A vision for the advisor firm of the future

September 13, 2017 by Alex Peter

An advisor uses technology to benefit her firm.

about the author:

Alex Peter

Product marketing strategist

Alex began his career at Advicent as a mid-market business development representative. He now divides his time between assisting his team and working with enterprise clients. Alex is passionate about FinTech and creating success for his team.

Many firms are currently making decisions to prepare for the future. Many of the changes that are happening is in response to two main factors: trying to compete downstream and an increasingly challenging regulatory environment.

Before we jump into these two categories, it is important to understand that almost every industry is undergoing a sort of metamorphosis, whether that is automation in manufacturing, home delivery meal kits, or stores that automate the checkout process just to name a few; these are all driven by the consumer revolution.

In April, the VP of Marketing at Advicent wrote an article called “2017: The Year of Financial Planning and Client Experience.” In that article, Tony speaks of the events that have happened in recent history, which are leading us towards the future. Although we can never truly say what the future will bring, this is what I believe future will hold for the wealth management industry and the four trends that we will all be following by 2025.

Centralized planning will gain more traction

An increasing number of firms will want to become more efficient. This requires specialization into specific tasks. Many firms have a centralized planning team that already takes the data gathered by the field advisor and develops the best plan to match the unique needs of that client. This type of specialization has already helped many firms realize an enormous scale by freeing up the field team to do exactly what they were hired to do – be the face of the company.

Everyone will have a plan

Having clients develop their own simple financial plan will become the primary digital onboarding tool for both the wealth management and insurance spaces. Many firms are having success with various calculators and quick assessments.

This type of tool is a strong value proposition for the firm, something the client can believe in because they see the impact immediately. They also see how some of the offerings from the firm will impact their financial future. Not only does this approach set a precedent as to how the future of their relationship will work, but it also immediately engages the prospects in an interactive experience which advances them through the onboarding process.

Digital experiences will continue to evolve

Our current understanding of what it means to be digitally engaging will continue to evolve. As clients continue to adopt new ways of leveraging technology, advisors and firms must be willing to make changes to meet them where they want to be met. Tech-savvy financial firms are already looking for ways to integrate themselves into their clients’ daily lives through tools like Amazon Alexa.

 By meeting those clients where they want to be met – in this example that is wherever they have an Alexa-enabled device – those firms are able to meet their clients and prospects where they already are. Forward-thinking firms will continue to leverage technology to show their unique value to both attract prospects and retain clients.

Artificial intelligence will see strong adoption

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already seeing a decent amount of news coverage in the financial services marketplace. Many advisors do not quite understand what AI is, does, or has capabilities to do. The true value of AI will be in how it is leveraged. By proactively alerting advisors – and possibly clients – to specific items that need their attention, artificial intelligence can become a huge boon to not only the financial advisory space but also across all industries.

It is not too farfetched that artificial intelligence could help manage a practice, understand market fluctuations, and help guide investment and purchasing decisions. AI works off of algorithms and shifting through large amounts of data to see patterns and decipher the meaning and intent behind them. That can help provide valuable insight. As AI continues to evolve, we can be confident that we will see it take a more proactive stance in the future of the financial services industry.

To learn how technology will affect advisor advice models in the future, click here.