“With digital advice becoming a viable option to serve smaller accounts, advisors in Independent Financial Partners’ (IFP) network asked for the ability to offer the option,” says Chris Hamm, its chief operating officer. There were many technology choices, but AdvisorEngine’s platform provided the broker-dealer and registered investment adviser unique capabilities that would benefit the over 240 financial professionals in its country-wide network, Hamm added. In the following interview, Hamm explains IFP’s decision to embrace digital wealth management technology and why other RIAs need to do the same. Hamm also outlines the lessons learned from his firm’s rollout of the technology. The following transcript has been edited for clarity.
A new year is just around the corner, and I’m really excited to talk about our product roadmap, but first, I want to say my thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by Covid-19. It’s my sincere wish that all of you, your family and friends stay safe and healthy. There’s nothing more important than the well-being of your loved ones. The incredible news that vaccines are becoming available now makes me even more hopeful we’ll be able to come back together in 2021. I look forward to being in an office with my colleagues again, catching a Broadway show with my family and having a nice dinner surrounded by friends.
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Things are changing fast in the wealth management industry. Last week, AdvisorEngine® CEO Rich Cancro shared his perspective on this moment of “hyper change” we all are experiencing. Client and market shifts in motion are now accelerating and advisory businesses must react to the pace of this change. How the industry meets is also evolving. Social distancing demands and health concerns have pushed a number of wealth management events online. That’s why for the first time in eight years, our >drive conference will not be held in-person. Instead, it will be an immersive, virtual experience held October 22-23, 2020. One of the biggest draws to past >drive events has been the opportunity for Junxure® users to gather together - administrative assistants, advisors, CEOs, firm principals and operations leaders alike - to share ideas, knowledge and experiences. With that in mind, we have designed a virtual >drive2020 conference focused on engagement.
Think about it for a minute, how much does your business rely on email communication? Email has become such an important method for business communication. It’s accessible, fast, cheap and private - plus, it can be easily replicated and stored. I’ve actually had an email account since I was in college. But the norm these day is that elementary-aged kids are using email to communicate with teachers and collaborate with friends on class projects. According to statistics more than half of the global population now uses email - 3.9 billion people have active email accounts. In comparison, there are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide. Since building strong relationships is a core element of providing financial advice, a financial advisor Client Relationship Management (CRM) system should support email functionality. It’s no wonder that financial advisors are thrilled with Junxure®’s latest integration with Office 365.
I’m fortunate to work with highly motivated and passionate independent advisors and their teams. When I’m meeting with them, I get the opportunity to hear about the firm-level strategic goals they’re focused on. Unsurprisingly, many of these strategic goals are only possible through technology. Modern technology is creating new ways for RIAs to drive growth, achieve efficiency, ensure client-centricity, build trust and enable compliance. Here are five things to consider when adopting new technology and how it could benefit your firm:
These days, financial advisors have options - new technologies that provide competitive advantages. Tools that enable online, automated investment management services that are key to attracting the next generation of investors. Smart advisors realize this paradigm change in the wealth management industry. An industry traditionally operated through face-to-face interactions - now quickly shifting toward digital tools where real-time algorithms provide customers with financial advice and manage investment portfolios. When launching a successful digital strategy from the ground up, there are many things you must consider. By aligning your team and focusing on client experience, you can maximize your chances of success. If you are considering a digital offering strategy, here are some ideas that you can take and implement into your financial advisory practice: