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Women in WealthTech: Bella Loykhter Allaire of Raymond James

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Bella Loykhter Allaire oversees the firm’s technology and operations functions, including client service and technology platforms for financial advisors and capital markets professionals.

Prior to joining Raymond James in 2011, she was managing director and chief information officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas and led the switch from legacy Paine Webber technology to the firm’s innovative wealth management platform.

She began her career at Prudential Securities, where she worked for 26 years and in 2000 was named executive vice president and chief information officer, which entailed managing a team of 2,000 staff members and a budget of over $500 million. After Wachovia bought Pru in 2003, she became a consultant to Morgan Stanley and served as CEO of Wealthigen.

What tech-related area(s) do you most focus on in your job? My focus, and my team’s focus, is on providing seamless, integrated and collaborative advisor- and client-facing technologies that keep the advisor-client relationship at the center. Cybersecurity remains a priority as we continue our commitment to client privacy.

In terms of new offerings and enhancements, we continue to evolve our technology from the “mind of the financial advisor,” working closely with our advisors and our Technology Advisory Council, a rotating and diverse group of 21 advisors with whom we work throughout the planning, development and piloting stages of all technology rollouts.

Some notable advisor technologies we’ve placed great focus on and developed in-house include:

  • Wealth management technology: An evolving suite of integrated tools to help streamline advisors’ wealth management processes, including an application to analyze and compare financial products and portfolio data from 21 sources and a portfolio management tool that helps advisors construct and analyze custom investment portfolios
  • Advisor Access, the central point for advisors to navigate applications for managing their client relationships and building their business
  • A sophisticated mobile app that allows advisors to access and manage client account information on the go – anywhere, anytime
  • Practice Center, which provides advisors consolidated information about their practice through interactive dashboards
  • Client Reporting, which brings together client data in easy-to-read, customized reports for personalized client review experiences

User-friendly, integrated client-facing technologies include:

  • Client Access, a dynamic resource that enables clients to plan and monitor goals, go paperless, pay bills, transfer funds and more. We also developed a mobile app for this resource to further enhance the client experience.
  • Vault, an online file sharing and content management platform so advisors and clients can quickly, easily and securely store and share information
  • Goal Planning & Monitoring, the firm’s financial planning software

What technology or tech trend in financial services are you most bullish on in the short-term? Technologies that make it easier for advisors to do business on the go and to work more efficiently with their clients, continue to be the most well received and most utilized. Mobile capabilities and client reporting are among the most popular tools used by our advisors.

What about longer term? We monitor every new technology trend and tool introduced, so we can analyze whether it has potential to be applied to the financial services industry.

As of now, artificial intelligence has the greatest application for our industry. Predictable analytics and other forms of technology that help advisors anticipate clients’ evolving needs and help them deepen their relationships with clients continue to have the most potential.

What tech issue keeps you up at night? With the growth of sophisticated cyberattacks, cybersecurity remains an area to watch, no matter the firm or industry. At Raymond James, we closely monitor attacks in real-time, as ensuring clients’ data remain safe and secure is of the utmost importance to me and my team.

Which woman do you most admire in the field? There are many women I admire — indeed too many to list – but I consider my success the product of several women in particular — my mother, my first math teacher, my daughter and even some of our firm’s female financial advisors. I have learned and benefited from them all.

What is your go-to source for tech information? My advice for a go-to source for advisors would be to look within their own firms — to technology experts at their companies and to other advisors who can share best practices regarding their use of technology.

At Raymond James, we have a dedicated technology department that closely monitors all trends and new developments in the technology world, and we are proud to provide our advisors succinct, accessible information about technology that is meaningful and relevant to their business and client experience.

What is your favorite app or technology? Amazon.