NorthRock Partners – In House Excellence

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Kicking off the first in a series of profiles of Black Diamond clients, we were fortunate to be able to sit down with Brent Field, Chief Investment Officer for NorthRock Partners. Based in Minneapolis, MN, NorthRock oversees approximately $1 billion in assets for 500 households.

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Posted in Advisors, Asset Managers, Black Diamond Performance Reporting, Technology, Wealth Management and Financial Planning

Advisor Technology Spending Continues

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In a previous blog post about the recently held Technology Tools for Today (T3) conference, we highlighted that advisor technology remains hot driven by continued innovation from emerging technologies and the rush by advisors to enhance the client experience.

Findings in the newly released 2017 Adviser Technology Study from InvestmentNews are consistent with that, highlighting that advisors continue to increase their investments on technologies that support client experience.  According to the study, the average advisory firm in 2017 is projected to spend nearly $100,000 per year on technology, up nearly 50% from just four years ago.

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Posted in Advisors, Asset Managers, Black Diamond Performance Reporting, Hedge Funds, Technology, Traditional and Alternative Asset Management, Uncategorized, Wealth Management and Financial Planning

The Enduring Advisory Firm

 

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At the recently held Pershing Elite Advisor Summit, a seminal panel discussion was held featuring practice management expert and Pershing Advisor Solutions CEO Mark Tibergien along with Kim Dellarocca, Managing Director for Pershing.

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Posted in Advisors, Asset Managers, Family Offices, Traditional and Alternative Asset Management, Wealth Management and Financial Planning

Best-of-Breed or Single Provider? How to Satisfy Your Technology Needs

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How can wealth managers best meet their increasingly mission-critical technology needs?

To stay relevant to an ever more digitally-demanding client base, firms have taken massive strides in recent years to catch up with the technology provision seen in retail financial services and other consumer sectors. Improvements have ranged from upgrades to core banking platforms to better websites, online client portals, mobile apps and automated tools for advisors.

Best-of-breed continues

To do this, notes the latest WealthBriefing/SS&C Advent Technology & Operations Trends survey[1], wealth managers have generally adopted a best-of-breed approach, enlisting a wide range of technology providers to satisfy their and clients’ rapidly-evolving needs.

And this best-of-breed trend seems set to continue. More than a third of the survey respondents say they need multiple technology providers. None said their firm’s requirements are met solely by their main technology provider.

In part, this reflects the growing need to tap specialist capabilities that institutions’ in-house teams or main technology suppliers may struggle to provide—think mobile apps, or other digital client-facing tools that can enhance the client experience and increase efficiencies.

Reversing the trend?

But while a best-of-breed approach predominates at present, the report suggests institutions may increasingly turn to those vendors able to deliver end-to-end platforms that require minimal bolt-ons.

Such ‘one-stop shop’ solutions offer a number of powerful benefits: seamless data flows and more real-time solutions; reduced complexity and cost by not having to integrate multiple provider solutions; a lower total cost of ownership; and improved control from not needing to manage a medley of vendor relationships.

Partnership under one roof

Which isn’t to say that sticking to a narrower range of solutions providers, or even a single vendor, is necessarily a limiting factor, observes the report, since these days technology firms often have a variety of partnerships in place to supplement their areas of expertise.

In this way, wealth managers can leverage a ‘core’ vendor to handle the bulk of their front- to back-office activities—with all the data and operational efficiencies that confers—with a selection of more niche providers for specialist tasks and business processes, such as mobile apps, social media communications or advanced risk management.

The upshot, notes the report, is that “institutions are actually able to access many solutions through just one.”

Given the industry’s growing complexity, diversity and cost pressures, that will be a powerful advantage.

[1] Technology & Operations Trends in the Wealth Management Industry 2017, by WealthBriefing and SS&C Advent

To get a full copy of the report, visit “Technology & Operations Trends in the Wealth Management Industry 2017”.

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Posted in Advent Software, Advisors, Asset Managers, Technology, Trends, Wealth Management

Outsourcing Under the Microscope

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Wealth managers have been progressively outsourcing a variety of (predominantly middle- and back-office) processes and services for years. The increasing regulatory burden and rising cost pressures have been particular spurs. But in the latest WealthBriefing/SS&C Advent Technology & Operations Trends survey[1], we’ve seen a notable reshuffle in firms’ priorities.

While improving efficiencies remained in top position, wealth managers’ desire to improve service quality jumped to second place, from fifth last year. Given their end-clients’ growing expectations for more responsive, real time and digitally-oriented services, outsourcing to a provider with the technological sophistication and investment budget to keep pace with these rapidly-evolving needs makes sense.

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Posted in Advent Software, Advisors, Asset Managers, Technology, Wealth Management

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