In June of 2022, Orion Advisor Solutions, a provider of wealthtech products, completed its acquisition of Redtail Technology, a web-based client relationship management (CRM) software firm, touting that the union would provide wealth management firms and their advisors with a “most-in-one” technology suite.
At first blush, this might seem a welcome solution for wealth management firms hungry for a fully integrated CRM solution. However, that “most-in-one” approach could very well be the Achille’s heal for the combined Orion / Redtail entity.
Bigger isn’t always better – that’s the key takeaway from the latest research report from Nucleus Research on Salesforce’s CRM offering. In fact, as Salesforce has grown larger by acquiring and absorbing smaller competitors and specific products, the organization has seen declining scores in many areas – enough to push Salesforce out of its spot in the Leader quadrant of the Nucleus CRM Value Matrix. Shockingly, 51% of those surveyed said they would replace Salesforce if they could.
Gartner has published a paper on the need for chief information officers (CIOs) to build stakeholder confidence. It focused on strategies required to develop trust, without which the success of an enterprise’s digital business transformation inevitably falls short.
Artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be everywhere these days, including (if they are lucky) at the fingertips of financial advisors. AI, when designed specifically for wealth management, can help advisors be more efficient, focus less on administrative tasks and more on actual client engagement. And AI continues to evolve and mature. In the next few years, advisors can expect AI to deliver even more highly intuitive, time-saving features that will free them to concentrate on what matters most in serving clients.
We recently caught up with Andrew Cant, Vice President of Financial Services Solutions for NexJ, to explore what’s next for AI in wealth management and what advisors can expect and look forward to:
Improving advisor productivity is always top of mind in the wealth management industry. It’s a logical focus for wealth management firms looking to attract and retain top talent and increase assets under management. Advisors that have more time to work on growing their book of business, are more likely to be satisfied and they’re bound to be more profitable. According to BCG, “The costs that affluent-focused players incur in producing business are far too high, and they could become even more profitable if they were to increase efficiency.” They go on to state that top performers need 5 fewer assistants than average performers showing the link between efficiency and assets under management.
Wealth management is about trust. It is about giving an advisor control of your financial health and security and depending upon that advisor to make or recommend decisions that help you meet your financial goals. When we, as vendors, focus on features that give our products an edge, we always focus on how specific features can help advisors build more trust. This is what makes relationship hierarchies so important.
In terms of technology, there are minor differences between relationship hierarchies for corporate and investment banking and wealth management. The big differentiator is the intent. Corporate and investment banks track multiple hierarchies for the same corporations, such as risk relationships versus legal relationships. This allows bankers to get a holistic view of what makes the most business sense for a client. Wealth management needs a single hierarchy because they focus on single households and extended households. So, how exactly do you make a hierarchy that specifically speaks to the needs of an advisor?
The life of a financial advisor is a constant juggling act – and one where the balls in the air aren’t all of the same size, shape and weight. To be successful, an advisor needs to keep track of prospects, make new clients feel welcome and reassured, help existing clients navigate legal and regulatory hurdles, and help clients who are moving on to a new phase in life enjoy a seamless transition.
Who doesn’t want their team to work faster? And not just faster, but better as well? It’s what we all want. That’s why ‘increasing productivity’ is a key driver behind many front-office system upgrades. It’s also the reason so many vendors promise productivity improvements. So, how do you sort out the empty promises from the legitimate ones? The simple answer: do your research. Ask questions, and demand proof.
In a business landscape awash with “agnostic,” or non-industry-specific customer relationship management (CRM) tools, firms who adopt industry-specific CRM solutions are better able to unlock revenue opportunities, decrease risk, ensure compliance, and boost user adoption.
That is according to a recent Forrester Research report, “How CRM Evolves to Support Industry Requirements.” The report, which analyzes the impact and potential of CRM tools across several industries, clearly makes the point that industry-specific CRM solutions are increasingly sought after. That is particularly the case among financial services firms.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” It’s an old adage in business, and like many it has its limits, but clear, comprehensive data and reporting truly is crucial for advisors and advisory firms looking to maximize their business.
The challenge is that this data might be locked away in multiple systems, or data from one place might be needed to calculate or give context to data in another. NexJ has solved this challenge with its Analytics and Reports, a key component of the Integrated Advisor Desktop solution we have deployed for major firms.