Carson Group platform gives investors financial planning choices

Clients will be able to choose robo or human advice, as well as some options in between

Jan 18, 2018 @ 7:00 am

By Jeff Benjamin

The Carson Group on Thursday announced a digital platform that is designed to offer investors the full range of financial planning services, from robo to human adviser.

The platform is made up of four-stages that allows clients to move from fully digital to a fully human adviser relationship. It follows the May 2017 launch of an automated dashboard and client-relationship management system.

"Today you have either 100% digital or an adviser experience," said Ron Carson, founder of the Carson Group. "With this system, there will be no friction to moving. We want the clients to be able to move up and down the spectrum, and we think this will be significant because people won't feel trapped."

The basic levels of service will include fully comprehensive investment and financial planning, financial planning only, investment planning only, and an all-digital experience with no face-to-face interaction with a human adviser.

The fees, which are not yet set, are expected to adjust as clients move up or down the spectrum.

"Ron Carson fundamentally understands where things are going," said Joel Bruckenstein, president of Technology Tools for Today.

In addition to the level of sophistication on the platform, Mr. Bruckenstein recognized the digital marketing benefits.

According to the Carson Group, since introducing the platform early last year, "$119 million in new account assets under management have been realized."

The announcement comes one year after Mr. Carson left his affiliation with LPL Financial and joined Cetera Financial Group.

At the time, Mr. Carson, who leads a company of 49 advisory partner firms and nearly $11 billion under advisement, cited subpar technology and services among the reasons for breaking away from LPL.

"LPL has become a dinosaur that was viewing rocket ships and just kept bringing in other dinosaurs, and dinosaurs only know how to interact with other dinosaurs," Mr. Carson said Wednesday.

Instead of doing what was in the "best interest of advisers so they could better serve their clients, their focus was on shareholder value," Mr. Carson added.

LPL, which is a publicly-traded company, did not respond to requests for comment.

If the goal was to send a message to his former broker-dealer that technology is a priority, that mission was accomplished, according to Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion Advisor Services, which works with 1,300 advisory firms that have more than $600 billion worth of advisory assets.

"Ron's platform is best in class; we haven't seen anybody at this level," Mr. Clarke said. "He was able to see this a few years ago and was able to make significant investments to build out this platform. Firms that don't have a plan like this are in trouble."

Carson Group chief operations officer Teri Shepherd said the company invested $52 million over the past five years "in our internal infrastructure, data warehouse and, most recently, in the development of new client-facing technology."

David Canter, head of the RIA segment at Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, said the Carson digital platform is "engaging and makes the collaboration between investors and advisers seamless."

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

B-D Data Center

Use InvestmentNews' B-D Data Center to find exclusive information and intelligence about the independent broker-dealer industry.

Rank Broker-dealers by

Featured video

Events

Transamerica's Boan: Crafting better retirement income conversations

Retirement income is a challenge for investors. How can advisers have better conversations about retirement income? Transamerica's Joseph Boan offers insights and tips for advisers.

Latest news & opinion

As Ameriprise case shows, firms on hook when brokers go bad ​

The SEC will collect $4.5 million from the brokerage firm for failing to supervise brokers who were ripping off clients.

10 highest paid professions in America today

These are the top-paying jobs in the U.S., according to Glassdoor.

Ameriprise to pay $4.5 million to settle SEC charges that five reps stole more than $1 million from clients

Agency censures firm for not protecting clients from thieving brokers.

SEC slaps Lockwood with $200,000 fine over unseen trading costs to clients

Clients were forced to pay fees in addition to the usual wrap charges, the regulator maintains.

Gotcha! 10 lessons from brokers gone bad

These cases show why regulators nabbed reps and firms, and how to avoid their fate.

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