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How to thrive in times of uncertainty?

It’s a changing world. In the US, nearly 17 million people filed initial claims for unemployment insurance over the past three weeks, suggesting that the unemployment rate is already above 15% —well above the rate of the Great Recession. Global cases stand at 5,102,573, with deaths reported at 332,924, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker.

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International imports and exports have fallen to their lowest level for at least four years, according to World Trade Organization figures. These numbers will impact on how the economy is structured going forward. A “depression” label could be appropriate if the unemployment rate exceeds 20% for a long period of time. Economists think that’s unlikely.

Changes in demographics, technology, environment and social behaviors have set the ground for rapid digital transformation in the wealth management, insurance and banking industry. The process towards going digital involves digitisation and digitalisation. Digitising is all about converting paper and other physical documents into digital format while digitalising is far bigger. It’s a new way of thinking. Successful wealth managers will differentiate themselves in how they use technology, enhance their customer experience and innovate using insights gained through advanced analytics.

Equitable Holdings, Inc. is a publicly traded corporation, and its subsidiaries are currently using trademarks including the AXA name, AXA logo and associated trademarks of AXA SA under license. Equitable has established itself as a leading provider of financial advice, protection and retirement strategies with 2.8 million clients across the country. The company offers variable annuities, tax-deferred investment and retirement plans, employee benefits, and protection solutions for individuals, families and small businesses.


We’re a New York based company. Equitable was the first building in the world with a working elevator, fun fact! I like history. We have a very rich history of innovation from creating group life products back in the 20’s. Variable life products in the 70’s, living benefits in the 80’s and 90’s, and the newest innovation is registered index-linked annuities which is the structured capital strategies product, it’s a space that has been growing from an industry standpoint.
Under Individual retirement business, we care about near-retirement individuals, baby boomers if you will. We have a wide range of businesses in the US. We serve educators, municipal workers, small businesses, and our employees. We also have over 700 distributor products that we work with.” – Martin Woll, Chief Operating Officer, Equitable

Here’s how Equitable went about digital transformation, post Covid.


How do you bridge the gap to meet the needs of your customers while focusing on acquisition?

We’re a publicly traded US-based company. We interact with policyholders through native digital apps. Our website changed platforms for policyholders, transformed to a self-serve model where otherwise users could have had to call in for queries. On the distribution partner side, some of our financial advisory firms are advanced in terms of digital solutions. For traditional partners, we are looking to provide digital solutions to strengthen their base. – Martin Woll, Chief Operating Officer, Equitable

When calculating the value of radically transforming digital customer acquisition, it is critical to evaluate the entire profit impact on the bank, not just direct increases in fees from deposit accounts. Banks must look broadly at the way accelerating digital customer acquisition brings capital to fund new consumer and real estate loans. In addition, when this is done, the economics are extremely compelling.

Here’s a recording of the entire session

If you have any questions for Martin Woll, drop us a note on wfh@ We’ll check with him and get back to you!

Please feel free to share this with anyone you think will find it useful or relevant.

About the Speaker:

Martin Woll is the Chief Operating Officer for Equitable’s (EQH) Individual Retirement business and also runs the firm’s Institutional Savings business launched in 2015.

As COO, Mr. Woll leads the following functions for the individual retirement business: strategy and corporate development, eStrategy/Digital, and data and analytics. In this position, he drives strategic initiatives across the commercial line and has instituted cutting-edge analytics to better understand and manage the business. He also serves as a central figure for the organization helping to drive its business agenda forward.

About Vymo:

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Vymo makes it #easytocapture information, identifying (winning) behaviours, marries it to (deep) relevant contextual information to deliver proactive nudges for sales teams to work from anywhere! It’s also about making sure that your workforce has the right opportunities, tools, resources, and culture to excel in this marketplace going forward.

Vymo’s built to be that single app bringing in technology from your calendar, from your CRM web conferencing into one tool. With security through multi-factor authentication, the tool drives outcomes with automated lead engagement, auto-assignment, and auto-prioritization based on revenue, accelerating deal flow, giving instant customer feedback, and using AI for nudges, auto-compliance flags.

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