Merrill Lynch Wealth Management further expanded its growing number of digital platforms with Socialize, a new “intelligent content sharing platform” that it launched in early July for iPhones and iPads, as well as desktop computers, according to Kabir Sethi, managing director of the company’s Global Wealth & Investment Management division and head of Digital Wealth Management.
About 150 Merrill Lynch advisors are using Socialize now, “but we’re going to ramp up the number quickly,” he told ThinkAdvisor on Friday. Like any digital platform the company launches, it’s starting with just a small group of its advisors initially before rolling it out more widely.
The company has also expanded it to Android devices, he said. “In the next few months, this will get to everyone,” he said, referring to the firm’s 15,000 or so advisors.
Socialize addresses the need of advisors to share content across multiple devices, he said, explaining advisors can select what topics of interest they have and what kind of content they want to see — such as machine learning, retirement or tax reform — and “then you get served up articles” that fit those areas of interest. Advisors can then press a button to share the content with other LinkedIn users, he said. Advisors can also schedule posts to be sent at specific times, he said.
Using a form of artificial intelligence, the platform then, “over time … gives you analytics around clicks and views for each article and, based on how people are viewing articles and which ones are more popular, the system automatically adjusts your topics of interest” to figure out what content to serve the user, he explained.
Another “intelligent platform,” Advisor Insights, was launched by the company for desktop computers in November 2018, it said. The company is using that platform to provide Merrill Lynch advisors with a wide range of insights into their clients that will enable advisors to better serve those clients, Sethi explained, noting the company will probably expand it to Android and iOS mobile devices next year, Sethi told us. Advisor Insights is also using a form of AI to provide those insights and then expand upon those insights over time, while figuring out what kinds of advice to stop providing in the future due to lack of interest, he said, adding it’s currently sharing about 1,100-1,200 individual insights a day to all its advisors.