Efficiency 2.0: How the Top Advisors are Using Technology to Transform the Client Experience

In our most recent Future Proof webinar, industry experts Dani Fava, Brian McLaughlin, and Christopher Cook came together to discuss the transformative power of technology in reshaping the client experience. Join us as we recap the key insights and takeaways from this engaging discussion, and how you can best apply them to your practice.

Enhanced Access and Efficiency

Technology is facilitating ongoing changes in the advisor space. While the technology itself may not be entirely new, it is providing advisors with increased access to manage money in innovative ways and gain fresh perspectives on their clients. This newfound access enables advisors to become more efficient and ultimately more profitable. By leveraging data in more meaningful ways, advisors can optimize their decision-making processes and deliver even greater value to their clients.

Prioritizing the Advisor or the End Client

When it comes to developing new tools and solutions, our speakers contemplated whether the primary focus should be on helping the advisor or directly benefiting the end client. The consensus was that advisors should be treated as clients themselves to enable them to better serve their own clients. Therefore, the efficiency of advisors becomes paramount. The most important thing is to understand the evolving trends in the end consumer space, including social behavior, changing expectations, and the pervasive influence of technology. One of the significant trends discussed was Behavioral Finance, which explores how individuals feel about money, their advisor, and how they engage in financial discussions. Consequently, any technology or tools employed must prioritize creating a sense of comfort and trust for clients.

Evaluating Technology and Driving Integrations

Determining when to upgrade or and when to retire technology requires a thoughtful evaluation of desired outcomes. Their recommendation was to reflect on the value and impact of existing technology, in order to identify which solutions are worth investing in and which may hinder progress. Experimentation and pushing the boundaries of comfort were also encouraged as a means of discovering new possibilities. Tracking the usage of different platforms and features provides valuable insights into user behavior, enabling advisors to align their strategies with expected outcomes. This data-driven approach allows advisors to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and effectively evaluate the effectiveness of their technology investments.

The Future of Client Portal Technology

We began to look ahead into the future of client portal technology. Flexibility and customization emerged as key factors to consider, given the rapidly changing consumer expectations. The ability to adapt quickly and easily to evolving needs and preferences is paramount. A flexible container that allows advisors to build their own client portals emerged as a preferred approach, however, caution was advised to ensure that the container can be easily changed, updated, and customized to meet the ever-evolving demands of clients.

Integrating New Technology

Integrations play a vital role in successfully adopting new technology. The panel emphasized the need for integrations to be extensible and well-thought-out. Advisors were encouraged to start with a small group and focus on step one, ensuring that the initial integration is implemented correctly and fine-tuned. This approach allows for more efficient scaling and mitigates potential challenges that arise with broader adoption.

Prioritizing People and Processes

The importance of placing people and processes ahead of technology itself was agreed on by all speakers. Advisors should start by identifying the problems they aim to solve and the areas where improvements are needed. By focusing on these aspects, advisors can align technology solutions with their specific needs, maximizing their benefits and driving meaningful outcomes.

Audience Questions and Upcoming Webinar:

During the webinar, the panel addressed insightful questions from the audience. Two of the questions that were answered included:

  1. Are you seeing any shift in pricing models? A lot of tech (i.e. Pontera, RedBlack), promise functionality, but have AUM based pricing models. For firms that do not charge their clients an AUM based fee, paying a tech provider an AUM based fee doesn’t make sense. Does it really cost the provider more to manage a $2M account than a $500k account?
  2. Are vendors becoming more flexible when it comes to integrating with each other? Vendors like Orion, are forcing us to use THEIR planning and CRM tools to get the full functionality of their client portal. Their planning and CRM tools aren’t best for our firm, so we’re stuck with a mediocre client portal.

Watch the recap to join the Efficiency 2.0 conversation! Save your seat for our next Future Proof webinar on Wednesday, June 21, where we will explore the world of alternatives. Our guest speakers include distinguished experts Howard Lindzon, General Partner at Social Leverage, Sylvia Kwan, Chief Investment Officer at Ellevest, and Meb Faber, co-founder and the Chief Investment Officer of Cambria Investment Management. Don’t miss this opportunity to empower you to adapt, innovate, and thrive in the future of wealth management!

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