Fiduciary Trust International brings a higher touch to wealth management with a digital vault


One high-net-worth individual. Six beneficiaries. Fifteen years of financial statements. Under the old paradigm, giving the beneficiaries access to all those files would have been an incredibly time-consuming operation involving several employees in different departments, FedEx, and a lag time of days. Add in a global pandemic that shut down physical offices, and it sounds like the plot of a high-stakes movie.

Luckily, just before COVID-19 hit, Fiduciary Trust International launched a highly secure digital client vault on Box. So when the above scenario actually happened, advisors were able to upload 537 documents and safely share them with all six stakeholders, virtually, within a matter of hours. 

“Think about that process and how long it would have taken, and how many CDs we would have had to burn, and how many FedEx envelopes would have gone out to reach all six beneficiaries. And we did this in the time of the pandemic."

— Rod Sayegh, Head of Digital Strategy, Fiduciary Trust International

Fiduciary Trust International is a global wealth management firm headquartered in New York City, serving individuals, families, endowments, and foundations since 1931. The firm’s high-net-worth — and ultra-high-net-worth — clients expect an elevated level of experience, which is why Rod Sayegh, Head of Digital Strategy, initially set out to solve what he considered a subpar experience in wealth management. “I call it the swivel-chair experience,” says Sayegh. “Advisors and sometimes clients have to log into multiple systems to get an answer. No one wants to do that.”

In partnership with Box, Sayegh led an initiative to create a single cohesive platform for advisors that would also make it easy for clients to access and share sensitive personal financial information. The team at Fiduciary Trust International doesn’t just work with individuals; they often work with family members and heirs. It was important that the platform humanize all these interactions and simplify the way people collaborate on financial matters when they’re not necessarily in a room together. 

Of course, the information at stake was incredibly valuable and sensitive, and the wealth management industry operates in a highly regulated manner, with varying laws all over the 49 states and 52 countries in which Fiduciary Trust International does business. Working closely with Box, Sayegh’s team built a digital vault that meets all regulatory requirements and still makes it incredibly easy to share data and documents with clients. They can now log into this vault on their personal computers or mobile devices and access a crisp, sharp portal with versatile functionality. 

"Box allows us to make security and ease of use top of mind,” says Sayegh, “and it also allows us to implement different workflows depending on the different answers." For instance, if a client logs into their account and uploads a file, they can use a toggle switch to indicate whether the file is related to a general topic or an investment account. Depending on their choice, the workflow that ensues will be different. That capability comes from Box, as does the ability to streamline basic tasks that used to be aggravating. For instance, uploading a picture of someone’s ID is now a simple, secure, one-step process via the app’s access to the camera phone.

After rolling out an ambitious digital vault during a pandemic, Sayegh says, “I can't say enough how this has helped our advisors and clients who suddenly can't meet in person. We can safely share pieces of information we would normally print out and hand to the client. It's given us a huge boost in productivity."