Advisors will soon have access to the third generation of the Black Diamond wealth platform, the biggest overhaul of the cloud-based portfolio management system since 2010.
Black Diamond was slated to debut the platform, dubbed BD3 by clients and the development team, during its AdventConnect conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The new system is scheduled to undergo beta testing in the third quarter, followed by a wide-scale release later this year to the company’s 650 clients.
The redesign was largely driven by the lack the tools advisors have to efficiently pull together a complete picture of wealth for their clients, says Dave Welling, senior vice president and general manager of Black Diamond, which now has $350 billion in assets on the platform.
“There is a massive array of technology tools out there that are great tools, but advisors are really struggling with how to put them all together to create solutions they actually want, Welling says. “Often, they’re spending a lot of time cobbling together information from multiple systems.”
With that in mind, the Black Diamond team redesigned the platform to expand its performance reporting tools and integrate portfolio management, client communications, billing and rebalancing in a cloud-based system.
“What used to be the static, 50-page financial plan that became an artifact, is now becoming a critical part of what advisors are trying to present digitally to clients,” Welling says. He said Black Diamond clients were asking for a way to combine their financial planning with asset aggregation tools.
Advisors will be able to show clients their comprehensive net worth through an interactive “presentation mode” that displays an aggregation of daily-reconciled values, including assets not held by the advisor, as well as liabilities. The presentation mode also aims to help streamline the clutter of sharing multiple spreadsheets, slides and PDF documents.
“You don’t have to put a 15-page report in front of the client and walk through it page by page. You can see where the conversation goes, what they’re interested in, what topics you need to hit and just go to that portion,” says Bjorn Widerstedt, director of product management at Black Diamond. Eventually advisors will be able to save these client presentations and drop them into the client account or email them.
Additionally, Black Diamond has partnered with several companies give its clients access to tools such as financial planning software MoneyGuidePro, proposal generation from AdvisoryWorld, and a host of CRM platforms, including Salentica, Concenter Services, Junxure Cloud, Advisors Assistant and RedTail Technology.
“Today, the industry has solved for basic data integration and even single sign-on between one application and another application, but what we’re really attacking are the workflows that cross these systems,” Welling says.
The platform sits on a fully responsive cloud-based website, not a native application. “We went that route for speed purposes,” Widerstedt says, adding that it’s hard to predict what devices are out there and this way, as long as an advisor has access to a browser, they can log on.
“Mobile was a big foundational piece,” Widerstedt says. For advisors who want to bring up the platform on their tablet or smartphone, they can bookmark the page and the firm branding will continue to appear. Additionally, on a tablet, the advisor will be able to swipe through the pages, rather than clicking through.