At the recent SS&C Deliver annual conference in mid-September in Chicago, over 1,000 attendees, including approximately 150 advisors, convened for 2 ½ days. For advisory clients of SS&C Advent who were not able to attend, we share highlights from the conference and encourage you to follow up with your Advent or Black Diamond representative for additional details.
For Advent and Black Diamond solution users, the event showcased many new products, integrations and platform enhancements, unveiling that Black Diamond has become a fully featured wealth platform.
Black Diamond product teams demonstrated how they continue to pursue the idea of a robust, holistic platform through acquisitions and strategic partnerships. Senior Solutions Manager, Justin Wayne, revealed the latest during his session. “We have one service contract and one tech stack that provides integrated reporting, portfolio accounting, outsourced data management, rebalancing, client portal, CRM, financial planning, risk analytics, and now managed accounts.” Through SMArtX, Black Diamond advisors have access to more than 250 traditional and alternative investment strategies.
For CRM, the release of Salentica Elements offers advisors working with Black Diamond a comprehensive CRM available on the Salesforce AppExchange. The new integration provides advisors with an advisor-specific, turnkey solution that has pre-built configurations, workflows, and features native integration with the Black Diamond wealth platform.
Conference attendees also participated in several practice management sessions focused on relevant topics such as M&A and valuation, attracting top clients, and innovations in client experience.
In one session, industry technology guru and T3 conference and newsletter publisher Joel Bruckenstein provided his perspectives on the “Future of Wealth Management Technology.” Bruckenstein challenged the audience that many of their pre-conceived notions will be upset in the near future, driven by the inevitable forces of technology innovation.
“We are in the early stages of massive changes in this industry,” he said, pointing out several major focus areas, including how payments will be done, how lending is processed, the way investments will be evaluated, how insurance will be sold, and changes to the services advisors provide.
“Blockchain has the potential to disrupt so many aspects of financial services, yet the industry still thinks it only applies to Bitcoin,” Bruckenstein noted. In order to prepare for this new environment, Bruckenstein advises that advisors become “e-advisors,” a methodology where digital technology is applied across firms’ service delivery and back-office automation. “E-advisors can service 50 to 100 more clients than those that are not, at a much lower cost, sustaining profitability in a more competitive environment,” he noted.
Concluding his remarks, Bruckenstein encouraged advisors to increase their investments in technology, despite the uncertain future. “Technology has to serve you and your clients, and no technology investment is a bad one. Be sure to encourage your vendors to keep innovating.”
Indeed, innovation happens when experts with different perspectives come together to achieve a shared objective. The conference started a day early with a Hackathon judged by T3 tech expert Joel Bruckenstein, WealthManagement.com’s editor-in-chief David Armstrong, Quovo co-founder Niko Karvounis, and Nexus Strategy President/founder, Tim Welsh. Advisors were paired with Black Diamond engineers and designers to create new and exciting applications. A few standout ideas included a client-driven referral feature and a crowd-sourced report template program with automated meeting prep.
If you weren’t able to join us in person this year, we hope you can make the trip to Las Vegas for SS&C Deliver 2018.