To better understand the preferences of BAML high net worth (HNW) clients, the Capstone team designed a “discovery portal” for BAML impact investing division. BAML existing platform, Merrill Edge, provides investing or philanthropic opportunities to its clients based on their seven “life priorities” (family, finances, health, home, work, leisure, giving). Therefore, the team aimed to help financial advisors (FAs) better link BAML investors’ characteristics to impact investing products that might be of interest to them.

The tool developed by the team will help BAML FAs have a meaningful conversation with their clients on impact investing, an area of finance that is becoming more mainstream. FAs often have long-standing personal relationships with their clients, and this tool will amplify their ability to suggest a sophisticated range of products available in the impact investing space that could satisfy their clients’ needs as alternatives to traditional forms of investment or philanthropy.

Through a combination of storytelling, visuals, and open-ended questions, users of the discovery portal will have an interactive, personalized and unique customer experience that will feel like a very natural part of their investment decision process. The mixed application of videos, quotes, pictures, and questions will guide clients to a deeper understanding of impact investing, which will enable BAML FAs to offer suitable impact investing products. Finally, the team offered recommendations for how BAML can apply the discovery portal to its existing approach to impact investing, and outline concrete steps BAML can take, including conducting A/B testing to determine whether there is a need for randomization of pictures associated with impact investing themes.