Edward Jones recently made a $500 million investment in its overall digital strategy and that bet has been paying off, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital tools including the new My Priorities and Edward Jones Match are helping to keep the relationships between the firm’s financial advisors and their clients strong, while also helping the firm compete and more easily reach new clients, according to the firm.
“We’re really doing the right things to create a high-quality client experience and branch experience, and we believe that our digital strategy is a differentiator and it will continue to offer us competitive advantage in the marketplace,” Frank LaQuinta, principal and chief information officer at Edward Jones, told ThinkAdvisor in a phone interview Tuesday.
“In today’s environment, digital is simply an enabler, and so if we’re going to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our current 7 million clients or the 42 million that we seek to serve, we have to deliver capabilities from a digital perspective,” he explained.
Those digital initiatives are enhancing the productivity of the firm’s branch teams, while also creating “greater connectivity between the branch teams and our clients,” he said.
Pointing to the fact that most people are using digital devices every day as part of their personal and business lives, he said the “expectations of technology by consumers, by associates, by clients [have] been raised.”
That is why Edward Jones has been “really retooling our technology and creating digital experiences across the board — so that we can enable flexibility, simplicity and really differentiated results,” he said, adding: “We think it’s instrumental in maintaining and extending our competitive advantage.”
The company started putting together a strategic roadmap in late 2018 and early 2019 to modernize its tech and deliver differentiated business capabilities, he said.
As part of that roadmap, “we’re really focused on technologies that would enhance the overall client experience and make our financial advisors as productive as possible because delivering those types of experiences allow our financial advisors to spend high-quality time with the clients,” he explained.