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Workflows: The Key Ingredient to a Sustainable & Sellable Business

By SEI Advisor Network

Feb 5, 2014 @ 12:01 am (Updated 9:55 am) EST

As client relationships become more complex, successful firms are embracing smarter ways to manage them. Among the most important shifts we've seen in the financial advisor marketplace is the growing emphasis on advisor-centric solutions that enable advisors to seamlessly access critical information and connect to clients more effectively.

Portfolio management, financial planning and clearing systems are no longer the impediments they once were. While integration is important, it can be far more critical to adopt disciplined processes and workflows to achieve the full benefit of system integration.

Far too often, knowledge about client relationships and key processes resides in the heads of one or two people. The business risks are high, especially for growing firms, as balls get dropped, client service suffers and onboarding new employees is virtually impossible.

The bigger challenge, is that firms may not be using technology effectively, as demonstrated by SEI's latest survey1:

• More than half of advisory firms that responded (54%) have yet to adopt workflow processes.

• A similar number (57%) lack the confidence that they have the tools or processes in place to help their firm's next generation advisors succeed.

• Many advisors continue to execute even the most basic procedures manually, often relying on their own memories. More than half (58%) of respondents that claim to have workflows in place, actually rely on memory, post-it notes, to-do lists, or traveling checklists to implement tasks.

System integration and defined workflows are becoming a distinguishing characteristic — and critical success factor — for some of today's most enterprising advisors. For advisors/owners seeking to increase their firms' value and ensure a consistent service experience for every client, success may hinge on their ability to implement workflows. Workflows create the culture that ensures integration works and helps transform advisory practices into sustainable businesses by:

• Creating repeatable processes.

• Capitalizing on data and metrics to identify successes and gaps in workflow.

• Optimizing sales, service and operations to create greater efficiencies.

Download this latest white paper, where the SEI Advisor Network™ joins forces with ActiFi™, a leading software and solutions firm, to explore the growing trend among advisors to automate essential workflow processes within their CRMs. Having collaborated on numerous common-client initiatives, our shared perspective sheds light on how the most successful firms are transforming their practices into sustainable enterprises.

1 A joint ActiFi/SEI poll conducted online from November 4 through November 25, 2013, about technology integration and workflow processes. N=512 respondents.

This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice. This information is for educational purposes only.

Information provided by SEI Advisor Network, a strategic business unit of SEI Investments Company.

The opinions and views expressed herein by ActiFi™ are those of their firm and SEI bears no responsibility for their accuracy. ActiFi™ is not affiliated with SEI or its subsidiaries.

FOR FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARY USE ONLY.

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