Recap: The 2017 Pershing INSITE Conference

Speaker giving talk at Business Conference.

Continuing the industry’s focus on technology to help advisors run a better business, Pershing’s INSITE conference last week in sunny San Diego took that theme to the next level with the launch of its new “Integrated Wealth Experience” initiative.

As part of an aggressive technology strategy, Pershing is launching a re-design of its popular Netx360 workstation, rebranded NetX360-Wealth, which is the new front-end portal that will provide what Pershing is calling the “Integrated Wealth Experience.”

This bold technology initiative focuses on experience-centric designs. “What we are doing is taking the entire value chain of work that an advisor and their staff does –from prospecting, to planning to onboarding, to trading, reporting and ongoing client management– and creating a seamless, integrated experience,” said Ram Nagappan, CIO for Pershing.

As part of this new approach, Pershing is creating three levels of integration experiences.  The first is an all Pershing system, designed for advisors and firms who are looking for an all-in-one offering.

The second is a “multiple” portal view, which brings in data from third-party systems that advisors may already own, such as portfolio accounting, CRM and financial planning.  Via Pershing’s “API Store” third- party vendors can enable tight integrations with Pershing’s systems.  For example, Black Diamond by SS&C Advent is an active participant in the API Store and has been a long-term partner with Pershing. .

The third portal is a “custom” portal, which allows typically larger firms to control the entire advisor experience by integrating with a customized technology deployment that the firm has custom designed.

Beyond Pershing’s announcement, technology innovation was a key theme at the conference, with many keynotes and breakout sessions focusing on how technology is transforming our society. Kicking off the second day was a highly entertaining and thought provoking panel discussion on “The Science of Innovative Technology” featuring Oscar Salazar Gaitan, investor and Founding Architect of Uber, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, and Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of Affectiva.

The panel discussed a wide range of issues and opportunities, most notably where these innovators see technology going.  According to Gaitan of Uber, he is investing in old-line industries that have not seen a lot of innovation, e.g. the “faxing, filing cabinet and phone call” industries. His top choice?  Waste Management.  “There hasn’t been any innovation in trash in over 2,000 years – we are still digging holes and burying it, just like the Romans.”

One of the unique aspects of INSITE is Pershing’s mission to bring in high profile keynote presentations not focused solely on the financial advice industry. This year did not disappoint with some highly entertaining and inspiring discussions that ranged from famous photographers to athletes.

Platon, an award-winning photographer, shared his intriguing stories around taking portraits of world leaders, US Presidents, celebrities and even a secret shoot to capture a cover story about Edward Snowden.  Pershing Advisor Solutions CEO Mark Tibergien closed out the conference with a lighthearted and candid conversation with Super Bowl champion quarterback Aaron Rogers of the Green Bay Packers.

Throughout the conference were breaks, meals and receptions with the many exhibitors showcasing the latest advisor innovations and offerings for the more than 2,200 conference attendees. SS&C Advent was a prominent exhibitor, sharing the latest updates from the Black Diamond Wealth platform.

Also on display at the Pershing Technology pavilion were a number of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, IBM Watson, voice and facial recognition, “chat bots” that we’re starting to see being integrated into the NetX360 Wealth ecosystem.  Chief among them was the introduction of Pershing’s “Digital Assistant” that is being nurtured to combine all of these advanced technologies. The focus is to drive efficiencies so that advisors can simply voice command NetX360 Wealth to initiate service requests, schedule meetings, and retrieve information about client holdings and more.

The 2017 Pershing INSITE conference provided a great preview into the future for advisors and advisor technology.  To learn more about what went on at the conference, check out the many tweets on the #realINSITE hashtag on Twitter.

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