Morgan Stanley (MS) Chief Digital Officer Naureen Hassan says the key challenge for broker-dealers and other financial firms is meeting the expectations of both advisors and clients – not competing with robo offerings.
“The financial technology revolution … is a myth. It’s just another step in the continual evolution” of the business, Hassan explained at Hearsay Social’s annual Innovation Summit in San Francisco on Thursday.
“The winning strategy is combining the best of digital with the power of our 16,000 advisors,” she told an audience of several hundred financial services and fintech professionals.
Getting there, however, is not a simple or easy process, given the industry’s regulatory hurdles and legacy issues that have limited how quickly large broker-dealers adapt to change.
“We are starting from a base that is complex,” Hassan said. This means the challenge is “how to build off that and [deal with] the complexity of building on top of the history of mergers and acquisitions” at the firm.
The new CDO, who joined the wirehouse six weeks ago after leaving a similar role at Charles Schwab (SCHW), has been visiting branch offices and advisors to grasp where the firm is and where its advisors want to go in terms of technology.