Outside voices and views for advisers

Top 5 ways comprehensive technology boosts client engagement

Gain a better view of your clients' finances and more communication touch points with them

Oct 19, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

By Stuart DePina

For decades, financial advisers built relationships with clients through fairly traditional means, but today's investors are looking to connect with their advisers digitally.

Advisers who leverage a comprehensive technology platform can provide an enhanced client experience while giving themselves time to focus on the aspects of wealth management they do best: helping clients navigate the financial landscape, tax and estate planning, charitable giving, and sophisticated financial and goals-based planning.

Below are the ways an integrated technology platform can help advisers improve client engagement:

1. Gives clients the access and interactions they are seeking.

Technology can help advisers provide clients with the information and insights they want anytime, anywhere. User-friendly tools – including mobile apps – give clients visibility into their finances in real time, and serve as a powerful sales tool to demonstrate the adviser's overall value.

The ability to link financial accounts outside the adviser's management is critical to helping clients have a full picture of their finances. The more tools and capabilities offered through the platform, the more likely it is that clients will view both the platform and their advisers as the No. 1 resource for their financial needs.

2. Provides advisers with a client's full financial picture.

An integrated portfolio and client management platform, coupled with data aggregation from an investor's assets and liabilities, enables advisers to provide a high level of service. They can gain more meaningful insights into clients' finances without creating manual processes. These efficiencies help advisers make stronger recommendations and focus conversations on financial goals instead of investment performance.

3. Increases touch points and improves communications.

A technology platform that integrates the client portal with a customer relationship management (CRM) system can alert advisers to client activity and prompt them to acknowledge and respond quickly to client actions. This provides the adviser with a good sense of what interests the client or causes the most concern. With these insights, advisers can better tailor their communication and focus on relevant topics.

(More: Let hard data, not gut instinct, define your ideal client profile.)

A secure document vault also can provide efficiencies and safeguards. The ability to send, receive and archive documents through the portal can help advisers and clients stay organized and comply with SEC guidelines. When integrated with custodial platforms, electronic signature capabilities can further streamline document exchanges. Finally, having a paperless system for sharing documents also can reduce risk of loss or fraud.

Beyond these benefits, the portal is an excellent tool for enhancing face-to-face meetings and conveying information. Additionally, when an investor calls an adviser with a question, the adviser can quickly pull up the client's portal and walk them through exactly what they are seeing and answer any questions they may have. This interaction helps strengthen relationships.

4. Merges performance reporting and financial planning benchmarks

Increasingly, advisers are having goals-based financial planning discussions. Using client portal technology that not only integrates with a firm's broader portfolio management and CRM systems, but also exchanges data with the firm's financial planning application, enables advisers to keep their clients' objectives at the forefront.

In addition, advisers can leverage data aggregation to give clients a complete financial picture, and provide financial wellness tools – such as budgeting – to make their financial information more actionable.

5. Allows advisers to personalize clients' digital experience

When clients log onto a technology platform, advisers have an opportunity to reinforce their brand and showcase digital capabilities. It's important that the adviser control the client portal's look, functionalities and information so it can accommodate each client's unique needs.

(More: The trials of converting to new financial planning software.)

While a few standard templates in the client portal will serve a majority of clients, it's important that advisers are able to customize the portal experience for clients with different circumstances. Technology can provide this level of customization and help advisers demonstrate their responsiveness to their clients' preferences.

The demand for more convenient, streamlined and real-time access to financial information and interactions with advisers will only increase in the future. To meet this reality, advisers must leverage a comprehensive technology platform that provides investors with digital solutions. This investment will help advisers improve their value proposition, focus on client engagement and ensure their business stays healthy for years to come.

Stuart DePina is president of Envestnet | Tamarac.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Upcoming Event

Apr 30


Retirement Income Summit

Join InvestmentNews at the 12th annual Retirement Income Summit - the industry's premier retirement planning conference.Much has changed - and much remains to be learned. Attend and discuss how the future is full of opportunity for ... Learn more

Featured video


Advisers beware: tax law has unintended consequences

Commission accounts could be preferable for some clients, and advisers could be incentivized to move from employee broker-dealers to independent channels.

Recommended Video

Path to growth

Latest news & opinion

Cutting through the red tape of adviser regulation is tricky

Don't expect a simple rollback of rules under the Trump administration in 2018 — instead, regulators are on pace to bolster financial adviser oversight.

Bond investors have more to worry about than a government shutdown

Inflation worries, international rates pushing Treasuries yields higher.

State measures to prevent elder financial abuse gaining steam

A growing number of states are looking to pass rules preventing exploitation of seniors.

Morgan Stanley reports a loss of advisers after exiting the protocol for broker recruiting

The firm said it lost 47 brokers in the fourth quarter, the most in any quarter of 2017.

Morgan Stanley's wealth management fees climb to all-time high

Improvement reflect firm's shift of more clients into fee-based accounts priced on asset levels, which boosts results as markets rise.


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.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print