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Why the Industry Needs to Change Now: Jamie Hopkins

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Most advisors “don’t know the full scale of how far behind” the financial services industry is “in terms of technology and delivering the optimal client experience [compared] to the rest of the world,” according to Jamie Hopkins, managing partner of Wealth Solutions at Carson Group.

The industry’s tech catch-up “is going to occur,” explains Hopkins, who also is managing director of Carson Coaches and director of Retirement Research for the firm. But its high level of regulation and multifaceted distribution channels make it “a little bit harder” to move swiftly versus, say, disruptive entities with “very loose regulations,” like Uber, which “got in and got big” [fast].”

Cryptocurrency and digital assets, which “clients are asking for more and more, are “front and center” driving the industry forward, argues Hopkins in a Nov. 9 interview in New York, where he spoke at ThinkAdvisor’s inaugural LUMINARIES recognition awards gala. 

Hopkins earned a law degree from Villanova, worked in the profession briefly, then changed direction. “I saw the practicality of building and designing things outside the practice of law,” says the Certified Financial Planner.

The American Bar Association named him one of the top 40 young attorneys in the U.S. in 2017. Before joining Carson, Hopkins was with The American College of Financial Services for six years and focused on retirement research.

Looking at the upcoming decade, he aspires to be “running something meaningful” that has “a larger scale than I’m impacting today,” he says. At the same time, he’s striving to bring more young people into the advisory profession via a nonprofit he started in 2020, which aims for every U.S. university to offer a financial planning program.

His view on industry awards is that they’re valuable, because they “recognize the people that did the actual work versus patting companies on the back and saying, ‘Good job!’” 

Hopkins discusses these and more critical industry issues in this podcast.