This report, sponsored by InvestCloud, explores the relationships among advisor technology, investor needs, integrated client data, and the ability to deliver a differentiated investor user experience. Javelin Strategy & Research maintains complete independence in its data collection, ﬁndings, and analysis.
It has never been more important for advisors to articulate their value proposition and deliver targeted, timely, and forward-thinking solutions to investors. However, an expanding set of task and process-driven applications, coupled with dynamic regulatory changes, creates an unprecedented need for highly flexible and integrated platforms to streamline workflow. Moreover, the needs of investors are increasingly nuanced. Wealth managers face added pressure to deliver investments tailored to the needs of client personas. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns, for example, are leading investor variables requiring greater depth in investment screening and portfolio management.
Although technology has provided the conduit for wealth managers to scale, integrated deployment is often an uphill battle. This is also true for investors. The growing comfort with and access to many disconnected financial technologies like budgeting apps and securities screeners, combined with a rush to securities trading platforms, reinforces a narrow view of investing. The ability to instantly Venmo money to friends and family creates a short-term, if not haphazard, approach to cash management. Here, financial planning with an advisor provides structure and support, but only as much as the advisor has access to a coherent suite of tools that can address all of a client’s needs.
The components of long-term integrated financial management are essentially boiled down into two related variables: (1) the viability of the advisor’s wealth management platform to scale and (2) the ability to understand and deliver incremental value to the client. The implications of these two concepts ultimately expand into every other discussion about advisor workflow, efficiency, portfolio management, and investor communication.
An intrinsic driver of these variables is the economic pressure on advisory models created from declining product management and service fees coupled with downside market volatility driving lower assets under management (AUM). Advisors must leverage technology that is integrated to help maintain profitability. Moreover, investors are venturing out into the financial ecosystem to trade and explore new investment technologies on their own. This behavior increases the total risk to their portfolios.
Ultimately, the advisory value proposition is rooted in the interrelationship of technology, the advisor, and the client—and, by extension, understanding and managing the environmental influences that affect all three.
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