On the heels of our recent award wins at the WealthManagement.com 2015 Industry Awards, I thought it would be a great time to catch up again with Black Diamond product experts Bjorn Widerstedt and Eli George. They took me through a deeper dive into details of the Advisor Experience. As you’ll remember, the Advisor Experience was announced this summer as the newest offering included in the Black Diamond wealth platform. It is currently in beta and features will be rolled out in phases later this year and early in 2016.
Kendall: At AdventConnect, it was said that the Black Diamond advisor experience will offer a tailor-made experience for Advisors and provide several new capabilities. Can you elaborate a bit more on that?
Bjorn: Sure. To start, the content available in the Black Diamond wealth platform will be firm, role, and user-configured, meaning there will be tons of flexibility in terms of what and how content is presented to advisors and their clients. We also designed the systems for both small and large firms, and specialized and general users.
The advisor experience offers tools like Presentation Mode, which will help reduce the time and effort required by advisors and operations to prepare for client meetings and create a much smoother, easier-to-follow experience for their clients. It will enable advisors to quickly select the specific information to share during presentations all from within the Black Diamond wealth platform or from external sources, like financial planning information, market outlook summaries, and information from PowerPoint, Excel, Word or PDF files. Advisors will be able to leave behind the hassles of showing disjointed information from several files and looking disorganized to clients. Meetings aren’t just about the numbers; they’re about each client’s journey toward their financial goals, and Presentation Mode supports that in person, remotely, and afterward.
Another tool called co-browsing will help advisors remotely connect with clients– advisors will be able to share their screen, and vice versa, so clients can watch their advisors toggle over aspects of their portfolio while they share updates or answer questions. We kept hearing from advisors that they were frustrated with the mass market tools for screen sharing, because the clients weren’t able to connect or had technology issues when they tried. It ended up being an exasperating exercise instead of a quick way to connect and serve their needs. Co-browsing will really help advisors have more interactive and deeper conversations with their clients. A sort of “you see what I see” that will particularly help advisors serve, teach, and collaborate with their clients versus talk at them.
Eli: We know data aggregation is also a pain point for advisors so we will be expanding our data coverage options to include investor-initiated data pulls. Liabilities are part of this as well so we can automate net worth statements for advisors and investors. Also, given that advisory workflows stretch across platforms, we are deepening our integrations to support bi-directional workflows and seamlessly integrate content with CRM, Financial Planning, and Portfolio Analytics systems.
Kendall: Could you provide some specific examples around proactive notifications?
Bjorn: Yes. Firm and advisor-level dashboards will help advisors manage their book of business. Within these dashboards, proactive notifications will ping advisors regarding daily workflows and actions, usage analytics, and trend analysis focused on growth and revenue.
The notification system can also be configured to support different user needs. For example, an operations analyst may want to know every time an account is opened or closed and be directed to all the related workflows. A portfolio manager may want to know about low cash levels, large in/outflows, and portfolios out-of-balance. And a relationship manager may want to know when clients upload documents or when reports are posted and/or viewed. The system can be tailored to each of these specific requirements.
Kendall: Can advisors use the Black Diamond wealth platform to connect with clients and prospects?
Eli: Absolutely. The Black Diamond investor experience is designed for investors, and also helps advisors better collaborate with their current clients through an experience that can be tailored to meet clients’ specific needs, whether they’re meeting in person or remotely.
For example, the investor experience includes a client portal, vault, and communications tools that advisors’ clients can access on desktop, tablet, or smartphone devices.
Using the advisor experience, advisors will also be able to create a sample portfolio to show prospects a customized experience and the potential for their portfolio were they to work with the advisory firm.
Interested in the Black Diamond advisor experience? Get a sneak peek.
Bjorn Widerstedt is the Director of Solutions Design and Product Management for Advent’s Black Diamond. He has spent almost 8 years at Black Diamond and was the founding member of the Product Management team. He is passionate about the Advisory business and loves to strategically solve complex problems and design beautiful solutions.
Eli George is the Director of Solutions Management for Advent’s Black Diamond.
Kendall Reischl manages Advent’s external communications program through public relations and social media.