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How Tech Can Help Wealth Firms Put Investors First

Missed our live session on "How tech can help wealth firms put investors first?" Don't worry! You can catch the recording at your convenience.

In this webinar, wealth management industry experts discuss how to unlock investor satisfaction through technology. Key topics and discussion points include:

  • The evolution of investors’ expectations, shaped by experiences with their other service providers
  • How wealth firms can leverage technology to help close the gap between investor expectations and their current pain points
  • How to overcome challenges in data quality and integration to meet investor needs
  • Practical tips and expert advice for integrating tech solutions like AI

Watch now and stay ahead of the curve in wealth management tech!

Video Transcript

Speaker 1 : Hello and welcome to the Fun Fire webcast. How tech can help wealth firms put investors first. Sponsored by Broadridge. My name is Peter Canova's. We'll get started in just a moment, but first, allow and explain the player on your screen. On the bottom. Used here. Audio controls. The sliding bar allows us to adjust the volume, and the circle double arrows can be used to refresh your media player. Beside the audio controls, there's a text box you can use to submit questions to our panel. We encourage you to ask questions throughout the presentation, and please note all questions will be addressed anonymously. On top of the video window, you see a series of tabs containing more information about our speakers. Now let me introduce. Our moderator was Bethany. This is a financial journalist with many years experience covering the industries and will be leading today's discussion. Liz.

Speaker 2 : Thanks very much, Pete, and welcome everybody to how tech can help wealth funds put investors first. Sponsored by Broadridge. We have got a fantastic panel for you here today spanning the whole of the US. Pretty much. So thanks to them for being here. So to kick off, let's think about what we're going to be talking about. Our customers have grown accustomed to seamless digital experiences like we're having today. And this is putting pressure on wealth management firms to adapt. However, many firms are falling short on meeting client expectations, and a broad, rich survey found a staggering 45% of investors still doing business with the company due to a lack of personal experience. That's quite a lot of people, dissatisfied clients are prepared to seek wealth firms, advisors who prioritize technology that can be tailored to meet their individual needs. So today we are going to be discussing what is happening, why and how we can improve to give a better client experience. And with me, on the panel is, Alicia Rich, who is head of digital clients and advisor, and I will go to broadridge. We'll try out who is director in securities and investments practice at Data Insights, and Garrett Bane, who is head of digital Solutions, etc. financial Group. Hi, guys. We're going to get straight into the first question. Thank you for being with us. So we're going to set the scene on the client experience expectations. We all know that over the past 1015 years you can do everything on this. From paying your shopping bills to dating to anything you like. How? Well, let's look at how things are developed. I'm going to come to you. Do you do everything from your smartphone now? Is everything digitized? Tell me where we are. Oh, God. I don't know if I can hear you. Hold on one second. Let's just check Garrett's audio. Garrett, can you just check you're not muted. Yeah I think you're muted I tell you what. Well let's just come to you then. So. Oh. Are you?

Speaker 1 : Yeah. I'm back. Sorry about that.

Speaker 2 : That's all right. This is. This is digital experience. This is an.

Speaker 1 : Operator error on my part. And this is why we prepped before the session. So my apologies. So, you know, to your point, Liz, as it pertains to our expectations of kind of anything and everything on our mobile device, you know, there are forces, exerting themselves outside of wealth management that are, in particularly shaping the experiences that we all have. It's no secret that in consumer and client expectations are shaped daily by what's happening across their lives. All brands, all products, all services that they interact with or use. I have a favorite quote that actually describes this that says, the last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere. I think we can all relate to that. On a personal level, I think we can all understand just how daunting that is from a professional perspective within wealth management. And to your point, digital centric experience. Advancements in it could be shopping, transportation, travel and entertainment, automotive, just to name a few. They continue to raise the bar. They continue to usher in new standards that whether we like it or not, in wealth management, we get compared to.

Speaker 2 : And and will we can see how, you know, everyday lives, things are getting much easier. And when I click on an app to go and find a train tickets or theater tickets or whatever, it might be, something inside that out knows what I want already. So how is this? How's this personalization kind of improved or people developed over the past ten years? And then we'll get to how this is how function sits within it.

Speaker 3 : Yeah definitely I would use Elizabeth is would actually be like the airline industry right. No one would expect if you click on United, for example, that American Airlines will be aware of what you're doing or will build your travel around it. But that's exactly what clients want their advisors to be able to do. Make sense of a highly fragmented ecosystem of financial services providers and vendors, financial planning platforms, others. And and the result, you know, is inevitably a disjointed experience for the client. And so, so we're we're challenged by our structural makeup as, as wealth managers.

Speaker 2 : And it's interesting, isn't it, that the industry hasn't maybe progressed as quickly as others because, you know, it's very competitive. It's still a very competitive industry. And every dollar counts every ten, 20, a million. However many dollars are talking about all counts. So, Alicia, can you kind of help us put together why wealth management is such a mixed picture? Because it seems that some firms are already getting it, and others are still kind of using one of these. And and one of these. And a landline landline still exists, presumably. So you could see the mixed picture.

Speaker 4 : Yeah, it's definitely, a mixed picture. And I think, you know, when you look at it, firms of all different sizes are in different phases when it comes to, you know, generating this seamless client experience. A lot might have to do with just the overall complexity of the services that are offered, the security that's involved. When when I think anything about finances is is involved, there's a lot of security that has to be considered. And then, of course, an ever changing regulatory environment. So there's lots of different areas that firms have to try to prioritize when thinking about where am I spending this next dollar for, for it spending. And I think that, you know, in addition to consumer expectations, there's also a changing face of the consumer. Consumers are getting much younger. There are many more, your Gen Z, Gen Y, investors that have entered in the last ten years, primarily because firms are offering more self-directed robo tools. And so you've got this disruption of technology that's forcing some of these larger firms to have to make difficult choices when it comes to where am I going to invest? I think, though, the one thing that we're seeing is most firms are really focusing on that customer experience, and how can we make that improve so that we can gain back the trust as well as the interest from from all different segments from a client perspective?

Speaker 3 : And I would add, if I if I may, it's worth pointing out that as clients are getting younger, advisors are getting older, right? It's the silver tsunami. And so there's a lot of dysfunction emerging from that, from that dynamic.

Speaker 1 : In addition, in addition to those, because those are those are sort of factors within and sort of forces within the wealth management, industry we're also in. Kind of a long term transition, as I would characterize it, from more of an investment management centric business model to more of a holistic financial wellbeing. You know, dare I say, fiduciary based management, one and that value prop is, shifting and evolving. So in conjunction with demographic shifts, with regulatory forces, there's just a whole bunch of stuff that's going on and wealth, which combined with the forces outside of wealth, make it, a really ripe, you know, landscape and opportunity for wealth management firms, for financial advisors to, rapidly evaluate and sort of adjust and evolve their own client facing value prop.

Speaker 2 : So there's huge opportunity for the challenge, is there? And it seems that across finance, there's other sectors that have already kind of grasped the technological investment already rolling with it. But what are the we're going to go through some of the demands that clients make on wealth management and, and investments, platforms. Gary, you touched on it and, and we've talked about this earlier. So what solutions can is tech already providing because we talked about investment returns? Well, the investment side is an obvious one. But as you say, wealth management, it isn't just about put your money in, in a fund and forget about it for ten years or 20 years or whatever. There's so much more as well. So, Gary, can you kind of help us understand or kind of share with the audience where you see the the challenges are and how solutions are already forming? So investment tax, and everything that kind of goes with it.

Speaker 1 : Yeah. I mean, as you started with sort of the expectations that we all have and clients, if we start, they're generally looking for an easy to use, intuitive experience that's on this, where they don't have to go to multiple places. It provides them with a complete picture of their information, and allows them the ability to collaborate, partner with their trusted financial professional, if that's part of the business model. And, where they're experienced is personalized and, relevant to them and to their goals and objectives, and that that is an A to Z sort of, you know, value prop with lots of different pieces to that equation. It's not just this piece or that piece, it's really all of that in wealth that needs to be unified and brought together. And technology plays a pivotal role. There are certainly third party solutions that try to do kind of all of that together. In my view, and in our experience and research, it's almost impossible to do that sort of solely through a single third party solution. That's one of the reasons why, you know, we've taken the approach that we've taken in terms of providing a unified experience across all of that, where we're blending our own technology solutions with third party componentry and integrating different pieces of that puzzle in a cohesive experience.

Speaker 2 : It's it's it's a lot, you know, if you look at it maybe a generation ago or two generations ago, it's a very different proposal now. And it's, you know, wealth management is no longer just put your money away and will come and go for a nice dinner if it ever was that. But there's so much more. The seminal interfaces you think are the so many more ways to touch points that the clients want. Alicia, when you speak to clients, how do you what are they asking you so they can serve their clients better? What? We know there's a very, very competitive market at the moment. So is this is tech a differentiator? You can help with all the other aspects that we talk about all the time, about price, about whatever, you know, margin squeezing what the clients come to ask you to help them with solutions for.

Speaker 4 : So I'd say tech is still definitely a differentiator. It's a place where firms want to focus on how do I get the best client experience and how do I have the best employee experience as well. And so when we're sitting down with clients, they're looking front to back. Where can I make improvements and where is where's my dollars going to going to go? I'd say that it's, you know, hitting on what Garrett, mentioned earlier. It's not just about making investment decisions and helping somebody with an investment portfolio. It is about the holistic financial wellbeing being of the client. The advisors are coaches for for their clients. They're not just somebody who's helping them to decide what to buy and what's a sound. And along the way, they want to make sure that they're providing the most seamless, frictionless experiences. And so when we sit down and talk to clients, it's really just understanding where, where do you have those breaks in that customer journey? And it's taking that step back to look from the customer's perspective. Where are you starting with a process and where could something potentially be interrupted or go wrong, or take longer than it needs to to take taking that approach together and understand where is it that you need to to focus from a differentiation perspective? I also agree with your point on, you know, there's not one solution. There's not a one size fits all. A lot of firms are coming to a conclusion that they need to either specialize or look at some niche services so that they can have a differentiator. But also they need to have those table stakes, right? Everybody wants real time immediate access. And how do you deliver that to to your clients.

Speaker 2 : And the the demand side of it is is just getting as technology develops, you know Spotify and everything else that we deal with every day, we expect wealth management to, to move at a similar pace. And well, I with such a complex industry that we work in and regulatory demands and, and how everything moves, it's less quickly than it may do Palo Alto, how can how can fans kind of stay in touch and still provide this personalized service that we expect, because we get it everywhere else?

Speaker 3 : Yeah, that's a great question, Liz. And I think it's important we understand personalization on multiple levels. So there's personalization in investments, things like direct indexing investing to ESG preferences. But there's also personalization in a larger sense, in terms of personalized service and delivery. And that's when providing the right service at the right time in the right way. And that's when you speak to the value of financial planning firms. This. Concept of financial wellness, where we have health related data. Like inter gen data is one actually down here in Texas, that serves this sort of data as a service or service clearinghouse for health information. And then, you know, retirement, right, is another huge issue. And so you've got firms like Income Conductor that can help you plan out, you know, when you take a distribution or when you, sign up for an IRA or whatever the case may be. So I think, there's, this, this sort of symphony of activity that needs to take place. And ultimately you've got to tie all this activities into something of a client portal, and you've got. Aggregation based portals like Wealth Access, advise on are just a couple names that pull data from multiple systems and present it neatly packaged to the end client.

Speaker 2 : Thank you. And just remind, all our clients for this webinar. I was in audience land. Please do put your questions to our panel. Every question you ask will be asked by me anonymously, so you don't have to. You have to leave your name, but we won't use it. So please feel free to ask as many and as broad questions as you'd like, and we'll try to get to as many as we can. Now, team, I wanted to come to the various pain points that wealth managers face. And how they the really key areas, because I was quite struck that 45% of people might move their account because of a terrible experience. That's a that's a really big number. You wouldn't necessarily move to the supermarket or change a gas station because you have a terrible time. But this is a big number. So can we have a think about all the different elements that come together for the client's experience? And let's start off with sales because sales is getting people through the door. If you have a terrible sales experience, you're not even going to get across the threshold. So said Gareth, how can tech help us to understand or help you to understand the nuance that the client demand, but also realize that if you do well, you can sell them a farm, you can sell sell all sorts of protection, tax advisor, whatever it is. How is tech helping to do that?

Speaker 1 : Yeah. Great question. I mean, I mean, I think one thing that jumps out to me in just in terms of that of the data, that you referenced is the, the, the switching sort of event. So implied in that switching is I've tried someone and something's gone awry in that experience. And so I'm switching to an alternative. And actually what I would sort of link from a sales perspective is that engagement, that upfront engagement and the incongruence that we often see in wealth with that upfront engagement and the downstream sort of servicing and ongoing kind of guidance and advice delivery, there's there's a challenge that we have relative to, it can be a really good experience upfront and sometimes not the best experience on an ongoing basis. And that actually speaks a little bit to what we've been talking about in terms of the shift in value prop, from investment management centric to more holistic financial wellbeing oriented, because that engagement needs to speak the same language upfront as the ongoing sort of guidance and reviews and delivery of advice, from an ongoing perspective. But oftentimes in wealth broadly, we're speaking French up front and we're speaking Italian downstream. And, you know, there's this lost in translation and people fall off and seek alternatives as a as a result of that. So, you know, I think about and we think about in our, in our context, this connectedness between, you know, the front end and sort of the all along the way, client experience and technology absolutely needs to play a vital enablement role. From engagement and discovery tools to engagement tools, to planning tools, to implementation and keeping digital interaction ability ever present and sort of stitched into that end, an end to end experience along the way. And there's a variety of examples that we could sort of go into and in terms of those capabilities, but that cohesiveness, that connectedness, that congruency is really ultimately what you know, and clients are seeking and that'll, engage them up and, and keep them loyal and, and retained, you know, over time.

Speaker 2 : Thanks, Alisha. Let's let's build in as you what Gary saying about getting them all and getting them in. This includes your onboarding, your KYC, you know, all your checks you need to do because they can be laborious and painful and take forever. How is tech solving these issues to make the client experience not a total alignment?

Speaker 4 : I think in addition to making sure that all of these processes are talking to each other and well integrated, it's about doing things in real time. When it comes to some of the know your client and anti-money laundering checks, the longer that some of these processes take, the more manual that they are, and even the more arduous that it seems to the clients that I had to do too much work to get you to take my money. Right. Those are experiences where you can remove all of that friction with the right customer journey, with the right integration, and with the right technology. Now, not everything can be automated. And sometimes it does take, you know, a couple of days to do a review or to finish an onboarding process. But you can go from a process today that might take a week or two, to a day or two and make significant process. Onboarding is one of those areas where we're seeing a larger investment from, from firms. That is the first experience that clients have with the brand, right? They might have already been interacting with the advisor or the advisors team, but at this point, really the first experience that they have with the bank or or the firm, and you want to be able to instill trust, you want to make sure that you don't lose the client in that process by taking too long, or by asking them the same thing over and over again. In addition to just streamlining that, that journey, making sure you're looking at things from a holistic client perspective and not an individual account perspective. And that's been a struggle that a lot of firms have had for, for several years, where we're so accustomed to everything being specific to a single investment account and not taking that step back and looking at the holistic, client centric view of the picture.

Speaker 2 : Well, what's your view on this? Because it seems that if you, you hook them at the beginning and everything's smooth and it works really well, you have this opportunity to, to work with them on more closely and, and take this holistic approach to what they need. But you've got to get this right. You've got to get the sales, you know, the initial first link in the chain, right? So how do you see tech helping that?

Speaker 3 : Right. The start of a new client relationship for most account opening is, in effect, a honeymoon period where you have a tremendous opportunity to introduce new products and services, talk about needs and goals, and if instead you create a lot of friction in terms of filling out forms and putting stuff, you know, back in front of the client to, to document their identity or additionally whatever, then you're missing out on that opportunity. So, you know, you do have dedicated onboarding, technology out there. Their platforms like advisor 360, which straddles the insurance and wealth management world, that that supports that. I think, there's also this tension between firms desire to scale via self-service, have clients enter staff and advisors desire to, engage with the client. We did a study not too long ago that showed that a majority of independent advisors, Ria, still require their clients to come physically into the office, to identify themselves. Presumably many of these people are already known to the financial advisors, so that's not necessarily a bad thing. There's an opportunity for engagement, but it does suggest we are slightly behind in terms of the digital experience and how clients access our services as well. Managers.

Speaker 2 : It's like I was booking a flight the other day, and my and I have to keep putting my passport details. I never went over. And he kept saying to me, you've got this wrong, you've got this wrong, and I haven't. So I just put this thing at the right. I'm like, this is. And so, you know, I suppose it's a slightly different offering. But the frustration was the same. So we got our client on board. Everyone's happy. It's been a lovely honeymoon period. Plenty of champagne and roses. We get to the reporting part, which is kind of the next step or the next link in the chain. And and the client wants to know what's happening. How is the reporting part? Have you met that scene? Was the client experience an issue? Because it can be it can be lumpy. It can be loads. It can be ineffective. It can whatever it might be. What's the what's the challenge with data provision? And how, how's tech helping the industry to produce and better.

Speaker 4 : I'd say a big thing is. And you nailed it. Liz needs to be timely. People want things as near real time as possible. The expectation is they can just pick up the phone and get any, any piece of information that they need immediately. And the expectation is the same in wealth management. And earlier Will was talking about the experience through client portals. That's a critical part of the overall experience. A client needs to know that at their fingertips, they're going to have all the information that they need. They'll have a secure way to look at that information, as well as a secure way to communicate with their advisor. If there's questions or if they're things that they need them, that that are not available to them through that direct portal. I think that there's a lot that firms have been doing with how you present the information, with how you make it feel consistent. We know that we're using multiple tools, across this experience with for clients. We want it to feel like one singular experience. You don't want it to look like five different images, put together and, you know, paste it together to tell a story you want it to be have that cohesion that Garrett, mentioned. So that client portal that an experience to, to the investor is a space where firms are spending more time and spending more money. It used to be when I started out in this, industry decades ago, that it was, you know, a must have that. But but not anything that you really invested in to enhance the experience. The enhancement came with the relationship with the advisor. And I think now firms acknowledge that it is just as important, and it's an extension of the advisor when the advisor might not be there and might not be available, that that portal experience is available to clients.

Speaker 2 : It is, guaranteed to have to tell us how many decades you've been in this business. But what was your experience on on this reporting part?

Speaker 1 : Well, just to build on Alicia's last comments, the expectations from a client perspective is, is kind of availability, you know, anywhere, any time. You know, it is absolutely, absolutely an extension of the financial professional, that self-service ability to see how am I doing relative to, you know, my goals and objectives is something that we're in the context of that shifting value prop that we're seeking kind of more broad based, scalable sort of experiences, within, you know, the industry. I would submit that that's and this is an area where we're going to see quite a bit of innovation in terms of the measurement and the reporting around progress for a client, where it's, you know, moving beyond sort of what has been traditionally the value prop in into, you know, an area where it's just really easy to understand how am I doing? It's more holistic in scope and in context by definition. That's super hard to make it simple and cover more information. That's just hard, right? Technology can play, you know, an innovation in fintech and in wealth. Tech can play a really important role, in delivering, you know, a significantly better and consistent sort of congruent reporting experience to the conversation we're having here.

Speaker 2 : And, well, this is all kind of part and parcel because the experience isn't just how we feel when we get the information, it's how it impacts our lives. It's, you know, if the investment returns are great and if the advice we got was great, this is all part and parcel of the same experience. So how how do we see technology you doing all the things, that make the make it better?

Speaker 3 : Sure. Consistent with this trend, the holistic advice that, Garrett and Alicia have talked about, I see the role of technology is really pivotal in extending the advisor value proposition, which is something advisors need to do. You mentioned, Spotify. Liz. I mean, we're seeing Spotify type pricing models. We're seeing subtle but significant pressure on fees. And financial advisors are trying to extend their value proposition to areas where they traditionally have handed off the client. I'm thinking like estate planning, right? Usually you would just call a lawyer or, tax planning. You usually would hand off the client to the CPA. And it was kind of a one way channel. Now we're seeing firms like vanilla, the estate planning side trust and Will we're seeing tax firms not to actually do the client taxes but to plan investments. And, your larger financial position around taxes, like holistic plan. Right. Another Texas based fintech. I got to plug Texas a little bit here. So, so technology is allowing the advisor to do more for the same fee, which is very frankly, is the end client's expectation.

Speaker 2 : You keep looking. Texas. Well, we like that. I've got a question from, from the audience. Thank you for sending a couple of questions to the audience with this one, I think fits quite nicely. So thank you for the person who sent this in my name. Are you seeing any differences in tech usage among channels? Team. Alisha, I'll come to you.

Speaker 4 : Then that is, a good question. I'd say from a tech usage perspective, you see differences, you know, from an end investor perspective based on how self-directed do they want to be and how advisor they want to be. Right? So when when you think about that client portal experience, and what technology you're offering, some of your clients might want a hybrid experience. And in order to support that, there is a subset of self-directed tools that you want to be able to offer them online and give them that autonomy, give them that freedom when managing their their finances. I'd say from a firm perspective, I don't know if I'd say that there's a difference in the usage of technology. More so I would say a difference in focus based on the firm's strategy. You have a lot of larger firms that were very early adopters to digital transformation. In the last ten years. They've made significant advancements in their back office, improving operational efficiency, eliminating redundant data, data storage. Right. They've gotten rid of a lot of legacy tech debt. They're now moving much more rapidly when it comes to next generation technology like AI. And so I'd say that that is where I see the biggest difference in how firms are implementing technology. It's about where's their baseline, where's their foundation, and how quickly can they start to adopt newer technology.

Speaker 2 : Guys.

Speaker 1 : I was just going to jump in. To Alicia's point, there's there's, distinct differences, of course, in terms of businesses that have a direct to consumer directed client business model versus, you know, those that are intermediated through, you know, businesses, whether it's independent advisors, you know, financial institutions, etc.. I think one of the sort of unifying aspects of, of the digital experience, though, actually goes to some of what, you know, Will and Alicia, we're talking about where today, even in an intermediated, financial, professional driven sort of value prop. Technology supplies, that business, that advisor with a number of different options to incorporate digital interaction and digital experience into the business such that using will your your estate you know, planning example, I would just say, you know, workflows, the sort of notion of workflows, you know, where they used to be sort of linear and start in the same place. They're no longer linear, they're no longer starting in the same place. There's sort of this looping effect where they can start in different, you know, places. And digital is a big part of facilitating that type of permutation and workflow, where if I want the ability list for you as a prospective client to invite you at the outset of our engagement for, you know, you to gather, you know, and input data and share some information about yourself again on your mobile device, right where then I can see that information and then we can progress down, you know, that engagement process. And then I might be missing a piece of information or I might need this from you. I could loop back and use that same digital experience to gather and sort of fill in the gaps. That's the type of thing that is creating the the connectivity in the, you know, in the experience that is, it looks and feels similar across channels. It's just that business model that varies it a little bit in terms of how it's offered to that end consumer.

Speaker 3 : And can I? Can I make a point onto Garrett's point? I mean, we've truly entered in not only just a world in which it's planning, driven, non-linear. It's also a multi-asset class world, right, where clients are using insurance solutions. Clients are, investing in alternatives and and how you track all that disparate activity and asset class selection requirements in a single portal is really challenging. And so, otherwise you're just asking clients to look at different portals, to look at different solutions, and you're effectively, downgrading the experience both from a silo perspective and also in terms of the client's ability to view the whole of the of the relationship.

Speaker 2 : I got another question. Which is good because it's my job, I suppose, but it's a question for the audience. Which responsibilities of financial advisors can be automated and which can't?

Speaker 3 : Empathy cannot. And that will never go away. I think, obviously the stock jockey of the 1980s is largely a thing of the past, but I think what is happening as we become, a more complex, solution provider, as a financial advisor, those advisors that are able to sort of conceptually connect the dots, sort of what does the war in Ukraine potentially mean for my portfolio or even my, my, my, my trust account? I mean, I'm making this up, but sort of playing at a higher level and being able to dive down that kind of intellectual agility is key. Frankly, I believe most advisor functions can be automated technology, but I'm in the research business, and so I would I would obviously say that. But certainly empathy and human understanding is not going to be recreated by a robot.

Speaker 4 : Yeah, I would add, but I, I just want to add one point. I'd say that it's not about automating everything that the advisor does, but providing them a copilot that automates the manual things. So if I'm trying to prepare for that conversation, you know, about how the war might be impacting clients portfolios. I'm not digging through 35 different places to get information to pull up that and then form a perspective. I'm with a couple of clicks, pulling in every piece of research that's going to touch upon the subject, a list of all of the clients that might be impacted, a range of of how they might be impacted. And so that effort to pull in all that information to do that research, that's what's automated and streamlined, allowing me to just focus on the task of distilling the information and making it consumable for my clients.

Speaker 2 : I got.

Speaker 1 : Yeah, I would, I've of course, have something to to say. With respect to the question, I think just building on well, in at least his comments, the, the effectiveness, the efficiency and or the efficacy of that client relationship and sort of delivering, advice up front and, ongoing through the life cycle of that relationship is, is one where technology can play that, you know, advancement and sort of extension role. But that human interaction, that empathy, that behavioral coach, that lifetime sort of relationship partner, not just to the client or clients, but across sort of intergenerational sort of considerations with kids and family and sort of the complexity of needs technology, AI, automation, digitization, you know, otherwise, will absolutely transform this business and in, you know, profound ways. But that kind of human intermediated, you know, trusted financial advisor and, and professional is, is one where, there's still a whole lot of, you know, value wrapped up in kind of the delivery of that advice and that relationship that, you know, technology. We'll have a hard time replicating. But we'll have an easy time supporting at scale.

Speaker 2 : Thank you. So we're coming into the last kind of 7 or 8 minutes at the end of the webinar, and I want to get to the hurdles. I would like to get to the business end of the webinar. We got the big elephant in the room. The data shaped elephant is the data or is client data. All the data that you work with on a day to day basis? Guys, are we is all of it in good shape enough for us to make these dramatic, you know, turn it all into Spotify. All the other platforms are available. Overnight. Is the data ready? Oh, well, I'll ask you first. Is the data ready for us to make the advancements that we need to create this fantastic client experience? Well. I'm sorry.

Speaker 3 : I'm sorry. That was for me. I cut out there again. Were you asking about data and the need to support? Yeah. I mean, that's a big one, obviously. And firms spend hundreds of millions of dollars on what I'd call data hygiene. And the best examples are probably Morgan Stanley, who spent, you know, probably a billion close to $1 billion to enable their next best action insights, platform. UBS has done some work there. Alicia could probably speak to that or may not want to, but, Bank of America, of course, also. Right. And they have a very seamless kind of progression for the life of the client. And it definitely supports planning. Not everyone has that kind of money. That said, I think there there are three things that are really critical to deliver a superior experience, for the client. One, as a firm, you need to get your data house in order. You need good governance. You know, John can access this. Mary cannot. You need it housed in some state. Your data housed in some sort of vessel. Right. Used to be called a data lake. Now it's called the data lake house or other things. Why is that important? Point number two, you need to be able to deal with structured and unstructured data. But unstructured data, I mean, data stripped from a PDF or even a conversation, a news broadcast, podcast. And then number three, last and certainly not least, you need to turn that data, structured and unstructured data into insights. And firms are trying to do it real time. I mean, you have Orion, for example. Sorry to mention that, Garrett. I mean, you know, a sort of comfort competitor, maybe right in the same space in the IBD, world, partnering with Amazon Redshift to enable essentially real time insights on the client portfolio. So and I'm sure you're doing something similar. Garrett. So, put the data house in order build a process to manage structured and unstructured data and leverage that data treasure chest to generate real time client insights for the advisor.

Speaker 2 : Alicia, is are you seeing clients preparing or getting ready or spending billions? As discussed, where are we in the industry and the data? I love the idea of a data lake house. I want to visit that.

Speaker 4 : Once again, it definitely is, a spectrum when it comes to the firms and where they are in this journey. I can't say that every firm has $1 billion to spend, nor do they have an army of, technologists and data scientists and data engineers hanging around. But I'd say that it is the core area that firms are focusing on. How do I get it in order so that I can start to deliver these real time insights and I can tell a better story to my investors. I can tell a better story to my advisors here and to the support teams that are out there dealing with the investors every day.

Speaker 2 : Garrett. Billions, millions. Data likes. What's your view on all of this?

Speaker 1 : It is a critical priority for, wealth management to continue to progress kind of the data experiences. You heard some of the capabilities and and sort of spectrum of investment here. I think the other thing I would say from, you know, a wealth management company, firm perspective, is data is such a vital part of the experience. It needs to be managed like other parts of the experience. What I mean specifically is really, you know, managing it like you do your client onboarding and account opening like you do your client portal, treating it like a product, treating it like a, you know, it is a vital part of the experience. And, you know, to your question of is that data, you know, quote unquote ready or in good enough, you know, it is what it is. It's you don't really have a choice, right? Have a choice to invest. You have a choice to prioritize. You have a choice to, progress in advance and continuously sort of improve, you know, the data parts of the experience. And to me, that's, you know, there's no alternative. You have to be doing those things.

Speaker 2 : I'm going to come to the final question because it's 2024 and someone has asked the question, what role do you think I will play? Is I going to be the savior of all of this? Is it going to make everything cheaper, integrate things more quickly, make the client experience fantastic?

Speaker 1 : There's no. You know, we could have an entire conversation on on AI. Yeah. There's no there's no denying the potential of AI. It has, you know, many are predicting it to be as transformational as, you know, technological inventions, whether it's the printing press or electricity, computing the internet. And I think it's a it's the popular and shared opinion amongst many, not just in wealth, but, you know, more broadly. So the short answer is, yes, it's going to transform this business. It's going to have broad application in terms of use cases. You know, I think one of the interesting things when it comes to AI is it's going to change the nature of talent. It's going to change the nature of, you know, jobs, whether that's wealth management firms or even locally within advisor practices and advisor businesses. And it's going to fundamentally change the structure of our organizations. You know, jobs and skills will go away. Some will be forever changed and others are, you know, absolutely brand new. And we have some examples today, but it's just going to evolve, you know, rapidly and substantially as we move forward.

Speaker 2 : Thank you. Well, your thoughts on AI and how it's going to transform transforming the industry.

Speaker 3 : Yes. I mean, I can obviously be used for portfolio selection or opportunity identification. It can be used in the way Alisha sort of referenced as sort of combing through vast troves of data to pluck out insights for a financial advisor. I think ultimately the main benefit is going to be to the workflow and automation. AI is very clever in how it can pass together different parts of the technology value chain, for example CRM. And sort of reporting and allow inputs from the client or from the financial advisor based on an Q and A and dialog and intuitive understanding. So already we're seeing several use cases of firms that have kind of, brought together different technology, say a CRM and a portfolio management system, say, let's say Black Diamond there and Red tail there and parsing them together, in a way where the client or the advisor sort of sees and understands and is plugged in and can contribute to this ongoing dialog and process across that technology value chain. So it's incredibly powerful.

Speaker 2 : Alicia, just to finish with you then I think I well it sounds like it is going to revolutionize which bit will revolutionize first how quickly and should we get ready for it. And should clients get ready for it. Because their experience ultimately.

Speaker 4 : Both Garrett and Will hit on in great the use cases of how it's going to transform what we do on on a daily basis, the ability to use natural language to talk about and explain complex, concepts and be able to make sure that your clients truly do understand, right. When we get into this idea of financial literacy. And what does that mean? Making sure that you can craft messages or you can share information with clients and it it's in a more easy to digest format that's going to be huge. It's going to save the advisors and their teams time. It's also going to make things much better from an investor perspective. It's the one thing that firms should be thinking about is how to get their workforce comfortable with what the tools can do and what their limitations are. You know, it's not I for I say it's it's a high to make sure that you understand you have a strategic need and that it's the right tool to help with that strategic need. We we have our, you know, a set of tools that are just for our product managers, allows them to help build test cases and allows them to help write stories, user stories and requirements. It just gets them more accustomed to, like I said, the limitations that you might have with some of the capabilities within AI and then help you be able to understand how can I now extend this to the products that I own into the products that I'm using with my clients so that they perform better, and that you're using it for the right types of tasks?

Speaker 2 : Brilliant. Fantastic. Well, we are we are out of time. So thank you very much. Thanks to the audience, first of all, for sending in such great questions. And thank you to my panels for being utterly brilliant. I'm sure this is a this will be continuing, a continuing story as we go through, because tech is going to be an enabler. Who knows, we could all be chat bots in a couple of years, but let's come back and do it again. So thank you very much to do it for being here. Thank you to our panel. And I'm going to pass you back over to Pete.

Speaker 1 : Thanks Liz. And just echoing all, Liz, thanks to everyone for attending today's webcast to our panelists Alicia, Will, and Garrett, as well as to you, Liz, for moderating and a very big thank you for to Broadridge for sponsoring today's conversation. Please check your email for information regarding future webcast, as well as for access to the recorded archive for this one. Thanks everyone! Have a great rest of your week.

Speaker 2 : Thank you.

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