unfair advantage - #ItzOnWealthTech Ep 17: How Advisors Can Find Their 'Unfair Advantage' with Tricia Haskins

#ItzOnWealthTech Ep 17: How Advisors Can Find Their ‘Unfair Advantage’ with Tricia Haskins

“I am a true believer that using technology and using it well is going to help you grow your business, it’s going to help you create scale and efficiency, and it’s going to help you deepen your relationships.” — Tricia Haskins

With more than 20 years of experience in financial services, Tricia Haskins leads the strategic consulting team at Fidelity Investments which is focused on helping wealth management firms thrive in an environment of transformational change. They develop and implement strategies to achieve growth, client service and productivity goals, as shifting investor demographics, rapid technology innovations and the advisor supply-demand imbalance provide tremendous opportunities for firms determined to lead the future of wealth management.

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This episode of Wealth Management Today is brought to you by Ezra Group Consulting. If your firm is evaluating new technology or looking to improve your current wealth platform, you need to contact Ezra Group. Don’t spend another day using technology that doesn’t offer an elegant user experience. Your advisors and clients deserve better and you can deliver it to them with the help of Ezra Group.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Discussion around Fidelity’s research on broad trends surrounding client expectations [03:21]
  • Client characteristics Tricia recommends advisors to take into consideration [07:54]
  • What is a value stack, and what is at the top of it? [10:55]
  • Emotional quotients [14:17]
  • Do advisors have to have a high EQ in order to move up the value stack? [14:50]
  • Fidelity’s benchmarking study and the cultural approach to technology [23:13]
  • Firms that think they are embracing tech, but in actuality are not [29:19]
  • Discussion around other benchmark statistics [31:59]

wealth management consulting

Complete Episode Transcript:

Craig: Hello to all my friends and welcome to another episode of the Wealth Management Today podcast. My name is Craig Iskowitz and I’m a technology strategy consultant in wealth management, and here I bring you new ideas from people who are on the leading edge of technology and innovation. During our conversations, I tease out the concepts and constructs that you can use to push your envelope and stay one step ahead of the pack. On today’s episode, I was lucky enough to get some time with Fidelity’s digital strategy guru, Tricia Haskins. I’ve heard Tricia speak at conferences many times, and I’ve always come away impressed with the depth and breadth of her knowledge. This was just one of those interviews where I wish we had a few more hours to talk because we barely scratched the surface on some of these topics, so I’ll definitely plan on having her on the show again in the future. Now I’m about done with the intro, so let’s get started.

Craig: Welcome to this episode of Wealth Management Today. On the program, I am super excited to have Tricia Haskins who works for Fidelity Institutional, where she leads the digital strategy and platform consulting team. Hey Tricia.

Tricia: Hey Craig! I have to say that I’m also super excited to be here, so thank you so much for having me.

RIA Market Research

Craig: We’re both super excited, which is only going to make the episode more exciting. I have been wanting to have you on the program for a while and I appreciate you making the time. I’ve been reading with great excitement all of your research that comes out of Fidelity, and it’s lots of good stuff coming up. We talked beforehand and did a little prep, so there’s a lot of interesting topics here to go over. I really like some of the things you guys are doing in this type of research, because advisors are always looking for more information to help them direct where they’re going, because they’re all thinking about how they’re moving their businesses forward. So this kind of information and research I think is really helpful. One of the things we mentioned was that you guys have done some research in broad trends around client expectations. We’re hearing a lot more from firms, my consulting firm works both with clients, broker-dealers, RIAs, asset managers, as well as vendors, and both sides are all talking client expectations, that seems to be the buzzword. So what kind of data are you guys seeing, and what kind of trends are you seeing around client expectations?

Tricia: This is one of the things that I am most interested in, because it really is all about the client, so it’s really great to see firms really focusing on the unique needs of each of their clients. Frankly, those unique needs are what makes it challenging, but it’s no secret to anyone that today’s consumers have high expectations, right? So when it comes to financial services, the consumers are basing their experiences, whether it’s making a reservation, using ride share, that is their baseline for their experience expectation, right? So we believe that the investor’s expectations will continue to increase as it relates to financial advice, planning, service, and transparency. And that focus on the consumer and what their needs are is going to continue to grow and evolve over time. I mean, if you think about the way that folks think about how they want to be communicated to, what their specific goals are, what are the things that are going to help them achieve fulfillment, it’s not age or asset related, it’s really about that individual consumer sensibility. So we’re finding that the best advisors out there are understanding that they need to be more sophisticated in the ways they understand their clients and their level of transparency and collaboration and communication, and delivering that based on that individual, but doing it in a scalable way.

Craig: So let me drill down on what you just said. when you say advisors need to be more sophisticated, what do you mean by sophisticated?

Tricia: Yes, sophisticated in the way they understand the sensibilities of their end client, right? So if you think about it, every woman out there isn’t going to want to work with an advisor the same way just because they happen to be a woman. Same thing with millennials, boomers, ultra-high net worth, or people who are just getting into saving. So what the advisors are going to have to understand about their end clients is how do they want to be dealt with? Do they want an annual meeting in the office with a paper report book? Do they only want to be dealt with via online capabilities, or do they want something in between? Do they want very heavy and deep reporting, or do they want just the facts? So understanding how that client wants to be worked with is what’s really going to help these advisors, and that’s much more sophisticated (to my earlier point) than just segmenting by age group, level of wealth, or by male or female.

Craig: Got it. So when you’re saying sophisticated, more sophisticated or more granular in their client segmentation?

Tricia: Exactly, it’s all about tailoring that experience to that client. Here at Fidelity, we believe that we’re seeing the total evolution of the wealth management industry, right? One that started off as access to products, and then you get many products, and you start to see things innovate. And in the last decade with technology becoming ubiquitous, it’s really about how to drive your relationship with that end-client, and how can you use technology to help you have that relationship tailored toward that end-client.

Finding Your ‘Unfair Advantage’

Craig: Are there other characteristics that you recommend advisors look at that aren’t age, asset, or gender related? Are there other characteristics you suggest they mix in?

Tricia: That’s a really good question, and I think there are any number of ways you can segment. When we work with advisors, we try to understand what it is that your unfair advantage is, right? So if you’re a firm that focuses on a specific profession, understand what it is about what you do for the folks in that profession, and what’s the best way to deliver on your unfair advantage. And then within that context, you can understand how do they like to be communicated with, how frequently do they like to be communicated with, what is the kind of information that they want? What are the things that I need to be more proactive aware of? Maybe, you know, if they have children who are, you know, they’re saving to go to college or are getting out of college and joining the workplace. you know, maybe they have parents that they need to consider, for long-term care and things like that. So there’s a lot of different things that you can look at it as an advisor, always keeping in mind what are the sensibilities of that end client and what’s the best way to work with them, help them achieve their goals.

Craig: That is an interesting phrase you used, an unfair advantage. It kind of turns it on its head. It’s sort of a negative and a positive in the same phrase, right? You want to be unfair against your competitors, you want to have an advantage against them. So I like the way you turn that phrase, because it’s easier to remember.

Tricia: It is, it’s what makes you unique versus your competitors. You spoke about geography, and I think that before this real explosion of fintech, geography was in itself an unfair advantage, right? Because the expectation of many of the investors was that you would do a face-to-face meeting on a periodic basis. Now that technology has in some ways eliminated geography as that unfair advantage, what’s the thing that makes you special? What is your target market? How do you deliver on what it is that you do best and what your unfair advantage is, and then how do you use technology or your service model or your segmentation to prove that to your end clients every day?

The Advisor Value Stack

Craig: Earlier you mentioned the top of the value stack. Can you explain what the value stack is, and what exactly is at the top?

Tricia: The value stack is our version of Bain’s advice value stack. And what it is it’s a way to think about how advisors deliver value to their end-clients. There are lots of ways to deliver value, and we think the foundation of the value stack is what advisors have been really focused on to date, right? This is about asset allocation, it’s about income generation, cash flow, it’s about money manager selection – it’s really about managing the money, right? This is what the core has been. Now, what we’ve seen is that advisors, as the value that they provide has evolved over time, they’ve really started to move into the next phase of achieving goals. And this is a lot of the planning-led practices, where you’re working with clients to understand what is it that you want to do. Whether that’s retire comfortably, send your kids to college, health care, things like that, right? So that second level of the value stack is really about planning.

Tricia: Now moving up, and here’s where we get into the EQ idea here, is how do you deliver on peace of mind as an advisor? How do they know that if something happens to a loved one, that they’re going to be able to take care of that loved one? How do we provide them, as advisors, more discretionary time? In a study that we did, 6 out of 10 people said that they don’t have enough time to do what it is they want to do. How do we help them have that peace of mind and that freedom from worry? And the top of that value stack is really achieving your life’s purpose. Any advisor that can work with their clients along all of those levels of the value stack, that’s just a tremendous relationship that you have with your clients. Now we know that that there are some folks who want to focus on managing the money, and that’s fantastic. Because at the end of the day, in order to move up each rung of the value stack, you have to earn your right to move there. But if that managing the money is not your unfair advantage and you really want to do planning or you want to move up to the peace of mind or fulfillment or a life coach, then maybe you outsource that part of it, depending on what it is within your firm that you do best. That’s the idea, moving to the best rung of the value stack, and moving up that value stack to help your end-clients.

Emotional Quotient

Craig: So let me jump in just a moment…you mentioned EQ, that’s emotional quotient?

Tricia: Emotional quotient, yes.

Craig: Can you give a 30-second explanation on emotional quotient?

Tricia: If you think about IQ as a measurable level of intelligence, EQ is about your ability to relate to, understand, and respond to people, right? It’s about that connection, that behavioral connectivity amongst people, and knowing and understanding what other people are feeling around you and being able to react in a positive way.

Craig: So would you say advisors have to have a high EQ in order to move up the value stack?

Tricia: I would say it certainly helps, because if you think about some of these things around achieving goals, clearly that is the numeric part of that, but if you also think about financial planning and achieving goals as the investment part of it, and also the behavior modification and behavior management, and helping people make the best decision, because if you think about it, humans aren’t very good at making near-term decisions that have a long term impact, so having that high EQ and helping people walk through that absolutely is helpful. And then, clearly peace of mind is very EQ-related; it’s related to your emotions and how you’re feeling, as well as fulfillment really, getting to the core of what that investor or client would like to achieve as their life’s goal. That’s powerful stuff.

Craig: It certainly is, and it’s really different than how advisors have positioned themselves previously. I’ve heard this term a number of times, that you want to be more of a life coach. It sounds like you’re saying the same thing.

Tricia: I mean, I think it is really interesting, and we’ve seen some folks focus on that, provided that they do have the foundation of managing the money, set up in a way that is going to help do its part to meet that client’s need. But how powerful is it for an advisor to be one of their clients’ first phone calls if they have a challenge, whether that’s related to how their portfolio is performing versus thinking about which college to send their kids to, or any number of other things? How to make sure that their parents are going to be well taken care of? These are emotional things that people need to consider, so thinking about how as the advisor you can serve that role, I think that is tremendously powerful, and if you’re able to do that and develop those relationships with those clients, I’d argue they’ll stick with you, and if they believe you are that person for them, I would also venture to say they’re likely going to be a great referral source for you. So what a great way to get organic growth, not just through referrals to friends but family and the next generation. So bringing it back full circle, how do you set up your firm to be able to take on this growth, to meet the expectations of the next generation, and to serve them in the way that they want to be served? Because while earlier I said it’s not just Boomers that want this, Gen Z want it, and don’t forget Gen X (of which I’m a proud member). But the reality is that people are becoming more and more open to technology, so how can you as a firm ensure that you’re using it well, you’re using it to support those relationships with your clients, and helping them achieve their goals and doing things in a way that’s tailored to them?

Craig: Proud member of the Gen-X generation myself, we must unite!

Tricia: Yes.

Craig: We’re being passed by quickly.

Tricia: That’s all right, we still have the best music and the best movies, I think.

Craig: Exactly, yes.

Tricia: I’ll take it.

Transitioning from Financial Advisor to Life Coach

Craig: We believe that, of course. When we’re talking about a life coach, and building strong relationships and how that’s changing, and how you want to be even closer to the client than you were in the past, I was at a forum for Chief Operating Officers for some of the top RIAs in the country last week, and one of them mentioned one of the things that his firm talks about to their advisors is saying, “How do you judge that you have built a close relationship with your clients?” And like you said, you want to be the first phone call; that shows how close you are to your client, and that you’re not just talking about money and finances, you’re also talking about their life’s purpose and their families. He said your goals should be that your clients feel comfortable inviting your to their children’s birthday party; that you’re almost part of the family, in effect. And again, that’s just a generalization. The thought is, “Hey, you really need to build that relationship in order to protect your business.”

Tricia: Yes, absolutely. And it is interesting, because getting involved with the children even when they don’t meet the asset minimums, and even when the totality of the parents’ assets when they’re handed down if it’s divided evenly amongst all the children, and then individually it doesn’t, say, achieve your minimums, how can you ensure that you have a way to continue that relationship, continue to nurture those relationships? And one of the things that I think is tremendously powerful that I’ve seen some firms do is, for the younger generations, focus on financial literacy, and that’s one of the things where I think there’s a tremendous opportunity for lots of folks not just advisors to increase financial literacy for the young folks, and to continue those relationships from a multi-generational perspective, and leverage the tools at hand, like technology, to ensure that that’s a multi-generational relationship for your firm. And that says a lot for your firm, and it says a lot for the talent you can bring into the firm as well, giving that young talent a nice starting point perhaps with the next generation to really sort of learn the business from the folks who’ve been around for a long time.

Craig: I want to take a little break from this episode to talk to you about one of my favorite sponsors, the Invest in Others Foundation. Invest in Others is a nonprofit. You can find them at investinothers.org, and they look to raise money and give out awards to charities that are sponsored by financial advisors, so it’s financial advisors’ favorite charities, charities that they spend a lot of time supporting. So Invest in Others looks to get sponsorships from the industry and funnel that money to advisors’ favorite charities. I really like this charity and this nonprofit. I think you should take a look at it. Again, investinothers.org. They’ve got a couple other programs. One is a Grants for Good program. Again, delivering money to different needy organizations and needy groups. They’re also starting a corporate awards program, which is going to be a little bit different but still within the industry, another way for financial services, wealth management, corporations to help donate money to people in need. So I really like Invest in Others, and I think you should take a look at it.

General 728x90 - #ItzOnWealthTech Ep 17: How Advisors Can Find Their 'Unfair Advantage' with Tricia Haskins

RIA Bechmarking Study

Craig: So let’s shift gears a little bit. I could talk about that for quite some time but then we wouldn’t get to the other parts of things we wanted to. So we wanted to talk about the benchmarking study and how you are measuring firms and bracing technology and the cultural approach to technology. Can you elaborate on that a bit?

Tricia: You bet. So we do the RIA benchmarking study every year, and I’m a huge fan and a huge proponent of looking at data and the combination of the IQ and the EQ. Hopefully later on we’ll get into the EQ, which is by McKinsey, but looking at the data that is reported by the firms that respond to the study, this year’s was focused on technology, and we’re interested in understanding the evolution. Back in 2014 we did a study that included a significant number of questions around technology, and we found a subset of advisors as we were doing analysis that we called e-advisors, and these e-advisors were folks who did things like they had a higher adoption of CRM, they had increased level of integration, they had more automated workflows, they used more of the bright systems, meaning it wasn’t an overabundance of systems but they were using the right systems for their firms, and so on and so forth. There were 22 different things that they had been doing, and so going forward a couple years, I want to go back and say, alright, what’s changing? If you think about the overall technology environment and the RIA environment specifically over the past few years, a lot has changed. There’s a lot of M&A going on. There’s a lot of private equity in the system, whether that’s then sort of the RIA business, or whether that’s in fintech, there’s just a lot of activity.

Craig: You see it as a negative or a positive impact on the industry?

Tricia: I think like anything, there’s either. Overall, I think that the focus on fintech is tremendously positive, because I’m a true believer that using technology and using it well is going to grow your business; it’s going to help you create scale and efficiency, and it’s going to help you deepen relationships. So I’m a huge fan of that, and to the extent that fintech competition can help make the solutions out there better, fantastic. I think the other side of that coin is that it becomes… it’s hard to stay up with what’s going on. There’s a lot of moving parts, and so what do these different things mean? It’s not easy for firms in particular, because you know what firms care about? They care about helping their clients, they care about their associates, and they care about running great businesses. So there’s that other side to that coin, but I think that’s sort of like anything. I think what’s interesting in this study, and this is kind of going back to what we were talking about earlier with cultural aspects, right? We found that the firms that we surveyed, we found it really interesting. It’s hard to call it a subset because it’s such a significant number, but 71% of firms identified themselves as embracing technology. So what do we mean by that? We mean that they are taking an approach where they believe that technology is going to be a key part of their value proposition, and what’s going to help make their firm successful in the future, or continue to be successful in the future, and so on and so forth. So why is that interesting? It’s interesting to me because, as we look at that, you can take… Let’s take the two of us and let’s say we have the exact same technology ecosystem in our firms. Let’s say we’re both advisors, same amount of assets, same client set, all else being equal. One of us could be wildly successful in using that technology, and one of us might just not really like it and feel like this is not worth it. So what’s the difference there?

Craig: What’s the differentiator? How do you know the difference?

Tricia: The idea of the embracers, it’s similar to the e-advisors, where these are folks who are committed to getting more out of their technology for understanding and believing that technology can be a differentiator in attracting clients, in attracting talent. In merger opportunities, if you’re looking to acquire, will these advisors believe that the technology ecosystem that you have and how well you run it can be one of the points of differentiation for you? They’re also more likely to use the full range of solutions, so, again, if we both have the same tech ecosystem but I was committed to staying up to date on all the latest releases, continuing to integrate as the different components rolled out different integrations, really focusing on 100% adoption of my CRM, and so on and so forth. Those are things where I’m committing to do that, and I’m getting more out of my tech set than if I did not do that.

Embracing Technology

Craig: So, you’re talking about firms that are self-identifying as embracing technology, and you define that as staying current, keeping your technology updated, and a good adoption rate. Do you also measure objectively, independently, how many of those firms are actually embracing tech? They may think they are, but they’re not. Is that something you guys look at?

Tricia: Since we found this subset here of these embracers, what we’re looking at and trying to understand is, if you are an embracer, what does your firm look like from a data perspective, versus the broad cohort? And so, one of the things that we found… and this is not to say there’s causality here; it’s just an interesting thing that we want to dig into, is that we do see that these firms that self-identify as embracers, they do have higher revenues, they have a higher average organic growth rate, they have a higher median three year CAGR. That said, they also do spend more on technology, right? So this is an interesting phenomenon, particularly as we look at McKinsey’s DQ in the digital quotient, which is the organization, the digital strategy, the digital capabilities, and most importantly McKinsey said, the digital culture. Those firms that were focused on a strong digital culture were two and a half times more likely to achieve their goals. So that’s why this is something that is… this idea of the embracers and what they’re doing, it’s worth keeping an eye on. And that this year’s study plus the e-advisor study; we can see there’s something about these folks who are really using technology well, that it seems to be making a difference in their firm.

Craig: It seriously does. So you’re saying that these firms that self-identify as embracing technology have higher revenue, higher organic growth rate, and a higher median cager. So, H-G-R-O, the higher growth rate overall, or their asset growth rate.

Tricia: Right.

Craig: And that’s consistent. So, are there any other benchmark statistics that you can share besides the self-identifying embracing technology firms?

Tricia: There are a couple that I’d love to share, that I think are interesting. One of them goes to the whole idea of the value stack, with the foundation being investment management, moving up managing the money, moving up to achieving goals for more in, then ultimately fulfillment. Embracer firms that are focused above the managing the money part of the value stack. What we found was that 16% of embracers stated improving investment performance was a top five goal, versus 30% of the non-embracer firms. That is really interesting in that, is there something around the sensibilities of these firms that are looking to move up the value stack? Is there some sort of that, with the idea of leveraging technology that goes together? So, that’s one that I definitely want to keep an eye on. There’s another thing around, we talked a little bit about data, right? EQ and IQ. The embracers really do take a data-driven approach to managing their firm. They’re significantly more likely to use KPIs and metrics to manage their business. There’s 22% versus 8% of others. So it’s really interesting from the… what these folks are doing differently, both from that EQ, the cultural, the DQ perspective, but then also leveraging data to understand where they’re at with their firm. It’s a nice combination; we believe you need both the IQ and EQ and also the DQ to really succeed in the transformation that we’re in. It seems like they’re doing that, not only with their clients, but they’re also doing it with their business.

Craig: So, using metrics; 22% versus 8%, so it’s three times more likely than non-embracers.

Tricia: Yes.

Craig: But still a relatively low percentage of the total, so 78% of embracers don’t use metrics?

Tricia: Isn’t that interesting? There’s tremendous opportunity for advisors out there. If you think about that, it’s still much higher for embracers than it is for non-embracers, yet it’s still low. There is still a tremendous opportunity for those folks who want to use business metrics and data as they run their business. It’s very similar to what we saw when we did a study in 2018 on AI. So, AI, huge potential. We know that firms are thinking about how to implement artificial intelligence. It’s hard to really know how to implement it. We saw that 64% of advisors said that they wanted to use AI, but only 5% had adopted it into their practice. So, if you think about that, that is tremendously a powerful opportunity for those folks who continue to move forward, who embrace technology, who push the envelope. We found, as well, that 48% of REAs in the study named investing in new technology as a top five strategic initiative, right?

Tricia: Only 48%. Now, you can look at that one of two ways. You can look at it and say, well, maybe they’re still working on getting the most out of their current technology, but I would argue that technology, whether it’s the use of or investing in new, should absolutely be a top five strategic priority for any firm.

Craig: Yeah, so why only… So, 48%, that’s not even majority?

Tricia: Not even half, yep. They’re clueless. They’re focused on growth, right, they’re focused on client service, they’re focused on… and those are all the right things. And what’s their strategy going forward, and what do they think about talent. I mean, there’s talent out there, all those things, right. But I would say that, and I would argue that technology can help you in a lot of different ways across all those. That technology, as we just said earlier, can help you become a more attractive buyer. Technology can help you attract the best talent. There was a firm that I worked with, and the firm owner was telling me of a story where there was a race for this particular associate, this young, talented individual. And while the overall compensation was less at his firm, and this is not five times less, right, but it was a bit less than the other firm, the associate ended up going to his firm, because he used technology really well. In fact, he’s one of the first firms that I knew of to go totally paperless. So he attributed that use of technology as one of the key reasons why he was able to attract some young talent to his firm.

Technology as a Differentiator

Craig: I would definitely agree with that, based on the experience I’m having with some of my broker-dealer customers, where they’re saying something similar, that payouts have equalized across firms, and product is very similar across firms, but what has become a differentiator is their technology stack. And advisors all talk, and they know from other firms what they’re using, and they know the problems that their firm has, and they’re more likely to move to a firm where they believe that they’re going to have more efficiency, better effective use of technology, that’s going to allow them to scale their businesses better.

Tricia: Absolutely. It’s like when we look at the end client, right, what people want is time, right. How can we give people more time to do the things that they want? And the same idea is how can advisors find the place where they are given the time to do the things that they’re passionate about? Whether it’s working with more clients, or going out there into the community, or focusing on financial education, to the extent you can leverage technology to both ensure that folks can do their job well, but also give them the time to do the things they’re passionate about. I think that’s a win. And in the past, I’ve been in this part of the industry for a long time, and what was once about, “Oh, I want to use that cool new technology, or that new cool technology,” or, “Should I go to the cloud or not?” or so and so forth.

Tricia: I think that folks have come to the point where they know that technology is going to help them. They want to find the right, best solutions to ensure they’re integrated, and get everybody using it. And these are no simple things, but at the end of the day it kind of just becomes like air, right. Technology is there, and folks are using it, and they want to keep using it, but they don’t want to have to focus on it. They just want to be able to do their job, and grow their business, and help their clients.

Craig: That’s a good point. And sometimes they don’t really even know why they’re using it necessarily, but they know that it’s helping them. But when you mentioned AI, that 64% of advisors said they want to use AI, but only 5% have adopted, is that a bit of a shiny new toy syndrome? “Hey, it’s the latest thing, I want to use it,” but nobody really understands how it can help them.

Tricia: I think we’re getting closer, I do. I think there was a bit of, to your point, what is the shiny new to? But I do think that what people are realizing is that there is no silver bullet out there. But the concept of AI, of taking data, of taking this sort of machine learning, and taking what technology can do to provide the human, and the advisors more insight, to be better at doing what it is that they do with their clients, that’s the promise of it. That’s the promise of it, right. So if you think about predictive analytics, what’s the next best action? Boston Consulting Group did a study, and they did a study around predictive analytics, which is one component of AI. And the findings were significant. There was an increase in client acquisition, 10 to 20%. A 30 to 40% increase in Net Promoter Score. I mean that’s happy clients, and that may speak to the increase in client acquisition, because if you have happy clients with high NPS, then you’re more likely to get a referral, or reduction in client attrition, which is great. Reduction by 10 to 20%.

Tricia: So I do think it started out a little bit as this shiny new toy, but I think what people are realizing is that there’s real power in it. And I do also think that people are starting to understand the importance of dataset in order to best know how to help your clients, and how to do things for them that they need, that they’re aware of, and that they might not be aware of.

Artificial Intelligence

Craig: Do you know what specific AI tools the Boston Consulting Group study included? Or it just AI in general?

Tricia: It was the Global Wealth 2018 study. Seizing the Analytics Advantage, that was the BCG study.

Craig: We don’t know what specific tools they were using. Where were those predictive analytics manifesting themselves in their workload?

Tricia: Right, so I’ll go separately. I’ll tell you what we’re seeing is there’s a lot of… it depends on what it is that you want to do, and what you want to assess, right. So clearly, if you have what was historically called portfolio accounting system, it’s really more of like a portfolio management system, right, you can bring that data in from all of the financial, or many of the financial institutions, and we see investment-related information, right. And then if you leverage your financial planning system, then you can pull in the other side of the balance sheet, or other things that you otherwise wouldn’t pull into your portfolio reporting, or performance management system. And then you combine that with CRM, and I like to call it, this is sort of the trifecta, right, and these aren’t the only components of your ecosystem, but these are sort of the core three that we’re seeing. So with the CRM, you have all of the data as it relates to your clients, as the person that they are, whether that’s their address, their relationships, their birthdays, the things that are important to them, and so on and so forth. You could pull in stuff from their different profiles on social media, and so on, so forth. Then you can bring in all this data, and what a very sort of a powerful dataset to be able to anticipate your clients needs, depending on where they are in their life. Whether it is thinking about having kids, or sending the kids to college. And what is the best avenue for that? And what are the right decision points for that? And how do they think about their parents, who are getting to a certain age? And how do they think about estate planning? And so on and so forth. So those are three great places to have a dataset, and you can obviously pull in other third-party aggregators, but it does require integration, making sure all the data’s connected, making sure you can get that one view and that overall lens, to be able to make the best decisions for your clients.

Craig: And on that note, I hate to say this, but we’re running out of time.

Tricia: Time flies when you’re having a super time!

Craig: Right. And gives us a cornucopia of data, which really lights me up, because that’s the kind of stuff I love, and I’m sure my audience loves it too, all the statistics that came out of your benchmark and study.

Tricia: Yeah, you bet. And thank you for having me. I really enjoyed talking to you and sharing what we’ve learned, and I hope that folks find one or two things that they can use in their practice.

Craig: I really appreciate you being on the show, and I’m hoping to have you back sometime in the future.

Tricia: Excellent, thank you. I look forward to that.

Screen Shot 2018 10 22 at 12.16.52 PM - #ItzOnWealthTech Ep 17: How Advisors Can Find Their 'Unfair Advantage' with Tricia Haskins

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