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Women in WealthTech: Kirby Horan-Adams of LPL Financial

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Horan-Adams manages product execution and operations business management, as well as project management teams, for advisor- and investor-facing solutions tied to LPL’s strategic objectives. She also has leadership roles within Research with oversight of due diligence, investment recommendations, quantitative analytics, and cash and banking offerings.

Before joining the firm in 2006, Horan was a senior analyst with Cerulli Associates. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

What tech-related area is the main focus of your job? My team serves as the product managers to help innovate the technology platforms that enable our financial advisors and institutions to provide wealth management services to their clients in an integrated and efficient manner. This includes a holistic advisor workstation, investment chassis and foundational components, and an end-client portal.

What technology or tech trend are you most bullish on in the short term? The increased value of data — not just as information, but as a strategic asset. This has led to a greater appreciation for the collection and storage of accurate data that can be used in conjunction with machine learning to provide added benefits for advisors, institutions, and end-clients.

And longer term? The continued advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

We believe that we have just started to tap into the potential of these technologies and there is more that can be done to develop capabilities for our firm internally and for those of our advisors and institutions. Effective deployment of these technologies can lead to incredible productivity gains and growth opportunities for us and our advisors and institutions.

What keeps you up at night? Given the world we live in, you have to say information security and privacy.

We need to do all we can to provide security and privacy for our advisors, institutions, and end-clients who access our systems and use our services. However, the other item that is less talked about, but really impactful, is adoption of technology enhancements.

We spend a lot of resources developing new capabilities or technologies, but that is all for nothing if consumers do not adopt it. So, for us, a key area of focus is also on ensuring that what we create is embraced by our advisors, institutions, and end-clients.

Which woman in the field do you most admire? There are not enough women in wealth management and technology. So, to pick out one would not be giving credit to all (though too few) of us that are in it.

I would highlight a group.

The group that I would have to say I admire most are the women financial advisors who I have the privilege of working with every day. These women (and there are not enough of them in the space either) are inspiring in how they manage their ever-evolving businesses while positively impacting the financial and overall lives of their clients.

What is your go-to source for tech info? I find inspiration from a lot of different sources and people so I do not have a single go-to source. Overall, I tend to gravitate towards those sources that report on innovation, like T3, or some of those individuals that aren’t afraid to speak very frankly on a variety of topics, like Scott Galloway (a professor of marketing at NYU).

What’s your favorite work app or tech tool? Right now, my favorite app is our client app that we are developing and testing with our advisors and institutions to get ready for all of our end clients to use.

And off the clock? While I do leverage social media, generally speaking, I find it a bit overwhelming — there are too many topics without a lot of meat. To help with that, I’ve recently started using Flipboard based on the recommendation from a friend.

But, if I were being completely honest, if you find me looking at non-work apps, you will likely see me checking scores and news on the ESPN app.