Most of the technology and innovations deployed in our industry has tended to focus on either large enterprise and compliance needs (ERP, CRM, core systems, trading platforms, etc.), or to enable self-service for customers (ATMs, online banking and brokerage, mobile apps, etc.). This technology has vastly improved transactions in our industry, but we also need technology to improve relationships.
The business of being an investment advisor is inherently collaborative, and the business traditionally has been difficult to scale outside of the self-service options, That is beginning to change. The relatively recent proliferation of smartphones, tablets, broadband, and two-way video capabilities has opened up exciting new possibilities. Not to mention the whole phenomenon of social media.
With the worst of the global financial crisis behind us, I believe the adoption of new innovations will help to make this time an important inflection point in our industry's history. There will be winners and losers, and as usual, the rapid emergence and evolution of new tools and platforms will continue to outpace the ability of advisers, firms and regulators to keep up.
In this space I will be sharing my observations on the increasing convergence of high-tech and high-touch. My perspective is not that of a technologist — unless you count a few snippets of self-taught HTML on my blog, I have never written a line of code in my life, and you won't find me debating the merits of a piece of software's API or development kit. Nor am I a daily practitioner — I have been a CFP certificant since 1996, and I am the graduate of numerous financial planning schools and courses, but you will probably find far better technical advice from anyone else on these pages.
Instead, I will endeavor to bring you a strategist's view of how the needs of our industry and our clients are evolving, and how technology can help meet those changing needs. I go beyond traditional wealth management and investment-specific sources to gain an early look and a broader view of innovation, so watch for my posts from upcoming conferences such as Finovate, Money2020, FinTech Partnerships and Bank Innovation.
I hope your voice will join the conversation, too.
JP Nicols is the CEO of the research and innovation firm Clientific LLC, and a partner at Bank Solutions Group LLC. He writes about leadership, advice and innovation for numerous industry publications, and on his blog at jpnicols.com.