If you want to know what is coming for advisor technology, then spend a couple of days at a T3 (Technology Tools for Today) conference.
Held earlier this week, T3 – Enterprise Edition featured over 40 technology firms showcasing their wares to over 100 large RIA and broker-dealer executives looking to learn the latest innovations for how they can take their businesses to the next level.
Due to its unique format as one of the leading technology focused conferences in the wealth management industry, T3 attracts and displays the latest innovations to help advisors be more productive, streamline workflows, and enhance the service they provide to clients. Put on by industry technology guru, Joel Bruckenstein, T3 becomes ground zero for advisor technology twice a year and serves advisory firms of all sizes.
Bruckenstein opened up the conference by referencing a recent study by Fidelity that pointed out the benefits of advisors who were classified as “eAdvisors,” meaning these firms have made a commitment to technology in their businesses. “On every metric, eAdvisors are more productive, have 40% more AUM, serve 55% more clients, work with more next generation clients, and ultimately are more happy in their jobs than those advisors who aren’t,” Bruckenstein said.
This year, it was clear that the top trend in the industry is all about enhancing the client experience online. Due to the early success of the robo advisor movement, the rest of the wealth management industry is looking to take the best of what robos offer and make them available to human advisors. Taking this concept to reality, MoneyGuidePro’s CEO Bob Curtis announced the expansion of MyMoneyGuide labs – an online, self-service way for investors to engage in the planning process and serve as a prospecting tool to build new relationships.
Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein probably summed it up the best when he said, “The future of advice will be human-driven and technology assisted.” This thought has been translated across the industry into some very exciting advisor technology initiatives.
Automating the ways clients can access financial information and have a view into their portfolios across all mobile devices was front and center at the conference. People today have changed expectations in how they want to work with their service providers, and historically, the wealth management industry has been slow to adopt these principles.
Leading technology firms, however, are driving innovation with powerful client portals that can aggregate the clients’ entire financial position, integrating that view with real-time portfolio management data and the client’s financial plan to provide an at-a-glance view of where they stand vis-à-vis their goals.
To emphasize this point, eMoney Advisor SVP Drew DiMarino’s advised the crowd that, “The battle will be lost and won at the client experience level, thus you need to get to your clients and prospects first. Ultimately, you want people on your platform under your brand, before they get to someone else’s.”
Another top trend at T3 was all about integration. To enhance advisor productivity, back and front office systems such as CRM, Rebalancing, Portfolio Management, and Financial Planning need to talk to each other, share data and simplify advisor workflows. Multiple sessions discussed this theme and were top of mind for the attendees looking to enhance their technology stacks for their businesses.
The good news for SS&C Advent clients is that the new, award-winning Black Diamond Investor Experience (which includes a client portal, vault, and client communications tools), the Black Diamond Link program, and the extensive Black Diamond Integration Network have been designed specifically to address these themes of enhancing the client experience online and driving efficiencies through meaningful integrations.
So, if you haven’t explored these options to enhance your client service experience through technology, you might want to get going. Technology change waits for no one. Next year’s T3 – Advisor Edition conference will take place in sunny Fort Lauderdale on February 10-12, 2016.
Timothy D. Welsh, CFP® is President and founder of Nexus Strategy, LLC, a leading consulting firm to the wealth management industry, and periodically blogs for Advent’s On Point blog. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NexusStrategy.