Technology plays a key role in advisors’ firms. It helps them run their businesses more efficiently. It helps them communicate with clients and provide dynamic service. It helps them manage the enormous amount of data they deal with on a daily basis. And sometimes it presents a new source of competition.
Advisors are demanding that technology. In fact, a study released in April by Jefferson National found that the highest earning advisors were “tech obsessed,” meaning they spend twice as much on technology in their firms.
We recognized the following honorees in the 2016 IA 25 for their work meeting advisors’ technology demands.
Eric Clarke, Orion Advisor Services
Every advisor is different – different clients, different strategies, different needs – so being able to integrate the disparate tools they use to serve clients is critical. That’s why Clarke and Orion Advisor Services are “hyper focused” on integration.
“We believe every advisor should have the ability to choose the systems that are the best fit for their firm and will enhance their ability to add value to their client experience,” he said.
Orion serves over 800 advisory firms with $280 billion in assets under administration. “We’re big believers in using technology wisely,” he said.
Stuart DePina, Envestnet | Tamarac
DePina is a serial tech entrepreneur whose mostly RIA clients embraced Tamarac’s portfolio and client management. It’s kept improving the software through constant interaction with its users.
Since its purchase by Envestnet in 2012, DePina has continued to successfully guide Tamarac as part of a larger public company, no small feat in itself, while remaining the calm voice of technology understanding and advisor-client advocacy.
“We give clients a voice,” said DePina, group president at Envestnet | Tamarac, “and turn voice into action.”
(Photo: Shane O’Neill)
Naureen Hassan, Morgan Stanley
After leading the successful launch of Charles Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolios platforms, Hassan was a clear target – for other firms hoping to harness her technology expertise for their own advisors.
Morgan Stanley lured her away to lead the strategy and marketing of digital tools and platforms for the wirehouse’s 16,000 financial advisors and 3.5 million clients.
Like many in the industry, she says robo-advisors cannot replace their human counterparts, but why not let technology do what it does best? “Modern technology has the power to simplify advisors’ lives by automating mundane tasks — opening accounts, rebalancing portfolios — freeing them up to spend more time with their clients,” she explained.