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This Time it is Different – The Technology Wakeup Call for Advisors

Matt Reiner

Author

Recently, the team at benjamin took a deep dive into the latest trends and developments in the wealth management space.  What we found is that many long-term trends and changes have become accelerated not only by the pandemic, but also by leaps in technology and overall innovation in how advisory firms are operating.  In order to respond, RIA firms need to take a look at their technology to find ways to operate more efficiently, while continuing to delight clients.

As part of our mission to help RIA firms thrive, we documented our findings in our latest white paper, entitled, “This Time it is Different – The Technology Wakeup Call for Advisors”

Historically, technology change has been a slow process in wealth management, however, the pace of that change has been fundamentally accelerated as all aspects of wealth planning and investing are going digital due to a consolidating industry, pandemic requirements and shifting consumer expectations.

Ten years ago, the industry was worried about robo advisors as potential digital extinction threats to RIA sustainability, but ultimately that didn’t happen to the alarmist prediction levels of the screaming headlines at the time.  But, for the first time ever, doubt about the long-term sustainability of human advisors began to creep into the industry mindset as the industry pondered digital competition.

Ultimately, as the last decade has played out, advisor value was proven as clients didn’t defect en masse and the human aspect, behavioral coaching, empathy and emotional support that are inherent in a professional advisory-client relationship remained strong.  Today RIAs continue to enjoy premium pricing, positioning as trusted advisors and remain differentiated from robot competition.

However, with the latest industry developments, this time we believe that the change driven by technology truly is different as well-branded digital players are consolidating and ramping up their investments in competitive offerings in a massive race to scale and assault on what was once RIA holy grounds.  Add in the rapidly commoditizing delivery of advice as just about all aspects of the traditional services offered by advisors are now finally free, and the industry is at an inflection point.

The human advisor – client relationship will continue to thrive; however, the business of advice needs to change due to the manual, inefficient and legacy technology the industry is still dependent upon.  The good news is that with all of the innovation happening in wealth management, new approaches to technology, client servicing infrastructure, and automation of operational workflows are now available.

The concept of “Business Support Systems” (BuSS) driven by AI, machine-learning and natural language processing hold great promise to bring scale, client experience enhancements and operational efficiencies back to RIAs so they can continue to grow, compete and succeed.

With all of the latest enhancements to benjamin that we have deployed over the past year, we believe that we have created a fully operational, AI driven BuSS that can transform your RIA firm.

Check out the white paper, here, to read more.

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