LPL Financial plans to launch a new mobile app in 2018 so clients can access their account information anywhere, anytime. Meanwhile, it will roll out its robo-advice platform this fall and has plans for virtual assistants. President and CEO Dan Arnold and other executives shared this news during the firm’s yearly advisor conference, LPL Focus, held recently in Boston.
Instead of having a physical human assistant, advisors could tap into LPL, which would manage a group of virtual assistants for its affiliated advisors. “Now, I [would] pay for when I use it, I don’t have to train them, [and] I don’t have to manage them,” Arnold explained. “They’re going to know the systems, so it takes friction out of the system, which potentially lowers my cost [as an advisor] and allows me to allocate my time to the highest yield.”
During the next month-end cycle in August, LPL will roll out what Arnold calls “cool new statements,” which should reduce the amount of time advisors spend discussing such information with clients. Also, LPL plans improvements to its investor portal, AccountView, later this year.
According to Rob Pettman, executive vice president of product and platform management, the first wave of invitations to the independent broker-dealer’s digital platform were set to go out Aug. 15. With Guided Wealth Portfolios, investors will have access to a low-cost technology solution with the personalized planning, service and advice of an advisor, he explained at Focus.
“I understand that some of the custodians have it, but we’re going to be one of the first broker-dealers to be live with a tool like this that’s delivered by independent advisors,” Pettman said. “There’s going to be things we learn along the way to enhance it and make it better fit into their practices.”
The platform has been in pilot since last year and has about $14 million in assets under management and more than 700 investors, according to LPL. The average age of the investor on the pilot platform is 41. “First lesson learned is it’s not just for millennials,” he said.
Independent-advisor platform Kestra Financial says it is buying H. Beck from Securian Financial Group. The groups work, respectively, with about 1,700 and 600 advisors. “The announced transaction puts us over the 2,000 mark in the aggregate,” said Kestra CEO James Poer in an interview.