Close Brothers Asset Management: Investment Search Tool

Increasing online registrations by promoting investment opportunities


Close Brothers Asset Management is one of the UK’s largest and longest established providers of high-quality financial advice and investment management managing over £12.6 billion on behalf of private clients, families, professionals, business owners and charities. CBAM wanted to increase online registrations by making it easier for prospect clients to search for available investments prior to registering. CBAM required this service ahead of a pricing change and associated campaigns in coming months and the project was delivered within 8 weeks.


Me – UX / UI
LEWIS – Development agency

A “frustrating and slow” experience

The existing process was frustrating and slow for both clients and CBAM advisors. In order to check if an investment was available, clients had to call or email. A CBAM advisor would then check to see if the requested investment was available and send the information back to the client. This could often lead to drop off in client sign offs due to the slow and cumbersome experience.

The challenge

The aim was to create a seamless experience which would allow clients to easily browse available investments. This would increase new client investments and online registrations, and reduce investment search queries into the service centre.

Starting with a basic flow

As part of the initial client workshop we brainstormed the high level journey for clients. The initial idea was fairly simple, users would be able to browse available investments which CBAM holds, and then sign in to make their investment.

Initial user flow from client

Interviews with client services

In order to validate our flow and gain insight into the questions and expectations clients have when enquiring about investments we conducted six interviews with client services representatives.

Key insights

Clients looking for multiple investments

One of the key insights we found was that clients would often be looking for multiple investments rather than just one.

Searching investments was not always done by name

Due to many of the investments having quite similar names with slight differences to prefixes or suffixes, often client services would search investments by their ISIN number rather than the name and use this to clarify they have the right investment.

Assets can be held in different investment types

One key piece of information, which clients did not always anticipate when enquiring about available investments, was that some assets could only be held in particular investment wrappers i.e ISA, SIPP or Investment accounts.

There is often a consideration period

Whilst some clients will be happy to create an account in the first instance, many clients will actually have a period of consideration before actually signing up. This could be anywhere from a day to couple weeks.

Developing the journey

Add to my basket

As clients would often be looking for multiple investments when doing their research we introduced a save investment step to the journey. This feature would allow clients to save investments they are browsed and then be able to view these before registering.

However, we then realised that with the current flow there was wasted effort. Once signed-in, the user would be required to find the investments they were interested inside the online portal. Therefore, we looked to retain the client’s saved investments once registered inside the online portal.

Save for later

We also introduced a feature for clients to save their list for later. This would allow them to send their saved list to their email address for further consideration.

Developed flow to include saving investments

Developing the idea

We developed the idea into a screen flow and basic mockups to discuss with the technical team and business stakeholders.

Initial screen flow

Technical limitations

Our briefing with the development team revealed that due to technical limitations and our tight deadlines, we were unable to retain a client’s saved investments once logged in to the portal. We therefore looked for a ‘day one’ solution. The idea we came up with was to prompt users to send their saved investments list to their email and then use this find the investments inside the portal.

Whilst not the best experience, this design would allow clients to more easily find their saved investments once logged in and also would allow us to integrate the full feature in the future.

Testing with users

To evaluate our design we conducted eight usability tests with some of CBAM’s clients. We found that although participants were able to able find investments and save them to their list quite easily, they struggled with the idea of sending emailing saved lists or copy codes before signing up. Participants found that this made the sign up process feel long and they weren’t really sure why this was necessary despite wording to explain this.

User testing

Keeping it simple

We found that whilst giving users more options like copying codes this actually made experience feel more complex. We therefore removed the idea of sending lists via email and copy codes, and replaced with a simple pdf download. We also broke the flow into steps which would provide clearer guidance to users at each stage.

The pdf then contained all the information about each investment and also a short instructions on how they can use this to find the investment inside the portal.

Final designs