Advisor Group launching new paperless onboarding technology

Program hopes to give advisers a fully digital client experience on par with robos

Nov 13, 2018 @ 5:57 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

Advisor Group has new technology to equip the independent firms in its network — FSC Securities Corporation, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial — with digital client onboarding and account management.

The firm says the new platform, eQuipt, brings together the typically disparate systems advisers use to open a new client account. EQuipt integrates the advisory platform, CRM and clearing platform into one digital portal.

The technology, which the firm says will be available by year-end, comes preloaded with all the paperwork an adviser may need and automatically compiles each form into a single, digital application, regardless of account type. Multiple accounts within a single household can be opened and funded without repeating key entries or duplicating forms.

This will not only save time, it will also reduce the potential for errors, said Advisor Group president of wealth management solutions Matthew Schlueter.

"The system is built with all the modern checks and balances to ensure when that document goes to the client, it is fully complete," Mr. Schlueter said, comparing it to programs like TurboTax.

The eQuipt platform works across both advisory and brokerage accounts and supports a range of funding options.

Advisers can use eQuipt to collaborate with clients on the account-opening process, set up financial goals and provide an online portal for clients to track progress, creating a fully digital experience on par with that of the robo-advisers, Mr. Schlueter said.

Several large firms and technology vendors are racing to provide advisers with completely paperless client onboarding processes. SigFig recently revealed a platform it built for Citizens Bank. Schwab is building its own technology for paperless onboarding on its brokerage platform and partnering with Orion Advisor Services and Envestnet Tamarac for advisers with multiple custodians. Tamarac is also partnering with TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Advisor Group is offering eQuipt to all advisers working at one of its member firms, for no additional cost.

Ed Obuchowski, Advisor Group chief technology officer, said the firm has a number of advantages over industry competitors when it comes to developing a digital wealth management platform for advisers. The former Schwab Advisor Services technology leader cited in particular "an intelligent approach towards build versus buy."

(More: New Schwab adviser technology chief Andrew Salesky brings veteran pressure to his team)

For example, Advisor Group turned to tech startups to assist with web design and workflows, and it worked closely with Envestnet and Pershing for the APIs, but it built all the integrations internally.

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