The investment advisor wants more technology but not to be in technology.
How to strike a balance between providing advisors with digital tools while minimizing their workloads spurred a spirited conversation among wealth management executives gathered in New York City on Sept. 8th for the annual Wealthies awards.
It is becoming obvious to many software providers and firms that the potential for greater technology adoption is unlocked through integrating data insights into an advisor’s daily work with simpler ways to understand the data their practices generate.
“It comes down to data and how it flows through the experience and solves problems for advisors,” said Greg Gates, managing director and chief technology & information officer at LPL. “They don’t want to be spending time in technology. They want to spend less time on administrative tasks and more on insights.”
“They like to see dashboards,” added Alyssa Phillips, chief operating officer at HCR Wealth Advisors. “They want to see everything succinctly put together and in real-time. They want a smoother experience to remove some of their jobs' administrative burdens.”
Simplified workflows, fewer touch points in onboarding, and doing away with having to go into different systems to get data for clients are also features advisors want in their tech, said Tuppy Russo, senior vice president and head of Private Wealth Infrastructure Services at AllianceBernstein.
Russo added that personalization is critical since no two advisors are alike. “They need to be able to configure their client reporting. Each advisor tells the story to clients in their own way.”
On this point, Bob Oros, chairman and CEO of Hightower Advisors, challenged the industry at large to catch up with virtually all other retail services.
“Now, you can create the experience you want – where you shop, what car picks you up. But our industry is not delivering the level of personalization you get anywhere else. This is going to come to an end. Clients should be a lot more empowered.”
Oros added that to stay competitive, advisory firms need to rethink how they define wealth to match the changing attitudes of clients.
“There are moments that matter between clients and advisors, and they are not always financial,” Oros said. “It could be a health crisis – how do you show up and show value to your clients?
“Wealth to them is rarely the size of their portfolio,” he said. “It is much more personal, emotional. Firms will have to get comfortable going to areas far away from the ‘wealth’ side. Those that think about portfolios and rebalancing once a quarter risk irrelevance – whether they are fiduciaries or not.”
AdvisorEngine® was proud to be nominated as a finalist for this year's Wealthies awards for our CRM client growth tool in the marketing automation category.
If you want to learn how AdvisorEngine can deliver customized data insights about your practice, you can sign up for a demo here.