Portfolio Management purple - icon

View Our Brand Assets

Access a suite of logos, fonts and media resources for the AdvisorEngine Brand. If you can’t find what you need, please contact us.

View Assets

AdvisorEngine’s >drive2022: Three Days in Austin

Five words sum up this year’s >drive event: 

  • Connection
  • Integration
  • Innovation
  • Information
  • Action
2S8A9862 (1)

The conference underscored the strong connection between the AdvisorEngine team and the wealth management clients they serve.

“Feeling the energy from clients was so rewarding,” said Rich Cancro, the company’s CEO. “People came up to me throughout the event to share their appreciation that we are truly listening to their feedback and acting on it. Their excitement for the CRM transformation was palpable.” 

Sheila Epps, applications support analyst at Sage Rutty & Company, agreed. “The AdvisorEngine team always reaches out to me and lets me test products,” Epps said. “I feel like they’re invested in making software that’s best for every client.”

>drive2022 was the company’s first in-person event in two years: everyone was glad to see each other in person, catch up, swap war stories about the pandemic and, of course, share best practices during conference sessions. 

2S8A9969Personal connections were forged outside the sessions as well: attendees bonded at a laid back welcoming outdoor reception, mercifully accompanied by breezes that provided relief from the powerful Texas heat and at a closing night party at a spacious Austin beer garden, complete with a mouth-watering array of Texas barbeque, craft beers and cocktails and a rousing performance by country singer Teddy Long and a rocking back-up band that inspired cheers and dancing.

When it came to the company’s products, integration makes connection possible, Cancro told conference attendees when introducing the firm’s roadmap for upcoming product enhancements. Citing the Apple ecosystem as an analogy, Cancro said AdvisorEngine’s updated integrated platform would enable advisory firms to have a connection “with everything you do.”

Integration for the AdvisorEngine platform has grown to 20 fields, said product development head Pat Arnold, including data syncing, client matching, access to custodial data, digital onboarding and a universal client portal. Laying out a roadmap for enhanced CRM, external API and productivity tool features, clients can expect “much deeper integration and services,” Arnold said.

20220509_Drive2022_0108 (1)

Innovation was also on full display at the conference, including the introduction of new CRM capabilities, usability enhancements, more personalization, a document management overhaul and a holistic dashboard with an extensive widget library. Also being rolled out: enhanced relationship mapping tools and custom reporting options, upgraded client portal access and prospecting tools and new rebalancing tools for performance reporting.

AdvisorEngine recently surveyed over 400 clients as part of its product development enhancements. “We want to rethink the client experience,” said chief information officer Raj Madan. “By listening to clients, we will ensure we associate the outcome with expectations.”

20220509_Drive2022_0232Attendees eager to soak up information were not disappointed. Those interested in growing their practice could hear how their peers used referrals and centers of influence, attracted and retained talent and leveraged Zoom to connect with clients. CRM experts offered insights, tips and tricks and AE team members provided assistance for attendees transitioning from the desktop to a cloud-based system.

Automating segmentation and workflow templates were highlighted, as were marketing trends, data analytics and the SEC’s priorities for 2022. Attendees were given a master class in portfolio construction by Peter Olsen, head of portfolio consulting services at Franklin Templeton and an overview of technology trends by the industry’s leading tech guru, consultant Joel Bruckenstein, president of T3 (Technology Tools for Today) and producer of the firm’s widely attended annual tech showcase conference.


Bruckenstein reminded conference attendees that a great digital onboarding experience is essential and urged them to fully embrace digital marketing, which too many, in his opinion, have not.

He warned that advisors are not taking cyber security as seriously as they should and need to update their tech stack if they want to attract great millennial employees.

Advisory firms who want to gain more wallet share “need to be keeping more detailed profiles of clients and prospects in your CRM,” he said.

IMG_2460Taking a detailed dive into the current state of the global economy was Stephen Dover, Franklin Templeton’s chief market strategist and head of the Franklin Templeton Institute.

Inflation is going to be a fixture in global economies for some time, he said, as energy costs and demand continue to rise while the Ukraine conflict constricts global supplies. 

Fixed income, in particular, has gone through incredible tumult, Dover added, noting it was the worst market for fixed income returns in 40 years.

2S8A9762 (1)On a lighter note, Andy Buckley, a featured actor on the classic sitcom “The Office,” who was a Merrill Lynch broker for 12 years, shared lessons he learned in financial services as well as in show business

Underlying the premise of both the conference and AdvisorEngine’s mission was the notion of making all of the content and product features actionable, said COO Craig Ramsey.

Many conference attendees come armed with legal pads and detailed questions, Ramsey noted. “We love it. It underscores how actionable this event is. People come to >drive to get information that they can put to work in their business immediately.” 

The best way to take advantage of the conference and translate content into action is to bring staff members, maintained Kathy Colby, president of Financial Independents, also known in Lansing, Michigan, as “The Retirement Lady.”

“Two of my three assistants are here,” Colby said. “It cost me a pretty penny, but it’s the best use of my money. The only way change happens is when people push things forward. You can’t just drag them along.

“You can take all the notes in the world, but you can’t translate the enthusiasm of the conference by yourself,” Colby insisted. “By bringing staff, they experience it for themselves. They have ownership of what they’ve learned and can decide how to implement it when they get back to the office. I don’t have to babysit or explain it to them.”

This blog is sponsored by AdvisorEngine Inc. The information, data and opinions in this commentary are as of the publication date, unless otherwise noted, and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to use AdvisorEngine or deemed to be a specific offer to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any financial product, instrument or service that may be mentioned. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Opinions and forecasts discussed are those of the author, do not necessarily reflect the views of AdvisorEngine and are subject to change without notice. AdvisorEngine makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or representations. As a technology company, AdvisorEngine provides access to award-winning tools and will be compensated for providing such access. AdvisorEngine does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.

Charles Paikert

Charles Paikert

Charles Paikert has been writing about the financial advisory industry since 2004. Paikert has been an editor for Investment News and Financial Planning and currently contributes to Family Wealth Report, RIABiz and Barron’s. He has also written about the industry for The New York Times and Reuters and has moderated panels at numerous industry conferences, including Schwab IMPACT and Invest. Paikert is the co-author of Madness: The Ten Most Memorable NCAA Basketball Finals.


Read our latest thinking

The T3 conference is the longest-running event dedicated to advisor technology, and it marked its 20th anniversary in La...
As a financial advisor, managing client relationships is crucial – one missed action can cause a rift.