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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications

Women in WealthTech: Clara Shih of Hearsay Systems

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Hearsay Systems, used by over 150,000 advisors and agents to deliver personalized relationships at scale with AI-assisted automation. The firm’s clients include Allstate, Allianz, AXA, Morgan Stanley, New York Life, Prudential, Raymond James and UBS.

As a digital pioneer, Clara Shih developed the first social business application in 2007 and subsequently wrote “The Facebook Era” and “The Social Business Imperative.” She is a member of the Starbucks board of directors and held various roles at Google, Microsoft and

What is most important about your job? Across wealth management, firms struggle with expensive field organizations and retail branches, which are expensive, high-maintenance, and low-productivity.

By automating manual processes such as data look-up, data entry, and client outreach with proprietary wealth management workflows and AI, Hearsay helps financial firms modernize their field organizations, lifting productivity while delivering a delightful client experience.

As such, we recently launched Triggered Advisor Actions to digitize common wealth management “moments that matter” workflows, such as reaching out during market movements, birth of a child, and RMDs through click-to-call and click-to-send mobile notifications.

What tech do you focus most on in your job? Orchestrating advisor-client interactions and outreach across CRM, social media, mobile communications and AI.

What are you bullish on in the short term? Advisor workflow automation.

There is a lot of low-hanging fruit from simply digitizing what are currently highly manual processes, such as advisors spending hours each day playing phone tag and leaving voicemails.

We don’t need AI to drive immense productivity gains in the next 24 months.

And longer term? AI has longer term potential, and we help put the foundation in place to start collecting and analyzing data to take advantage of AI over a longer-term time horizon.

What keeps you up at night? Getting hacked — everyone should turn on two-factor authentication for all their apps and logins.

Which woman in the field do you most admires? Paula Polito, Global Client Strategy Officer for Global Wealth Management, UBS.

Must-read recommendation? “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee.

Favorite on-the-job tech? Day to day, I use our Hearsay Relate app to save me time and to keep top of mind with customers. It allows my assistant to text on my behalf, it allows me to pre-schedule texts ahead of time, and it generates click-to-call notifications during moments I should be reaching out to a customer.

For working collaboratively across our organization, Google’s suite of productivity applications saves us immeasurable time. Google Docs, Slides and Sheets are all such a massive help when coordinating business across countries, offices, and time zones.

Favorite off-the-job tech? I’m a recovering Candy Crush addict. These days, I’m a big fan of Google Photos’ AI, which automatically creates neat collages, videos, and “now vs. then” montages.