In the Spirit of Giving


You know what I really like about this time of year? Aside from all the food, the bowl games, and the goofy sweaters? It’s the spirit of generosity that just becomes pervasive. We may feel it in our hearts the rest of the year, but this is the season when everyone seems to put it into practice.

I always look forward to seeing who will be Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” and I thought this year’s choice of the Ebola fighters was inspired. These brave and selfless men and women epitomize generosity as few others ever have. You have to admire their determination to do what many said couldn’t be done, and  not be deterred by the personal risk or seemingly overwhelming odds.

These life-and-death struggles put our everyday challenges as a company and an industry into perspective, and I think it’s worth a couple moments to reflect on lessons we can take from their example. It takes a courageous heart and a generous spirit to transcend boundaries and reach remarkable levels of success – as exemplified by not only Ebola fighters, but also many others in 2014 who rose above odds seen as unbeatable. You have to want to do or make something from which others will benefit. It goes without saying that great accomplishments always entail a measure of risk, but those that look beyond it remind us all that nothing is quite impossible.

With this in mind, I’d like to take a look back at 2014.  At Advent, we try to keep the spirit of giving alive all year long in our communities through our Advent in Action program and annual Advent Gives Back Day. This past year, our Jacksonville office collected 34,000 items for a local school supply drive. New York employees volunteered with the Fresh Air Fund, which sends some 1.8 million city kids to summer camp each year.  At AdventConnect in Las Vegas, attendees joined our staff to pack 500 science and math kits for underserved students. Rolling into the holiday season, Advent employees donated over $32,000 to their favorite causes on #GivingTuesday, December 2nd, and the company matched them dollar for dollar.

Heading into 2015, we will continue to give back to the communities where we are fortunate to live and work. Moreover, we will remain committed to devoting our energies to innovations that advance our industry and empower our clients to succeed. We wish all of you and your families a joyous holiday season, and we look forward to an exciting New Year.

As CEO and President of Advent Software, Pete Hess has responsibility for vision, strategy and execution across Advent’s global business. Follow Pete on Twitter.

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Posted in Advent Software

Become a Financial Advisory Winner


It’s hard to describe how different the advisory industry is today compared to when I started. In the past few years specifically, I’ve started to see a great divide between advisors who use technology to their advantage and those who are playing catch-up. Our world, the financial advisory ecosystem, is in the midst of major industry change, driven in large part by how clients are interacting with technology. Technology decisions made by advisors today may very well influence their success over time.

Today, advisors are faced with two major challenges that have made embracing new technology a must. I’d venture to guess you’ve run in to these too:

  1. Clients are increasingly tech-savvy and expect the same level of efficient, personalized service from their advisors that they get from their consumer devices
  2. It’s difficult to grow and scale an advisory business – particularly one that provides planning or wealth management services – without finding ways to make the advisor-client dialogue both information rich as well as efficient

The emergence of robo-advisors, whether you think they pose a real risk or not, speaks to a growing expectation from investors for anytime, anywhere access to their financial advisors, human or not.  While it’s unlikely that a robot will replace the kind of relationship advisors provide it’s already a reality that investors expect an elegant combination of a relationship and the ease of a technology to engage on their own time.  So I have to ask, are you doing everything you can to cater to the here and now of investors these days?  Are the people in your firm who are responsible for client relationships using technology to make their jobs easier?

To get a better sense of just how much technology can serve as a competitive differentiator, we partnered with InvestmentNews on a study of how technology is transforming the client experience for investors and how firms are capitalizing on this trend.

The findings of our study were crystal clear:

  • Financial advisory firms that invest strategically in technology outperform their competitors across a number of financial and productivity measures
  • Technology-focused advisors – or “TFAs” – benefit from higher revenues (18% higher revenue per professional) and are seeing dramatic incremental profitability (45% higher profit per professional)
  • TFAs have automated certain processes, freeing up a lot more time for client-facing activities, improving overall client satisfaction

To learn more about how your firm can step up your game, read, Elevating the Client Experience.

As Senior Vice President and General Manager, Black Diamond, Dave is chartered with setting the company’s strategy in the advisory market and leading Advent’s Black Diamond business unit.

Posted in Advent Software, Advisors, Trends

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