Adviser trade groups tap tech vendors as an extra perk for members

Partnerships with leading software providers give advisers access and discounts, though they may not know it

May 17, 2016 @ 12:01 am

By Alessandra Malito

Non-profit organizations in the industry boast numerous ways advisers can build their practices, such as solid networking opportunities and extensive conferences, but members often overlook the technology perks they can get with various vendor partnerships.

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the Financial Planning Association and the Insured Retirement Institute have a growing list of software providers, including leading financial planning and client relationship management programs, they have deals with to offer their members as an added fringe benefit.

“This is a benefit a lot of people don't really know about and I think it is tremendously valuable,” said Marguerita M. Cheng, chief executive officer of Blue Ocean Global Wealth, an advisory firm in Potomac, Md., and Blue Ocean Global Technology, a consulting firm. “You don't necessarily think of your membership in that light.”

Most recently, NAPFA partnered with GuideVine, a website that pairs investors with advisers and helps those professionals market themselves. Last month, the Insured Retirement Institute teamed up with Gainfully, a content management platform for the financial services industry. These partnerships help adviser members to expand their practices and engage clients, executives said.

“Technology continues to have a bigger role in our society,” Cathy Weatherford, IRI president and chief executive, said in an email. “As new tools emerge that are using technology to help advisers and firms solve for challenges in today's marketplace, IRI will look to partner with these providers to make these tools available to our members.”

FPA has a list of at least 15 financial technology vendors they work with, including Redtail and Advyzon for CRMs and Riskalyze for risk assessment — well-known names in the industry.

Geoffrey Brown, chief executive of NAPFA, said NAPFA has about 15 to 20 relationships, including those with MoneyGuidePro and Morningstar. IRI works with Everfi, a web-based financial education site advisers can share with clients, among others.

Usually, benefits include some sort of a discount. NAPFA, which has 2,400 members, and FPA, which has 24,000 members, for example, offer a percentage off or a reduced flat rate.

Kashif A. Ahmed, president of American Private Wealth in Woburn, Mass., said organizations need to make advisers more aware of their offerings.

“I know the FPA has an arrangement with various vendors, but it never occurs to you to go to them first,” Mr. Ahmed said. “They need to make advisers more aware of them more frequently.” It may also help if vendors reach out directly to members, he said.

Mr. Brown said advisers who do take advantage of the partnerships NAPFA has with software providers say they are a top perk of having a membership. One of the most popular offerings is with Morningstar because of its Advisor Workstation. Having discounts allows advisers to use programs they may otherwise not have had the buying power to use, he said. At the same time, vendors benefit because they are reaching a community of their target audience.

His organization vets each product, reaches out to references of the companies and weighs if members want or need the service. The partnership with GuideVine was a direct result of a member suggesting it. Raghav Sharma, chief executive of GuideVine, said his platform has a directory for NAPFA members, who will have badges next to their names.

The Investment Management Consultants Association, or IMCA, also has partnerships, a spokesman said, though the organization focuses more on education and certifications.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Upcoming Event

Nov 13

Conference

Best Practices Workshop

For the sixth year, InvestmentNews will host the Best Practices Workshop & Awards, bringing together the industry’s top-performing and most influential firms in one room for a full-day. This exclusive workshop and awards program for the... Learn more

Featured video

Events

3 Questions to ask yourself when making your succession plan

Michael Futterman from Janus Henderson Investors has sage advice for advisers as they approach retirement.

Latest news & opinion

No 'stay bonuses' for Cetera Financial Group reps

Firm confirms brokers will not be offered retention bonuses to stay on after acquisition by Genstar Capital.

Cetera Financial Group brokers taking wait-and-see attitude on sale

One issue in the wake of the firm's acquisition is whether they will be paid 'stay bonuses' to remain at the brokerage.

Fidelity backs away from being 'point in time' fiduciary for 401(k) plans

Some advisers think this indicates other providers will pivot in light of DOL fiduciary rule's death.

Morgan Stanley CEO is happy that brokers are staying put

Firm has seen little attrition since it dumped the broker protocol last fall, Gorman says.

Bills to reform adviser regulation, increase sophisticated investors and protect seniors pass House

Measures included in package of 32 bipartisan bills meant to ease rules, spur investment

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print