Service with a Side of Technology

Service with a Side of Technology

November 2, 2021

Growing up, my small-town McDonald’s hosted birthday parties, had Ronald McDonald roaming the restaurant, and both delivered food to the table and removed it when you finished. Over time, of course, the parties and Ronald disappeared, and customers were left to become their own wait staff by filling drinks and bussing their own tables. For many industries, the decline of service and the co-opting of customers into part-time staff has dressed cost cutting up in the guise of flexibility, efficiency, and consumer choice; but it doesn’t have to be that way. At Sand Hill, our mission is to provide a high-touch, hands-on, customized client experience that acknowledges there are tremendous benefits to utilizing technology and empowering clients to act on their own, while still investing in invaluable human expertise and resources. In the coming months, we will be adopting, in partnership with our custodians, a number of straight-through-processing practices that will expedite the execution of client requests, ensure accuracy, and boost the security of client assets at rest and in transit. What we will not be striving for is reducing our investment and emphasis on the human part of our service offering.

From the introduction of the first automated teller machine (ATM) in 1969, until the founding of PayPal in 1998, there was very little technological improvement to the customer experience in financial services. With the emergence of the internet, however, an avalanche of useful tools was created—digital wallets, peer-to-peer money transfers, online stock trading, real-time bank and credit card services, high-yield savings accounts, and automated loan and mortgage offerings. The development of the smartphone made all of the aforementioned services mobile, easier to navigate with apps and, crucially, introduced security features like multi-factor authentication. The emergence of blockchain technology will surely result in additional advancements to the execution and security of financial transactions.

Sand Hill, for our part, intends to harness the best of these innovations and continues to be a strong proponent of enhancing our client experience with digital tools. The pandemic has taught us that a hybrid approach, that marries the convenience of technology with the solutions provided by our talented team, can deliver a tremendous client experience. Many of our clients have adopted Zoom to meet with their Wealth and Portfolio Managers, electronic signature with DocuSign, and accessing and sharing personal financial information through our online Client Center portal. Rather than consider digital tools as a replacement of our people, we look to technology as a robust supplement to our team’s efforts. 

So, what comes next? We intend to drastically reduce custodian forms, replacing them with electronic approvals to move money and open accounts in minutes rather than days. The introduction of enhanced risk assessment software will better gauge for clients the opportunities and trade-offs within their portfolios. Additional features will be added to our Client Center, including increased collaborations with our clients’ professional teams. Providing clients with more real-time portfolio performance and asset allocation insights is on the horizon as well. Security will remain paramount, though we will look to fervently minimize the friction to our clients when accessing, reviewing, and verifying account information. Client adoption, of course, will not be mandatory as we continue to always place client preferences first, but we hope the increased speed, control, and transparency offered by digital solutions will prove too valuable to miss.

Client service, evolving solutions, and the adoption of technology will always remain cornerstones for Sand Hill. And while we have been grateful for the connectivity provided by technology, we too, have been missing the in-person interactions with our clients. As our electronic resources expand, we would still be thrilled to meet live with our clients and learn about how we can better serve their needs. And we promise, you won’t have to fix your own drink or clean up afterward.

Articles and Commentary

Information provided in written articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. There is a risk of loss from investments in securities, including the risk of loss of principal. The information contained herein reflects Sand Hill Global Advisors' (“SHGA”) views as of the date of publication. Such views are subject to change at any time without notice due to changes in market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. SHGA does not provide tax or legal advice. To the extent that any material herein concerns tax or legal matters, such information is not intended to be solely relied upon nor used for the purpose of making tax and/or legal decisions without first seeking independent advice from a tax and/or legal professional. SHGA has obtained the information provided herein from various third party sources believed to be reliable but such information is not guaranteed. Certain links in this site connect to other websites maintained by third parties over whom SHGA has no control. SHGA makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other Web Sites. Any forward looking statements or forecasts are based on assumptions and actual results are expected to vary from any such statements or forecasts. No reliance should be placed on any such statements or forecasts when making any investment decision. SHGA is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken as a result of information provided in this presentation and does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information. No part of this material may be (i) copied, photocopied, or duplicated in any form, by any means, or (ii) redistributed without the prior written consent of SHGA.


Video Presentations

All video presentations discuss certain investment products and/or securities and are being provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered, and is not, investment, financial planning, tax or legal advice; nor is it a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. Investing in securities involves varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be profitable or suitable for a particular client’s financial situation or risk tolerance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Individual performance results will vary. The opinions expressed in the video reflect Sand Hill Global Advisor’s (“SHGA”) or Brenda Vingiello’s (as applicable) views as of the date of the video. Such views are subject to change at any point without notice. Any comments, opinions, or recommendations made by any host or other guest not affiliated with SHGA in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of SHGA, and non-SHGA persons appearing in this video do not fall under the supervisory purview of SHGA. You should not treat any opinion expressed by SHGA or Ms. Vingiello as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of general opinion. Nothing presented herein is or is intended to constitute investment advice, and no investment decision should be made based solely on any information provided on this video. There is a risk of loss from an investment in securities, including the risk of loss of principal. Neither SHGA nor Ms. Vingiello guarantees any specific outcome or profit. Any forward-looking statements or forecasts contained in the video are based on assumptions and actual results may vary from any such statements or forecasts. SHGA or one of its employees may have a position in the securities discussed and may purchase or sell such securities from time to time. Some of the information in this video has been obtained from third party sources. While SHGA believes such third-party information is reliable, SHGA does not guarantee its accuracy, timeliness or completeness. SHGA encourages you to consult with a professional financial advisor prior to making any investment decision.

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