SS&C Blog

Advisor technology: the integration imperative

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 | By Stacy Orff-Whitfield

Advisor technology: the integration imperative

It’s clear from advisor focused publications and conferences that firms have a wide choice of technology solutions to help create a differentiated client experience. The trick isn’t simply acquiring the right solutions, but making them work together and share data seamlessly—ideally through a single point of entry.

Many advisors today are relying on manual infrastructures cobbled together years ago when the landscape was much simpler. In the meantime, consumer-facing technology has leapfrogged to the cloud, social media and mobile devices. Advisors are often caught playing catch-up. Their disparate systems don’t scale, are expensive and time consuming to maintain, and are impediments to growth.

What advisors need today is a single platform that integrates all client-centric technologies, built around a core portfolio management and reporting solution with interactive client portal access. Integration is key to serving clients efficiently while delivering a high-quality client experience. However, it is often difficult and expensive to achieve. The 2017 InvestmentNews Adviser Technology study cites the need to improve integration of existing applications as one of the chief drivers of increased spending on technology consulting services over the past five years.

The good news is that you don’t have to do it yourself. While 15% of advisors surveyed say they build their own interfaces in-house with “a la carte” software, 42% partner with a technology provider to integrate their critical applications. The percentages are slightly higher for firms identified as top performers and as technology innovators. It pays to work with a provider that can integrate discrete solution components.

Mastering the Technology-Powered Client Experience

The opportunity to develop an outstanding end-to-end client service experience should be paramount in all advisors’ business planning process. With purpose-built advisor technology, cost-effective solutions are at hand. A wealth management platform that integrates financial planning, risk analytics, CRM and online portal access into a comprehensive portfolio management system can deliver the efficiencies and enhanced client experience necessary in today’s competitive and complex environment. Feature-rich, cloud-based and mobile-ready systems can free advisors to spend more time on client-facing activity, increasing the frequency of communication through the channels of the client’s choosing.

A differentiated client experience can potentially lead to increased referrals and business growth, both from client loyalty and by freeing professionals to focus on business development. Moreover, through efficiencies that come from complete wealth platforms, technology integrations and automated processes, advisors can achieve scale and accommodate new client growth without having to hire new people.

The challenge for advisors is real. However, firms that employ technology strategically to deliver an outstanding client experience are already seeing significant positive results and leading the industry into the new era.

Explore the Black Diamond Wealth Platform as an example of a leading technology hub connecting clients and advisors. In addition to its core capabilities of portfolio management, reporting and investor experience, the power of Black Diamond extends with several complementary deep integrations, including but not limited to financial planning, portfolio analytics, and CRM software, as well as access to traditional and alternative managed account strategies.

Wealth Management