Building Business Development Capability in Banking

Financial Services

The client

The Global Wealth Management division of one of the big five banks in Canada


  • Customer acquisition was a long-time opportunity to accelerate growth
  • Leadership recognized the need to evolve the roles of Financial Advisors to Investment Specialists, focused on proactively developing their client base and business
  • Leadership also recognized the need to equip Investment Specialists with a different set of attitudes, knowledge, and skills to prospect for new clients in a proactive, influential manner

HORN Solution

  • Initial roll-out included customized classroom learning, reinforcement teleconferences and one-on-one coaching
  • Investment Advisors learned critical business development skills including:
    • Adopting an entrepreneurial “hunter” mindset
    • Applying a proactive and consistent approach to funnel management
    • Building “Centres of Influence” to refer prospective clients
    • Engaging prospective clients to secure a first meeting
    • Conducting influential, consultative dialogues to lead to new clients
  • Sales managers participated in half-day session to equip participants with the skills and tools to sustain the learning
  • After six years, the program, while it has evolved, continues to be part of the onboarding program for new Investment Specialists

The Impact

Minimum turnover during initial shift in role from traditional Financial Advisor to business-developing Investment Specialist

Division consistently delivered on annual growth targets

Shift from “client management” to “business development” culture

Reduced time for new Investment Specialists to competently achieve new client targets