Hearsay Systems announced on Tuesday a new client engagement platform specifically for registered investment advisors.
It has been developed to meet the compliant social, texting and website capability needs of small and midsize RIAs with fewer than 50 employees.
While many advisors in the independent RIA channel may be unfamiliar with Hearsay, it has, over the past decade, become a go-to platform for providing compliant digital communications among enterprise financial services firms, including large wealth management and insurance organizations. It currently reports working with more than 200,000 advisors and agents across those industry segments.
“We’ve had independent RIA customers forever, but with this new offering we have put a focused effort on building something to meet the needs of the small but growing midsize RIA,” Hearsay CEO Mike Boese said.
Within its announcement is a partnership with national RIA Mercer Advisors.
“Over the last six months we have dived into this user base and asked them what do they need, both in terms of setting them up and then on an ongoing basis,” Boese said, noting that some firms will already have more capabilities than others.
Mercer, with more than $38 billion in total client assets, has acquired 15 new firms so far in 2022, with a collective $6.6 billion in AUM.
“As one of the country’s first independent RIA firms, we want our advisors to confidently access the tools that they want, on the channels that their clients and prospects prefer, without worrying about running afoul of compliance,” said Gary Foodim, CMO of Mercer Advisors. “We chose to partner with Hearsay because it provides our team quality content for social posts, while opening up new options for texting and calling—in one easy-to-use platform. We believe Hearsay will be a game changer for our advisors.”
The new platform bundles several different Hearsay products, including its Social, Sites and Relate offerings, into one integrated system.
The Social portion of the new platform powers an advisory firm’s social media publishing and messaging needs, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and that includes automated help creating campaigns and client personalization features.
It should be noted that Hearsay also studies social seriously as well, publishing annual research on financial services social media usage, including what works best on various networks.
Hearsay's Sites technology lets advisors create websites that are mobile-optimized and take advantage of the firm's long experience in search engine optimization. Perhaps more importantly is Hearsay’s content engine, which will equip an advisory firm with compliant articles that can be easily personalized and published on an automated basis.
And finally, Hearsay’s Relate technology provides for texting, voice, desktop and mobile communications options and content.
Boese said another aspect of its enterprise focus over the years will also benefit growing RIAs, such as Mercer, because of the ease with which administrators in a firm can manage hierarchies and permissions, making it easier to expand and layer in new capabilities.
Hearsay also has extensive integrations with two CRM systems commonly used by some RIAs—Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365. And the firm integrates with Smarsh, Global Relay and Proofpoint on the SEC-compliant communications archiving side.
Hearsay does not publicly publish or share its pricing.
“Broadly speaking on pricing it is based on number of users and the capabilities you need—suffice it to say it will be competitive,” said Boese, who emphasized that his firm had studied the pricing offered by competitors in the RIA market.
“We have a best practice lexicon ready and available right out of the box and if you need more around other services, like compliance, we can deliver and we’ll go so far as to help you administer and take on some of the administrative aspects,” he said referring to Hearsay’s more turn-key managed services offering.
Hearsay Systems launched in 2009 and clients today include New York Life, Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab and Ameriprise.