Technology lives at the center of many advisors’ practices—and now those advisors are seeing investor accolades for their efforts. A recent survey underscores how important the right tech is for advisors, while Buckingham Strategic Wealth tightens its ties with a wealthtech firm and a well-known name in technology adds a former CEO of a major broker/dealer to its ranks.
Edward Jones: Clients Expect the Latest Tech
Don’t underestimate the importance of a well-selected tech stack: Not only do advisors benefit, but investors are expecting the latest technology, according to a recent survey from Edward Jones. After polling more than 1,200 investors, the firm found that 95% of investors “feel it's important that their financial advisors use the latest technology and tools when advising them,” according to the report.
All of the tech doesn’t mean investors want to interact with a robot. Of those polled, 83% said they wanted to work with a human financial advisor, with the remainder preferring robo advice.
“State-of-the art technology is critically important to support the relationship and experience between our clients and branch teams,” said Frank LaQuinta, chief information officer at Edward Jones, in a statement. “When we asked clients and investors about what they wanted out of technology they told us they wanted to know if they are okay, how did they get to where they are and where are they headed.”
Taking its own survey results to heart, Edward Jones updated its mobile app and online portal, part of a $500 million commitment to “its digital transformation.” Improvements to the client experience include better visibility of goal tracking and account aggregation, remodeled tools for communicating with clients’ Edward Jones advisor and better fund transfers, bill pay and check deposit services.
Holistiplan and Buckingham Tighten Ties
Advisor-focused tax planning software developer Holistiplan is now officially a part of the Buckingham Strategic Wealth tech stack, after the software developer passed the firm’s vetting process, according to an announcement. Described as a “multi-year agreement,” the deal provides Buckingham advisors, including Michael Kitces and Jeffrey Levine, with access to the software. Levine is also an employee at Holistiplan.
“We’ve been exploring Holistiplan’s benefits for years, with an eye towards implementing the best integrated tax solutions for our clients and advisors,” wrote Rob Ziliak, chief experience officer at Buckingham Wealth Partners, in a statement. “Forward-looking tax strategies, short- and long-term, are critical parts of financial and investment plans.” A victory at XY Planning Network’s 2019 fintech competition put the software development firm in the spotlight in a major way.
Invent.us Taps Larry Roth as Strategic Advisor
Invent.us founder and CEO Oleg Tishkevich is adding Larry Roth, the former CEO who served stints at both Advisor Group and Cetera Group, as a strategic advisor to the software firm. Tishkevich is hoping the addition of Roth and his “expertise in investment banking and growth planning” will provide more firepower for the fintech firm’s future development.
As the managing partner of RLR Strategic Partners, a Berkshire Global Advisors affiliate, Roth has been providing growth consultancy to wealth management firms for nearly three years. At Invent.us, Roth will be responsible for building out the firm’s advisory board of “influencers” and “seasoned wealth management industry leaders,” according to the announcement. In certain, limited instances, Roth will also provide strategic guidance as part of the Invent consulting team.
“As large enterprises that support thousands of financial advisors are racing to upgrade their legacy systems and bring new cloud-native solutions to stay current with a much more challenging and competitive marketplace, we are experiencing exponential growth,” Tishkevich said in a statement. “Larry’s experience, knowledge and advice will be critical to helping us best manage these tremendous opportunities.”
Evidence of the firm’s growth included the hiring of 17 new tech staff late last month and a growing user base that currently sits at more than 14,000 (up from 7,000 a year ago), according to a spokesperson.