David Coyle is senior vice president and head of business development at AdvisorEngine, where he is responsible for all aspects of business development including client relationships and partnership opportunities. A former financial advisor himself, he works with advisors in the eastern and midwestern U.S.
1. How did you personally become involved in FinTech?
I began my career on the other side of the desk, as an advisor with Merrill Lynch. I always wanted to be a financial advisor ever since I was a teenager, but somewhere along the way I fell in love with technology and the tools that help financial professionals.
In 2004, one of my clients was leaving his firm to join a tech startup—Outcurve Technologies. I decided to take the plunge along with him. The company was bringing real-time market data to BlackBerry mobile devices. This was the early days of mobile connectivity. Our cutting-edge software provided real-time market data and financial news for banks, brokerage firms and hedge funds [by] delivering this digital information to mobile devices around the world.
I later joined the wealth management team at Interactive Data Corp. They develop and operate customized financial market information systems. I worked with financial services and wealth management firms to expand their web-based financial content, market data, and applications—both mobile tools and web tools.
I completed my circle when I joined the AdvisorEngine team, where I draw from both my advisory and fintech knowledge to provide advisors with an end-to-end software solution. We work with RIAs, broker-dealers, banks and credit unions to provide the financial technology necessary to manage the total client experience.
2. What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?
I start each day early with a cup of strong coffee, digesting all the day’s financial news headlines and end with one thought in mind: what can I do better the following day to help advisors? My approach is very client-centric. I was the second employee hired at AdvisorEngine and the first salesperson on the team. It has been exciting to witness the changes within the realm of financial technology over the years.
My responsibilities revolve around all aspects of business development, including client relationships and partnership opportunities. My job is to find new clients, understand their business and deliver top-notch service as I help them navigate a crowded financial technology world.
On any given day, you can find me serving our existing clients, assisting them to adapt and excel with new technology. I also work with prospective clients, understanding their needs and strategies [and] helping advisors attract new clients so they can grow assets under management. My goal is always to be the hardest working person in the room.
3. What area(s) of fintech do you believe will grow the most in the coming five years?
Fintech will continue to grow within the next five years, bringing wealth management advice to more and more people regardless of their net worth. Everyone needs to save, prepare for life events and have a financial plan for their lives. Fintech enables the reach of an advisor to widen.
I think artificial intelligence will continue to play a bigger role in fintech. AI can assist advisors in serving clients more efficiently and with more tailored and efficient advice. AI allows the consumer/client to have more meaningful information, relevant to their lives, delivered to them easily [and] providing that customer-centric approach with real-time data, cost optimization and advanced security.