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Advisor Group has launched a digital client onboarding and account management platform for advisors affiliated with its four independent broker-dealers. The resource, eQuipt, brings together different systems, including those of its clearing partners, advisory platforms, CRM and account resources.

The firm says it also combines do-it-yourself “robo-advisor” technology and the advisor-led account opening process for 6,800 reps with FSC Securities, Royal Alliance, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial.

For CEO Jamie Price, the technology’s power is that “it cuts in half or more the time it takes for opening an account,” giving advisors more time to work with clients on financial planning and other matters.

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“We are a paper-intensive industry, and we now have digitized this process front to back,” Price said on a call with the media earlier this week. “Some other parties can’t believe it. It’s seamless … and has far-reaching ramifications for the company over the next few years.”

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The technology “lets advisors collaborate with clients throughout the process, [and advisors]  control how much of this process is digital or not,” said Matt Schlueter, president of Wealth Management for Advisor Group. “The advisor is really in the driver’s seat in terms of onboarding” and data discovery, and whether these tasks are done digitally or conventionally.

Advisors and clients can open brokerage, advisory and other accounts with eQuipt, Schlueter adds. “We thinks this makes us first in the industry. [Even] with all the complexity … paperwork is all done in one package. It means you can onboard the whole relationship [quickly] vs. the hours and hours on disparate systems and with different parties.”

Advisor Group sees eQuipt “as game-changing-type technology … ,” according to Schlueter, since it gives financial professionals “a fully integrated” account-opening tool.

The firm was able to introduce eQuipt “in a short time,” says CTO Ed Obuchowski, because it “is not encumbered by a lot of legacy, mainframe technology,” like some rivals.

Advisor Group doesn’t have “old technology  that can slow you down,” the executive adds. “We aimed to build this with the advisor at the center of the universe and believe there is nothing like it in the marketplace.”

During the development of eQuipt, the firm worked with wealth-platform provider Envestnet, as well as custodial and clearing firms Pershing and National Financial. It also partnered with Fresh Consulting on the design and Impact Financial Systems on workflow and integration issues.

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