According to CEB Tower Group, the No. 1 technology investment being made by wealth management firms these days is in client onboarding and new account opening. Currently, this process is typically paper-based, manual and prone to errors, slowing down business and delivering a less than delightful client experience. In some cases, large institutions are reporting that it can take upwards of 90 days to open new accounts, fund them and transfer over existing positions so that advisors can then begin implementing their recommendations.
Meanwhile, digital advisors (robos), which were born on the internet, can shorten this process to a matter of days and in some cases hours, providing a substantial competitive advantage over traditional wealth management firms. As a result, many traditional firms are now rushing to invest in new processes, technology, digital signatures and workflow automation platforms to synchronize the many systems involved in creating a new account in order to close this gap.
Case in point: TD Ameritrade Institutional. Through the success of its Veo Open Access initiative, TDAI now has integrations with 119 third-party vendors who are leveraging TDAI’s back end application programming interface (API) to make data transfer easy in order to automate multiple back-office processes.
The Veo Open Access initiative is often credited with leading the industry-wide technology integration movement among the big custodians back in 2010 when it was launched with only 12 vendors. Now in its eighth year, Veo Open Access is maturing into a powerful automation platform that is spurring TDAI’s recent fast growth.
Speaking at the recently held eighth annual TDAI Technology Summit, Managing Director Jon Patullo said, “Third-party data integration has become table stakes in the industry – now, what is needed is to forge deeper integrations among multiple systems to automate workflows so that advisors can continue to grow and scale their businesses.”
Patullo and his team hosted several dozen executives from the top advisor technology firms that focus on the independent RIA space for two days of idea sharing, brainstorming and collaboration to find better ways to streamline the many systems advisors use on a daily basis to service clients and manage their businesses.
New Veo Announcements
Top of the new enhancements TDAI showcased at the Technology Summit was a new Account Wizard live on the freshly rolled out on the Veo One workstation. The Wizard is an online tool that can process and pre-fill new account paperwork for various tasks such as new accounts, wiring money, ACATS transfers and more. Key to the Wizard is TDA’s ability to generate in real time a new account number so that advisors can begin the process immediately, skipping the time consuming efforts of requesting the number, which is critical to kicking off the new account process.
“A real-time account number [creation process] minimizes manual data entry and most importantly reduces errors that can derail the process,” noted Chris Valleley, director of technology solutions at TDA.