Reflections on the 2018 Orion Ascent conference

September 25, 2018 by Matt Marcum

about the author:

Matt Marcum

Sales enablement lead

Matt is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan and has worked in multiple roles at Advicent. He loves talking about financial planning and the value it brings both to advisors and to their clients. When not discussing FinTech trends with advisors, he enjoys spending his time outdoors with his wife and their dog.

During the first week of September, I was lucky enough to attend the 2018 Orion Ascent conference held in Miami. The tradeshow was full of enlightening sessions ranging from motivational keynote speakers, exciting technology announcements, and interesting breakout sessions. Here are my three biggest takeaways from the event.

Social media still a blind spot for advisors

First, social media continues to be a blind spot for many advisors. It is not that advisors and financial institutions are ignoring LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Instead, advisors are failing to find their own voices and end up looking the same through their social media messaging. As keynote speaker Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management noted, social media should be a way for advisors to differentiate themselves and provide a genuine look into their firm’s culture. By offering an honest look at the personalities within an advisors business, social media can become one of the best prospecting or retention tools in an advisors toolbox.

Always room for innovation

Second, there is always room for innovation across all FinTech companies. During Ascent, Orion also hosted Fuse 2018, an event for FinTech partners to get creative and take advantage of Orion APIs. The exciting part, in my opinion, was the clear value that APIs offer for partners looking to tailor unique experiences to their partners.

To find out more about Advicent’s API capabilities, click here.

Holistic financial planning remains most engaging

Finally, while there is a market for simplified planning tools, through my conversations with many advisors at the event, holistic financial planning is really the only way to truly engage with clients and differentiate an advisor’s advice from what can be automated through robo-advisors. Advisors are still looking for one solution that can engage clients or prospective clients through every stage of the relationship. This means simplified needs-based analysis for prospects and referrals that can graduate to comprehensive cash-flow planning as that household grows into a client.

To learn how one of the top U.S. broker-dealers accelerated growth through a centralized planning strategy with NaviPlan, click here.