tech-savvy and even female clients?
Elwyn: Connected Advisor is designed
to assist advisors in addressing current
and evolving client needs, while also expanding their offerings to new clients.
The financial landscape facing the next
generation of clients is different than the
one their parents or grandparents faced
when they began accumulating wealth,
their expectations for communication are
different, and — in many ways — they are
different. But what research tells us is
that across generations, when individuals are facing more complex situations,
they tend to turn to an expert for help.
Connected Advisor creates greater ability for advisors to serve smaller accounts,
through investment platforms such as
our Freedom Foundation and efficiencies
with onboarding and servicing, so they
can build relationships with these clients
over time, but also will provide data insights to help advisors even better support clients with the most complex needs.
How will Connected Advisor help
advisors work with other clients, like
pre-retirees and those in retirement?
Elwyn: While traditional robo technology
can help with asset allocation, we know
that as clients draw closer and closer to
retirement age, their needs become increasingly complex. Connected Advisor’s
sophisticated tools, like Goal Planning &
Monitoring, help advisors manage risk
as clients near retirement and will help
them find new opportunities within a
client’s retirement plan.
How about the data-mining and other
data features of Connected Advisor?
Can you provide some ideas on how
advisors will use these innovations?
Elwyn: Connected Advisor’s “
opportunities” capabilities will provide data-driven
insights about their clients and prospects.
Armed with these insights and best prac-
tices from other advisors, advisors can
tailor solutions to the unique and evolving
needs of clients and make better-informed
decisions about how to best serve them.
For example, a data-driven insight might
allow an advisor who learned more about a
new estate-planning law at a conference to
easily identify all the clients in her practice
that the law would impact and then provide
tools, marketing and communications to
support discussions to meet the clients’
needs. Similarly, using our client center,
the advisor could look for opportunities
for each of the clients she is planning on
meeting in the coming two weeks to help
provide ideas for review sessions.
What’s next for Raymond James and
technology, after this rollout is com-
plete in ’ 17?
Elwyn: Raymond James is committed
to being an industry leader in advisor-oriented technology and overall support,
and that means continually evolving and
enhancing our features to meet the future
needs of our advisors and clients. While
many functionalities of Connected Advisor are already in place or being rolled
out this year, it’s a significant, multi-year
strategy that we’ll continue to evolve.
We’re never focused on an end date,
but rather we’re always innovating to meet
clients’ and advisors’ needs. As the advisors and the clients of the future adapt and
evolve, our technology is going to as well.
How does your Technology Advisory
Council help the firm prioritize inno-
vations and give critical feedback
before and during rollout?
Elwyn: Our Technology Advisory Council
offers guidance to and works closely with
executive leadership and our Technology
group during all stages of our rollouts —
from the planning stage, through the testing stage, to the final product, and after
rollouts, with ongoing enhancements.
Each year we welcome our Technology Advisory Council advisors to the
home office to review our portfolio of
projects. Based on what they are seeing
in their own practices, their needs and
the needs of their staff and clients, they
set the priority for all of our technology
initiatives for the coming year.
After prioritization, we have regular
calls with the council to review systems
and functionalities and to ensure our technology is being built from the perspective
of the advisor and not the I T department.
We also have pilot groups, which include
both advisor and branch professional
participants, to provide feedback based
on real-life experiences.
Finally, how are advisors tapped to be
on the council? Are they rotated out
every few years, so new advisors can
come in and join the council?
Elwyn: Advisors on our Technology Advisory Council have been recommended
by management or are advisors who our
internal teams have identified as actively
engaged technology users. Each year we
have about 18-20 advisors, and we rotate
about a third off each year, to ensure an
influx of new ideas while maintaining
some consistency year over year.
It’s really important to us that we have a
council that is representative of our entire
advisor population, so the council includes
advisors from all affiliation options, with
different business models, coming from
a variety of previous firms and varying
in tenure. It’s a very diverse group, ranging in age, gender and race, and includes
both tech-savvy advisors as well as those
who wouldn’t consider themselves technical, but who can articulate what their
needs are for working with their clients
and managing their business.
We have found the council to be invaluable in the development, implementation and
refinement of our advisor technologies.