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Brian Edelman: The biggest challenge facing financial advisors today

Financial advisors face a myriad of challenges.

Cybersecurity has emerged as a paramount concern, intensifying in complexity. As regulatory bodies and authorities enhance their understanding of safeguarding sensitive information, they impose stringent requirements, leaving advisors with a fragmented array of cybersecurity advice.

The pressing issue lies in aligning with these regulatory mandates comprehensively, allowing advisors to redirect their focus to what they excel at – providing sound financial advice to clients.

Brian Edelman, Founder and CEO of FCI, recognizes the need for efficiency in navigating this intricate terrain. His team works to empower advisors to navigate complex regulatory landscapes and instill confidence in clients regarding the robust protection of their entrusted data. Click the video below to watch the full interview. 



The biggest challenge facing financial advisors today – cybersecurity has been a big challenge, but it's gotten to be a bigger challenge. The reason for that is because the regulators and the authorities have gotten really, really good at understanding what it takes in order to keep information safe. In that they're creating all of these requirements that, at the end of the day, the advisors, from our perspective, want to do what they do best, which is advice and the advice that they're getting around cybersecurity is fragmented – they're not being given the whole thing, they're giving a piece here a piece there. So, I think the biggest challenge is the idea of following what the regulators are asking in a holistic manner, so at the end of the day, they can go back to taking care of clients. 

We're always looking for opportunities for efficiency, making it easy for advisors – we've done that in a couple of different ways. One way we've done that is we launching a platform called Open VRM. We looked to the industry and said, what is the biggest challenge? It's not just a challenge for the advisers, but it's a big challenge for the vendors too. You're being required under the new SEC regulation starting next month – you're required to do vendor due diligence, which means that the quantity of requests that vendors are getting is overwhelming. It's not that they don't want to respond to you; it's just that they literally have to hire a team of people and that takes away from innovation. What we did is we said, is there a better way? Is there a way we can tie vendor management to vendor due diligence in a way that makes it easy for the advisor and efficient for the vendor – and that's what Open VRM is all about. 

We did another thing that helped make it more efficient: we created a package called Buckler. What we've done is instead of the adviser hiring consultants to figure out what the SEC, New York DFS, FINRA and their insurance policies are saying. We built a system that has all that information in it already and makes a task list of those things that they can do in order to satisfy each and every one of those requirements. 

Now, what's nice is that it's the easy button for cyber program management. And it takes anybody in a firm and you're required to have somebody inside of your firm, take this on, everybody's required to have what they call a security officer, which is just somebody that is the go-to person around cyber. And what this does is it makes it takes anybody and they go through this process and it's literally task by task, by the time they get through buckler, they know what they're talking about, they know what they're doing, they know how to secure not only the firm – but it gives a high level of confidence to the advisor to let their clients know that they're taking great care with the data that they've been given the rights to.

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