What's next in adviser technology?

Broker-dealer and custodian tech executives discuss the industry's biggest issues and plans

Jan 25, 2015 @ 12:01 am

By InvestmentNews Staff

InvestmentNews hosted a roundtable of technology executives from independent broker-dealers and custodians to learn about the biggest issues they're tackling, what they're hearing from advisers and what they plan to focus on next. Here's what they had to say:

"We've sort of morphed our development process to — instead of starting with the adviser — starting to think about the end-investor experience."

Robert Dearman
Senior vice president of advisory practice and platforms strategy
National Planning Holdings Inc.

“[A] smartphone is more powerful than the computer that put three men on the moon, and that's the investor's expectation.”

Patrick Yip
Director of advisory market technology strategy

“The dream of big data [is in] predictive analytics, like some social media vendors have social listening so that I can proactively say … we've got a 529 opportunity here.”

Jim Clabby
Chief information officer
AIG Advisor Group

“They all talk about simple apps, simple systems. It's sort of like the toothpaste analogy. Now I go to the store and how many toothpaste brands do you have? How many apps are out there? If you really take a look at it, the apps that are out there, the apps that we develop and the apps that we purchase or license, what percentage of it really is used?”

Doreen Griffith
Executive vice president and chief information officer
Securities America Inc.

“Look at data aggregation; there are a million providers in our industry that do it. Look at performance reporting. You can't [take] data aggregating and load it into any performance reporting tool and get anything that's usable. It doesn't exist.”

Ryan Reineke
Chief operating officer and senior vice president of technology
Cambridge Investment Research Inc.

“Our tablet site isn't being used at all … We basically said, let's give them the core things they need when they're mobile. And guess what they want when they're mobile? Everything … We're now using responsive tools to figure out how to make our normal site work on touchscreens.”

Darren Tedesco
Managing principal for innovation and strategy
Commonwealth Financial Network

“We can lose sleep at night on a lot of things. We could lose sleep on security. We could lose sleep on integration. We could lose sleep on do we have the experience right? How are you going to connect with your watch? I think the opportunity and the biggest challenge is where do you go from here?”

Victor Fetter
Chief information officer
LPL Financial

“There's definitely opportunity for some synergies here...to standardize some security reviews, and then vendors add a lot of value to the industry as well.”

Jon Patullo
Managing director of technology product management
TD Ameritrade Institutional

“What we're seeing is the constant evolving user interface...As these get simpler and easier to use, advisers are spending a lot less time managing technology and using it.”

Edward O'Brien
Senior vice president of technology platforms
Fidelity Institutional

“I hate to use the term big data, but leveraging data on behalf of our advisers and our end-clients to me is the wave of the future.”

Mukesh Mehta
Chief information officer
Cetera Financial Group


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