What You Need to Know
- XY Planning Network intends to launch a pilot for its new virtual assistant program in the second quarter of 2022.
- It could take up to three years before any XYPN member who wants to sign up for the VA program will be able to.
- XYPN has added 390 advisor members year-to-date.
XY Planning Network’s plans for 2022 include the introduction of an improved technology stack for its more than 1,550 member advisors that will include a virtual assistant program that Alan Moore, XYPN CEO and co-founder, said will launch as a pilot for a small number of members in the second quarter.
The team-based approach will provide year-round coverage, including client meeting support, email management, administrative marketing support, investment operations, data entry and other options, XYPN said on Tuesday, the second day of its XYPN Live 2021 conference in Denver. Other new technology solutions are also planned, it said.
“We have a lot of members that have expressed an interest” in the virtual assistant pilot, Moore said in an online briefing with reporters, in response to a ThinkAdvisor question. “We’re going to narrow the list down” to members that have the same overall tech stack, he said. Otherwise, it would be “just too complicated for a beta,” he explained.
Based on the size of the XYPN network, “our fear is not, will anyone show up for the VA business; the fear is they’ll all show up for the VA business and … I can’t hire 200 VAs overnight. … It’s going to take time to build,” he said. “Realistically, it could take up to three years before we’re at a point where any XYPN member who just wants to come sign up can just sign up.”
XYPN “would like to be [at] what we would call full launch by the conference next year, which [means] we will be accepting advisors, but that’s on a rolling waitlisted-type basis,” he explained. “We want to be sure we do it right” and make sure advisors don’t have a bad experience.
XYPN realizes, however, that technology is not the answer to all advisor needs. “There’s an immense amount of focus right now on technology and technology driving efficiency — and obviously, we’re getting involved in that space as well with our particular contribution of where we see gaps around advice-centric firms,” according to Michael Kitces, XYPN co-founder and executive chairman.
“But we are not in a business where technology is going to solve everything,” Kitces said. Clients have unique issues that are best served by advisors and not self-service technology, he told reporters. As a result, “there will always be a services component” that advisors provide to clients, he predicted.