Focusing on pain points in the CLM journey

A collaborative article by Chartis and Fenergo.

Chartis Fenergo CLM Market Insight, 2024


This paper will explore the benefits of software as a service (SaaS)-based client lifecycle management (CLM) technology in capital markets (corporate and institutional banking and buy-side asset management/funds administration). The paper will analyze the macro and micro trends driving transformation of CLM, the benefits of a best-in-class solution and an ideal target operating model. We will also include an anonymous case study as an illustration of what ‘good’ looks like.

Macro trends driving CLM transformation

The shifting landscape of regulatory changes, coupled with escalating risks of enforcement actions, economic uncertainties and workforce challenges, has driven the approach that financial institutions take toward CLM. Firms are navigating these trends to ensure compliance, manage risks and maintain positive customer relationships throughout the customer lifecycle.

  • Enabling the digital journey. As financial services become increasingly digital, CLM technology supports the shift toward online channels. With a more comprehensive digital suite of solutions, financial institutions can offer self-service options, mobile apps and digital onboarding. As a central point of optimization, CLM systems can collect and analyze data, providing insights into customer behavior, preferences and needs. This includes the use of digital identity verification tools and biometrics. Bringing these together, institutions can make informed decisions, tailor offerings and optimize marketing strategies.
  • Continued regulatory change. Financial institutions (and increasingly corporates and other institutions) are grappling with the continuous evolution of regulatory frameworks. One of the primary effects of this has been an expansion of the parties that are expected to comply. Alongside financial institutions, real estate agencies, asset management services, casinos and other financial ‘gatekeepers’ must also comply, expanding the universe of applicable CLM. While anti-money laundering (AML) regulations remain a significant driver of the onboarding process, banks are also focusing on complying with other regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2).
  • Mass layoffs and reduced specialist/trained resources. The financial industry experienced a two-year hiring boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. As interest rates spiked, however, institutions found themselves overstaffed, and deeper cuts are expected in 2024 as lenders face rising defaults on corporate and consumer loans. To counteract potential staff losses, institutions are increasingly turning to technology-driven solutions for automation and efficiency. Automation streamlines CLM processes, reducing firms’ reliance on a large workforce and ensuring consistency in compliance checks.

As a result of these trends, institutions are looking to drive more efficiency from their customer lifecycle processes.


Fenergo develops SaaS technology solutions for client lifecycle management (CLM) and regulatory compliance support. The company’s technology assists financial institutions and corporates with simplifying the client and product onboarding process and the resulting client experience, as well as risk monitoring and regulatory compliance across 120+ jurisdictions. Its industry-validated CLM solutions are deployed in over 100 financial institutions and corporates globally.

*Know Your Customer; anti-money laundering; environmental, social and governance; Securities Financing Transactions Regulation

Who is responsible?

CLM has become an increasingly diverse process, with responsibility shared across several business lines. As a customer progresses through the onboarding chain at a financial institution, specific tasks may be shared across a variety of departments, including market operations, compliance, credit and legal (see Figure 1). The extent and direction of the influence exerted by these entities on the CLM process are shaped by the organizational context. Operations, compliance and tech/IT emerge as the most influential stakeholders, with a growing emphasis on operations. In essence, the interplay between buyer groups shapes the CLM technology market, with each group typically having distinct requirements.

Balancing the requirements of these stakeholders is key to successful CLM. Bringing them together has led to several key trends in CLM transformation.

Micro trends driving CLM transformation

One potential way to view CLM transformation is to regard it as a central point of integration. This can be achieved by both pure technology enhancements and integration with other business lines and third parties (see Figure 2).

Technology enhancements

Updating outdated technology can enable CLM transformation.

Integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Organizations are integrating AI and machine learning into their CLM processes, employing AI-led automation of journeys and reporting to achieve automated due diligence.

Cloud adoption. The flexibility and continuous improvement offered by cloud and SaaS technology often present advantages in terms of cost and speed compared to traditional on-premise solutions. Notably, solutions can be rapidly implemented and scaled up or down on cloud deployments, and can be integrated with containerized modules. Cloud-based CLM enables firms to more easily configure changes to regulatory policy and seamlessly integrate with existing ecosystems. Increased accessibility ensures that employees can collaborate effectively and serve customers efficiently, regardless of their location. In addition, cloud solutions can offer built-in redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities, minimizing the risk of data loss or downtime due to unforeseen events such as hardware failures, natural disasters or cyberattacks.

Process consolidation

Bringing together internal workflows and systems is, to some extent, the key goal of CLM. Some potential approaches include:

  • Operational consolidation. This involves bringing together a number of rules systems to provide a unified view of customers (e.g., policy engines, risk engines, screening services and orchestration engines). This kind of unified approach yields business case benefits that can often outweigh the governance costs required for coordination.
  • Digital enablement. The digital journey has been a key part of most banks’ technology efforts. Financial institutions can integrate clients, intermediaries and internal staff into unified digital business journeys with the support of technology that features both internal and external multichannel capabilities.
  • Journey automation. Automation is vital to improve efficiency – straight-through processing (STP) automation for rule-driven tasks, as well as optimization of exception handling and quality control tasks, can lead to a direct reduction in costs and an enhanced customer experience. The responsibility for building and refining these journeys is evolving with the emergence of ‘configuration-first’ technology, granting businesses control over design, construction and improvement.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) integration. By integrating with CRM systems, financial institutions can gain a more comprehensive view of customer interactions and lifecycle stages. This integrated view enables better understanding of customers’ preferences, behavior and needs throughout their journey, facilitating personalized interactions and targeted marketing efforts. This can be translated into the transfer of leads and prospects from marketing to sales teams, and can ensure that institutions can automate workflows and processes associated with customer acquisition, onboarding, servicing and retention.

Integrating with third parties

Customers and technology partners are both key stakeholders within the CLM process. Integrating them into the CLM journey is vital.

  • Customer-centric models. Reinforced hubs and shared services contribute to improved scale efficiency and a more robust decoupling between distribution and production, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Partner-driven application programming interface (API) ecosystems. Client lifecycle journeys often span various internal and external systems to achieve business goals and deliver a more robust client experience. The strategic consideration of the cost of building and maintaining integrations emphasizes the need for integration strategies grounded in ‘API-first’ and event-driven technologies.

Case study: Fenergo implementation at a major US financial institution

A large financial institution was facing major operational challenges while using internal workflows for CLM.

Subsequently, the institution sought a more effective solution and opted for Fenergo, a cloud-based platform which it noted was highly configurable to its needs. Fenergo integrated with Salesforce, Orbis and World-Check to provide an all-in-one platform. The institution customized a portal with hyperlinks and branding, with the final component focusing on risk assessment.

Accelerated onboarding

Throughput rates and emphasis on quality and control, particularly the speed of onboarding, were identified as the primary success metrics for the implementation. Approximately one-fifth of the 250 entities processed through Fenergo’s SaaS CLM were directed via the portal, and it received predominantly positive reviews. Deskilling policies for entities such as corporate bonds required collaboration with external organizations such as the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and Euroclear.

Automation driving efficiency gains

Corporate credit was integrated as part of the solution, with ongoing development and configuration using tools such as the portal quick link and SaaS CLM assistant (a Structured Query Language [SQL] no-code writer). An enhancements tracker streamlined improvements. A significant overhaul occurred when the portal owner rewrote functionalities for Know Your Customer (KYC), integrating DocuSign and optimizing screen space.

This case study underscores the complexities that financial institutions face during solution implementation. It also emphasizes the need for adaptable platforms, strategic planning and ongoing collaboration to overcome challenges and achieve operational efficiency.

Conclusion: the benefits of implementing a best-in-class system

Implementing a best-in-class CLM system brings a range of significant benefits across various operational aspects. First and foremost, it ensures increased compliance by facilitating adherence to evolving regulations and establishing a transparent audit trail, thereby providing a solid foundation for regulatory audits.

From an operational perspective, it contributes to heightened efficiency. It streamlines onboarding processes, expediting customer interactions and optimizing workflows to ensure faster and more efficient operations. This operational streamlining directly translates into improved customer experiences, as the system facilitates swift onboarding and enables personalized interactions based on customer preferences and historical data.

Effective data management is a cornerstone of these systems. By centralizing customer data, organizations can achieve consistency and accuracy throughout their operations. The improved quality and integrity of data further enhance decision-making processes. Scalability and flexibility are also integral: this adaptability ensures that organizations can grow and evolve without constraints.

Risk management is bolstered with the implementation of advanced risk assessment models and real-time monitoring capabilities. This proactive approach allows organizations to identify and mitigate potential risks promptly, ensuring a robust risk management strategy.

The reporting and insights capabilities of these systems are highly beneficial. They provide access to comprehensive analytics, offering organizations strategic insights into customer behavior, compliance trends and operational performance. Real-time reporting features can empower decision-makers with timely and accurate data.

In addition to these benefits, there is a notable impact on costs. Operational cost savings are realized through increased efficiency, and organizations experience long-term cost-reduction benefits, contributing to overall financial health.

The adoption of a CLM system is a comprehensive strategy that can ensure regulatory compliance while streamlining operations, enhancing customer experiences, improving data management, fostering scalability, fortifying risk management, providing more insightful reporting, and contributing to long-term cost reduction and growth.

Fenergo logo

Transform the client lifecycle with Fenergo CLM

Fenergo Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) enables financial institutions to transform the end-to-end client onboarding and lifecycle experience, future-proof regulatory compliance and enhance operational efficiency. It supports solutions for any client type and product via a wide range of client journeys for all segments, channels and devices, offering clients a frictionless digital experience.

Fenergo Client Lifecycle Management delivers as standard

Onboarding and journey orchestration. Fenergo CLM digitally orchestrates client journeys through every point in the client lifecycle – from initial prospecting to digital account opening and product provisioning through maintenance and refresh, ongoing due diligence and client off-boarding.

Multichannel by design and powered by API integrations, Fenergo creates a smooth orchestration process for all client data and documentation, minimizing time to revenue.

Advanced client and related party data management. Fenergo CLM provides advanced API integrations to leading data providers to digitally acquire client and related party data, without inconveniencing clients.

All client and party data and documentation is saved in a central repository for re-use across the enterprise. Clients can quickly add or update key information via a digital portal, which securely collects and processes new information. All information is saved, stored and used in accordance with local data privacy regulations.

Know Your Customer. Fenergo CLM supports the Know Your Customer (KYC) process by offering a set of enterprise-wide standards and requirements for KYC across 120+ jurisdictions to ensure that the correct data and documentation is gathered and maintained during the client lifecycle. Our best practice client journeys and rulesets deliver a risk-based approach to compliance during onboarding and support the identification of beneficial owners, the unwrapping of complex hierarchies, and recording of the nature and purpose of client relationships.

Digitalized product enablement processes. An automated solution that enables financial institutions to understand not only who the client is, but also what products they are utilizing through the management of product lifecycles. This equips banks with enhanced traceability and visibility, informed business decisioning and refined compliance.

Discover the power of Fenergo Client Lifecycle Management

Fenergo CLM delivers tangible benefits and return on investment for financial services firms seeking to digitally transform their client management and compliance operations.

  • Faster client onboarding and product provisioning. Streamlined onboarding and product provisioning for low-to-medium risk clients, higher risk clients and accounts managed by exception. This directly translates to enhanced client experiences.
  • Improved operational efficiencies. Advanced API integrations, fewer touchpoints and re-usability of client information.
  • Regulatory and commercial safety. Policy-driven accurate risk assessments aligned with in-scope AML, KYC and regulatory compliance regulations.
  • Reduced total cost of ownership. Advanced API integrations connecting the end-to-end client journey.

To learn more about Fenergo CLM, click here.

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