Category Archives: Technology

Grow Your Brand Without Giving It Up with Carolyn Armitage



More and more financial advisors are outsourcing various aspects of their business, from compliance and HR to asset management and back office work. Finding an ethical company that can provide all this without taking over your brand can be a great option for growth.

In this episode, Davis Janowski is joined by Carolyn Armitage, head of Thrivent Advisor Network. Thrivent has been named one of the world’s most ethical companies 10 years in a row by the Ethisphere Institute. Thrivent provides financial advisors with a partner that they can outsource as much or as little as they need or want—without surrendering their brand.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The foundation of Thrivent Advisor Network’s position to ‘live generously’
  • What makes Thrivent different from competitors in the industry and is building a platform for the next 100 years
  • How outsourcing certain aspects of administrative functions can benefit advisors at work and in their personal lives
  • The importance of determining your ‘how’ and ‘why’ for growth to achieve independence with impact and success with significance.

Resources: WealthManagement.com | Thrivent Advisor Network | Carolyn Armitage


Adapting To Change With Fidelity Investments’ Amanda Robinson and Bill Spera



The needs and demands of younger generations of clients are changing dramatically, and advisors are going to have to change and evolve with them. And adapting to prospect and client expectations will change how financial advisors market their services as well.

In this episode, Davis Janowski, senior technology editor at WealthManagement.com is joined by Amanda Robinson, director of model portfolios business development and Bill Spera, director of market research at Fidelity Investments. They discuss what Fidelity research has shown are some of the key differences between Gen X, Y and Z expectations as compared to their Boomer forbearers. The firm also discusses some significant recent shifts in outsourcing trends among advisors, from technology to asset management.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Some of the challenges advisors face in today’s market
  • What different generations are looking for from their advisor
  • How technology changes the way advisors market to and interact with clients
  • How advisors’ views on outsourcing have changed over the last few years.

Resources: WealthManagement.com | Fidelity Investments | Amanda Robinson | Bill Spera


A Look Into 2022 for Financial Advisors with John Pierce of Cetera



As we approach the new year, many firms are both taking a look back and leaning into the future and setting plans for 2022. 

In this episode, Davis Janowski, senior technology editor at WealthManagement.com is joined by John Pierce, head of business development at Cetera Financial Group to talk about what his firm is doing on many fronts to both help advisors grow and assist them in their work with clients to establish the best version of their own financial wellbeing. 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • About some of the many challenges Cetera is striving to solve for advisors 
  • Cetera’s focus on a more diverse and female workforce 
  • Three key trends John Pierce sees in the advisor industry 
  • Initiatives and strategic planning steps Cetera will undertake in 2022 
  • How Cetera is advancing technology for advisors 
  • Challenges in the industry and how it is addressing the skillset scarcity within the advisor industry. 

Resources: WealthManagement.com | Cetera.com | John Pierce


The Tools Of The Trade with Kristi Rodriguez and John Carter



A financial advisor’s toolkit should consist of two parts: the tools to build a client’s optimal financial plan and the empathy to relate to the client’s wishes, both in and outside of the office.

In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Kristi Rodriguez, SVP of Nationwide Retirement Institute and John Carter, president of Nationwide Financial. Kristi and John discuss how advisors can provide additional value to their clients through diverse markets and with a sense of empathy for their needs and wishes.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The challenges advisors face when it comes to providing optimal value to their clients
  • The importance of focusing on the client’s needs throughout the planning process
  • How bringing new minds to the industry will open up new markets

Resources: WealthManagement.com | Nationwide Retirement Institute | Kristi RodriguezNationwide Financial | John Carter

 


The Virtual Connection with Shannon Spotswood



The past year and a half has taught us that virtual platforms need to be available for advisors to stay in contact with their clients. How can advisors leverage new technology to create the optimal client experience?

In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Shannon Spotswood, president of RFG Advisory, a two-time finalists for the non-custodial RIA support platform at the Wealth Management Industry Awards. Shannon discusses how technology changed the way advisors interact with clients and the future of advisory platforms.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why RFG Advisory decided, six years ago, to tear the RIA support platform apart and rebuild from the ground up around the needs to the modern financial advisor.
  • What kind of advisor best fits with the RFG Advisory service model, and how advisors on the platform are growing three times faster than the national average.  
  • RFG’s virtual assistant program and other new initiatives for their advisors

Resources: WealthManagement.com | Shannon Spotswood | RFG Advisory


Succession Planning with Key Family Wealth Management’s Jeff Getty



There are approximately 390,000 businesses in the U.S. with under $100 million in enterprise value, and some 65% of those closely held firms are expected to change hands in the next ten years, passing from baby boomer owners and entrepreneurs to the next generation of owners.

In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Jeffrey Getty, an advisor for Key Banks Family Wealth Consulting Team and 2021 Industry Award winner for their business advisory services initiative at family offices.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Common mistakes made by business owners when preparing for succession
  • Why only a handful of these smaller business transactions take place at full market valuations – and why business owners are often OK with that outcome (often, other considerations become more important for owners than getting top dollar.)
  • The importance of laying the groundwork early for business-owner clients to prepare for a succession.
  • The importance of considering family dynamics when planning a client’s business transition. 

Resources: WealthManagement.com | Key Family Wealth Management | LinkedIn: Jeffrey Getty

 


The Future Of Technology Is Now with Jack Swift



Personalization and artificial intelligence are buzzwords advisors are hearing all the time these days but few have real access to either.

In this episode, Wealth Management Senior Technology Editor Davis Janowski  is joined by Jack Swift, senior partner and president of The TIFIN Group. Jack dives into financial technology and artificial intelligence, detailing how the nine business units in the group use machine learning, natural language processing, semantic search and other technologies to provide personalization to financial advisors and their clients.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How The TIFIN Group’s nine business units and their applications apply emerging technology to provide personalized data about clients and their investments to advisors
  • The benefits of semantic search, machine learning, natural language processing and how data lakes are helping build the future of financial advice.
  • The democratization of AI and what this means for the industry
  • Potential future services of TIFIN
  • And more!

Resources: WealthManagement.com | TIFIN | Jack Swift


Lon Dolber: Staying Independent as an Independent Broker/Dealer



Lon Dolber is the CEO of American Portfolios, an independent broker/dealer and RIA with some 800 affiliated advisors and $40 billion in assets, and the winner of the Wealthmanagement.com award for CEO of the year for small broker/dealers (less than 1,000 affiliated representatives).

Dolber launched American Portfolios on Sept. 10, 2001 – and kept the nascent firm going in the terrible weeks following. He’s grown the business with a laser focus on service for his affiliated advisors, a shared ownership model and a reluctance to pursue outside investors or growth through acquiring or being acquired. “That’s about consolidation for profit and scale and for shareholder value. How does that help the community? Has it helped employees? How does it help advisors and has it helped the investing public?”

In this episode, David Armstrong speaks with Lon about:

  • Launching American Portfolios on Sept. 10, 2001, and making the decision to continue even in the wake of the next day’s terrorist attacks.
  • Growing the business from a handful of employees to now serving 800 advisors across 400 branches, managing some $40 billion in assets.  
  • His thoughts on the outside investors and the frenzy of acquisitions taking place in the industry-and how that might not help the advisor or the advisor’s clients. 
  • His belief in stakeholder capitalism and a shared ownership model for the business.
  • Why he and his firm are supporting a creative residency program in Ferguson, Mo.  
  • Playing bass in a Motown cover band

Resources: Wealth Management.com | Lon Dolber | American Portfolios


Digital Transitions with Skience’s Marc Butler



In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Marc Butler, COO and president of Skience, to talk about the directions the firm has taken since he was appointed in August of 2020—in the midst of the pandemic.  Skience, a digital-first client onboarding platform, was recognized in the 2021 Wealthmanagement.com Industry Awards in the technology providers category for business support systems – workflow automation. 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How COVID has changed the way advisors engage with clients
  • How Skience provides a seamless way for advisors to transition firms and onboard clients with a seamless link to the custodians and broker/dealers that support them
  • Real world data which shows how the onboarding experience is critical to keeping advisors, and their clients, engaged with the firm
  • Why a significant minority of clients don’t follow advisors to a new firm, and how better transition services can reduce that number
  • The evolution of Skience from a salesforce overlay towards becoming the data-centric component of an advisor’s workflow
  • Why advisors hesitate in the face of digital implementations

Resources: Wealth Management.com | Mark Butler | Skience


A Look into Riskalyze’s 2021 Award-Winning Platforms and Strategies with Aaron Klein, CEO



In this episode, David Armstrong speaks with Aaron Klein, co-founder and CEO at Riskalyze about the initiatives, platforms and strategies that helped them take their place as finalists in multiple categories at the 2021 WealthManagement.com Industry Awards. 

In this episode, they discuss:

  • Riskalyze’s business trajectory and current investor HG Capital
  • How Riskalyze’s trading platform widens the service the company offers advisors
  • Riskalyze’s partner store’s aim to deliver real investment research to financial advisors in different model portfolios
  • If advisors will ever adopt direct indexing
  • Aaron’s backstory in tech startups, what his father taught him about business, and how long he plans to lead Riskalyze

Resources: Wealth Management.com | LinkedIn: Aaron Klein | LinkedIn: Riskalyze | Riskalyze.com | Riskalyze.com: The Partner Store | Riskalyze.com: Trading