reframe changes from features to a ‘frictionless’ advisor practice.

The results? 

  • 11,000 unique users of the client’s new tool suite within the first month of campaign launch
  • 74% adoption of their integrated risk volatility tool allowing advisors to better protect client assets and reduce firm risk
  • 83% adoption of a firm wide CRM tool that introduced lead management and prospecting capabilities
  • Billions in additional managed assets via a change in field practices and strategic use of portfolio platforms

Financial institutions are embarking on ambitious roadmaps in line with upticks in technology and digital spending. As the digitization of wealth management accelerates, there has never been a more critical period for enterprises to ensure that changes stick. Otherwise, businesses risk the flight of their workforce and wasted capital. Having shepherded these lasting changes firsthand, Capco’s wealth management engagement and adoption team can help bring a business vision to life with effective strategies, accelerators, and talent. 


1 – InvestmentNews. “Wealth management to spend $24 billion on tech annually by 2023: Study.

2 – ProSci. “The Costs and Risks of Poorly Managed Change.