Advisor Group is spending $65 million to improve its technology away from its legacy AIG products.
As part of those multiyear improvements, the independent wealth management network with more than 10,000 advisors announced four technology initiatives on Monday: a highly automated digital advisor onboarding system, a centralized Salesforce-based relationship management system, an Advisor Business Hub and a partnership with a video marketing firm.
“This is a business we lifted out of AIG and during phase one we had to get the talent right and also the pricing and scaling right—under AIG this was really a tangential business—and then we took what had been very much a cobbled together and nonintegrated set of tools and rebuilt them,” Advisor Group President and CEO Jamie Price said.
“This is not legacy tech but brand new tech where we are ripping out every piece of nonintegrated technology from the AIG days,” Price added. AIG sold Advisor Group to Lightyear Capital in 2016.
The new tech includes what appeared, at first blush, to be a new customer relationship management system based on Salesforce. But Price and Advisor Group’s head of advice and wealth management, Greg Cornick, clarified this was not a CRM.
“Think of Salesforce as the workflow backbone,” said Price, “We have a single new instance of Salesforce, which serves as the backbone [across Advisor Group’s wealth management firms] and the necessary workflows inside.” He said the incorporated business logic and business intelligence therein powers the whole Advisor Group network.
“We can adjust the individual front ends as needed for each individual firm and the way each operates,” he added, noting that each firm has its own way of doing business and that half of Advisor Group's advisors were already users of Redtail as a front-end CRM and happy with it.
“As a hypothetical, if there were, say, a total of 50 journeys a client goes through and you take all those workflows and build them in and use a common interface and a single sign-on, you are coming closer to [envisioning what we are doing],” said Price.
Cornick added that all the initiatives were about providing as seamless an experience as possible not just for advisors but for the end clients as well.
He said the new Advisor Business Hub, in simplest terms, is adding B2B components, including a business intelligence data layer.
“This provides not only a lot of key metrics for our advisors in kind of a dashboard form, with dynamic data for advisors to see the health of their business, and where there are areas of opportunity,” said Cornick. The “container of solutions” within the hub is around four key themes that include cybersecurity protection, succession, continuity and community.
And in the new Express Onboarding initiative and technology, both Price and Cornick said they see it as an onramp and completely automated for advisors new to Advisor Group’s firms.
“It will handle the transition of assets, licenses etc.; we’ve eliminated a significant amount of steps and work,” Cornick said.
“The last phase of it [the automated process] opens up their first day at Advisor Group with their own dashboard, and this not only links up with our business transitions team but our succession team as well,” said Price.
The new Vidyard for Advisor Group offering will enable advisors to rapidly record individual marketing and client communication videos using the technology company’s straightforward desktop application. Any content created is then automatically routed to compliance for review with no hands-on manual steps. Built in to the Advisor Group version are customizable branding capabilities that include the ability to insert calls-to-action in videos themselves and analytics tools to help advisors measure engagement with the content produced.
All of the new enhancements come as part of Advisor Group’s 10th annual ConnectED conference, a hybrid event that is expected to reach 5,400 participants—3,000 in-person attendees at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas and another 2,400 virtual participants.