Posts Tagged ‘ digital platform ’

Fund Admin: the Zoo of Data & the Data Science Solution

The business of data has expanded significantly over the last few decades, and the collection and analysis of various data types has grown massively.  In the mainstream, for example, social media and news stream data is collected and analyzed to provide social behavior insights.  Within the realm of financial services, data has traditionally been limited to the public market variety, but data now often expands beyond information available in the public markets and reaches into the private markets.

Merging together public data and statistics with privately acquired, non-standard metrics complicates requirements for quality data analytics.  Not only does the method of data acquisition change, but it is also increasingly difficult to ensure the quality of the data gathered.  Data quality directly drives reporting quality and, ultimately, the reliability of decision-making tools that rely on reported data.

Such methodologies typically require human intervention, and fund administrators, both institutional and boutique, have played a critical role in establishing those standards.  However, complexity continues to rise and data quality continues to prove challenging. Service providers often need to navigate multiple sources to capture different data types, ranging from document management systems to accounting platforms, and from performance platforms to research and CRM systems.  This typically results in stitching together data using Excel, as well as employing manual workflows that are failure-prone, which ultimately leads to unnecessary re-work and higher costs. This is getting increasingly difficult because the mass affluence are becoming more mobile so financial mobility and client portals are becoming even more important.

Particularly within the alternative investment space, asset administrators need better technology to address these pain points.  InvestCloud Purple helps administrators drive up revenue and reduce operational costs.  Leveraging InvestCloud’s Digital Warehouse, Purple allows structured and unstructured data to live side by side, eliminating the need to go to multiple systems to grab all relevant information.  InvestCloud’s Digital App Store provides a hyper-modular approach, enabling clients to create unique digital experiences on a first-class, integrated digital platform through the cloud, distinguishing their services from other providers in the space.  Moreover, InvestCloud’s patented Tree technology used in Purple provides administrators with a powerful performance measurement and client reporting tool, allowing end clients to each have their own performance consolidation definitions and optionally unique security masters that they can view in a customized client portal, allowing for financial mobility.

Using InvestCloud Purple tools such as InvestCloud’s Error Shield Protection and Maker, Checker and Authorizer workflow, alternative asset administrators can harness operational efficiencies through streamlined processes.  With quality data, enriched from multiple sources, InvestCloud’s Digital App Store provides tools, such as Fee and Expense Look-through analyses, a Liquidity Management module and flexible dashboard reporting on an interactive reporting canvas.  Ultimately, InvestCloud provides powerful views of information for better decision-making.

To find out how we do this and how to leverage InvestCloud to improve your business, call us at +1 (888) 800-0188 or visit us at InvestCloud.com/demo.  Bring your business to the forefront of the Digital Revolution.

Cloud accounting – why buy now?

Cloud computing, sometimes known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), is well established. The operational expenditure versus the capital expenditure advantages are well understood and accepted, as are the benefits of scalability, on-demand capacity and the removal of infrastructure and hefty upgrade costs. Even the terminology, once part of the exclusive language of IT professionals, is now part of everyday business-speak, and even trickling into consumer vernacular via advertising and marketing campaigns.

Despite the mass awareness of the utility of cloud computing, the world of wealth and investment management has been slow to adopt the cloud, with many organizations still running on, and even implementing, traditional on-premises software applications.

Recent industry news has highlighted several very high-profile project failures, many of these in wealth and investment management. In the clear majority of cases, inflexible and outdated legacy technology was to blame. Even where projects have succeeded, the timescales are often shocking, with implementations lasting several years. These shortcomings underscore the need for a smarter, more efficient, cloud-based digital platform.

The InvestCloud approach

Emerald, InvestCloud’s cloud-based Modeling, Accounting and Custody (“MAC”) system, can help your organization to operate more efficiently and effectively, and benefit from InvestCloud’s rapid and low-risk implementation approach.

With cloud solutions from InvestCloud’s digital platform, implementation is fast. InvestCloud’s PWP (Programs Writing Programs) technology aids rapid configuration. InvestCloud does the heavy lifting, including managing the infrastructure – leaving the business teams who rely on the software free to ensure that it’s configured correctly and fit for purpose.

InvestCloud’s approach ensures that your organization will never have to endure another traditional software rollout to get its hands on the latest functionality. Users get instant access to the latest innovations without having to worry about installing new software or hardware. Emerald is continuously updated, not only to release new features, but also in light of compliance and regulatory enhancements, security updates, usability improvements, patches and bug fixes. This ensures state of that art features for your clients and advisors such as client portals, advisor portals, client communication, client reporting, and financial mobility.

Flexibility and agility

Modern, successful businesses are good at coping with change. InvestCloud makes this flexibility easy. Extending the capabilities of your system by adding new functionality from InvestCloud’s suite of apps is simple and fast because all InvestCloud modules are designed to work together. It’s easy to add new features and functionality to your digital platform such as tools for client reporting and client communication, as and when required, without having to integrate software from different vendors.

For customers wishing to develop their own customer-facing propositions, InvestCloud Emerald is fully API enabled. This allows our clients to focus on building their unique algorithms and client portals without having to re-invent the wheel building their middle- and back-offices.

Reducing costs & risk

In an increasingly competitive market, the cost of middle- and back-office technology has a direct impact on your organization’s bottom line. With lower infrastructure and maintenance costs, InvestCloud Emerald can significantly reduce the percentage that’s devoted to the middle and back office. This means you can invest in other areas while having access to the market’s most modern trading, accounting and settlements system. InvestCloud also takes on responsibility for the hardware infrastructure and security, which means lower explicit and implicit costs for our clients.

InvestCloud’s cloud pricing model allows maximum flexibility over traditional approaches. Extending the capabilities of InvestCloud Emerald can easily and rapidly be achieved from the InvestCloud suite of products. This saves time, cost and lowers your exposure and risk. Emerald is delivered using a SaaS model and is priced on a subscription basis. This gives a clear advantage over traditional, on-premises software deployments.

InvestCloud Emerald allows you to quickly deploy a modern modeling, custody and accounting platform that delivers the latest functionality and capabilities like fractional-share dealing, all with lower investment risk and great flexibility. This makes it a perfect fit for a re-platforming project.

To learn more about Emerald or our range of cloud-based solutions, book a demo at www.investcloud.com/Demo or call us at  +1 (888) 800-0188.

InvestCloud launches Emerald for Robos and hybrid wealth managers on a digital platform

Los Angeles – March 20, 2017 – InvestCloud Inc., a global FinTech firm, has released Emerald, a new solution for Robo-Advisors and hybrid wealth managers that empowers them with an end-to-end solution for portfolio management, trading, accounting, payments and fee management.

InvestCloud Emerald provides a front-, middle- and back-office digital platform for Robo-Advisors, banks, family offices and wealth managers, covering portfolio management, order processing, accounting, performance management, fees and billing alongside settlement and custody reconciliation functions. Emerald incorporates Investment Book of Record (IBOR), Accounting Book of Record (ABOR) and Settlement Book of Record (SBOR) modules into an integrated, full-stack solution. Emerald also leverages InvestCloud’s Digital Warehouse to enable a single version of the integrated truth.

All Emerald functions are available either as a complete solution, or as standalone, modular apps that run on the InvestCloud digital platform that complement a manager’s existing systems like client portal, advisor portals, client communication, client reporting, financial mobility.

John Wise, co-founder and CEO of InvestCloud, said: “Emerald gives Robos looking to run their back office and wealth managers needing to integrate digital capabilities a system that works seamlessly with existing processes. Across multi-asset-class, multi-currency investments, Emerald leverages our unique API-based approach and leading Digital Warehouse, which means all Robo-Advisors can have access to a powerful and highly modular automated processing digital platform.

By utilizing the cloud, all information, trades and portfolio valuations can be processed in real time for instant portfolio valuations and reports. Emerald also scales in line with need, and a low-friction implementation approach allows large volumes of customers to be quickly onboarded, a frequent challenge facing the new generation of online only Robo-Advisors.

Wise continued: “Whether a startup Robo, or a new hybrid service from an established wealth manager or bank, the challenge wealth firms face is integrating traditional standalone back-office systems with trading and portfolio management operations. Emerald eliminates these issues, bringing all functions together in an out-of-the-box solution – providing a single version of the integrated truth. This is a truly cloud-native alternative to the out-of-date, hard-coded legacy solutions found in the marketplace today.”

InvestCloud clients already using Emerald include Nutmeg, the UK-based online investment manager, a leading Asian Robo-Advisor and a leading multi-family office.

About InvestCloud Inc.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, InvestCloud empowers investors and managers with a single version of the integrated truth through its unique digital platform. Today the InvestCloud platform supports over $1.7 trillion of assets across 670 institutional customers. InvestCloud creates custom solutions for better decision-making. From Client Communications (Client Portals and Client Reporting) and Client Management (Advisor Portals) to Digital Warehousing, Data Analytics and Accounting, and Financial Mobility, InvestCloud offers first-class digital platforms for successful investing that are rapid to deploy and hyper-modular apps. Customer segments include wealth managers, institutional investors, asset managers, family offices, asset services companies, financial platforms and banks.

For more information, visit www.investcloud.com.

Know Your Digital Platform – 5 Critical Questions to Ask

The Silos Are Falling

Financial services runs on data, lots of it. Hosting applications and outsourcing computing power in the cloud are quickly becoming the norm but are creating a much larger ecosystem of data sources beyond the traditional reach of IT.  Application and system design today must incorporate a framework to reach outside of an organization’s four walls in order to remain competitive.  The world where an application is locked into performing functions on its own captive data source is dying.  Traditional software applications that lack the reach and range of cloud-enabled services are quickly becoming obsolete.

This new development approach allows businesses to cast a much wider net around cloud based capabilities and external datasets. With broader footprint and integration boundaries come important new design opportunities as well as significant challenges.  As institutions now have more variety of products and services, client segments, and localization concerns, they have to make the most of their data, vendors, and technical capabilities to remain competitive.  Digital solutions offer a powerful competitive advantage, but to do that they must be specifically designed for the cloud from day 1. The digital institutions that do this best will quickly displace the legacy financial firms that are still using hard-coded, slow moving enterprise systems.

Cloud opportunities create significant development and delivery challenges for vendors as well. Technology buyers have a much larger due diligence process around security, stability, and domain experience when extending business strategy outside of the local IT dept. In this week’s NewThink, we discuss the modern focus on capturing data and developing business strategy around application extensibility, design, and why buyers should be asking new types of questions in the RFP process.

1: Product or Digital Platform?

The first new question is whether the vendor is offering a “digital platform” or a “product”.  In consumer terms, an individual blog tool would be considered a product.  Alternatively, Facebook is considered a digital platform that empowers both sides of the marketplace, consumers and businesses, to develop unique tools specific to their individual needs.  This is a foundational starting point to addressing the cloud software paradigm.  The best short description of this was recently shared by Wolfram Jost, CTO of Software AG, “The Digital Business Platform provides the foundation necessary to develop and deploy differentiating business applications, developed together with the business departments, in short and easily foreseeable release cycles. Traditional packaged applications are not designed for this type of development approach.1”  Jost is addressing the limitations of traditional software products and the legacy design approach around predefined, hard-coded business logic. Digital Platforms are significantly different by architecturally separating application logic from presentation screens and data management.  Essentially decoupling the data, business logic/calculations, and the presentation of these applications into segregated technology tiers creates design freedom and levels of integration not previously possible.  This modular approach ensures systems and applications are designed with change in mind.  It is much easier to add new data sources (A new product or service supplier for example) to an individual layer of a technology ecosystem than re-writing an entire application. Digital platforms, unlike software products, can quickly migrate and pivot based on business strategy without the pain or cost of traditional software upgrades.  Digital Platform vendors, specifically industry focused vendors like InvestCloud, “Future-Proof” firms when adding new digital capabilities.  We call this “Sustainable Customization”

2: Monolith or Apps?

The second new question for evaluating your technology vendor is whether their offering is a single enterprise application or whether it is offered in discrete functional packages (Apps) that can be configured to your specific business requirements. This “App” approach to development and implementation is important for two primary reasons. First, an app approach quickly identifies the vendor as a digital platform. If a vendor claims to be a digital platform but cannot segregate the functional layers of their offering for unique client configuration, then your platform may quickly become a large product with no extensible life. The second value of an App approach like the one used by InvestCloud is the ability to license just the functionality specific to client requirements.  Assembling “Lego” blocks to tightly connect needs and capabilities will accelerate time-to-market and reduce costs by limiting complexity of a project. Breaking down a large problem into smaller individual problems has proven to be a successful approach to engaging app based platform vendors.

3: Programmers or Toolsets?

The third, and we believe most differentiating question, is whether the vendor’s development approach still depends on traditional programming to create its applications.  InvestCloud leverages a proprietary toolset allowing business analysts and designers to collaborate on application configuration. This approach allows industry SMEs and design teams to do the work of traditional programmers dramatically faster with more accuracy.  By moving the design process closer to the business needs, and allowing for rapid proto-typing, this PWP (Programs-Writing-Programs) approach not only reduces the chance of scope creep, but also collapses development costs and delivery time. Another result of PWP is that clients are open to innovate and create Apps that address a much wider range of business process requirements that are specific business needs. Evidence for this is InvestCloud’s catalog of Apps and screen view customizations that now have thousands of permutations with functionality specific to digital client communication, management, and automation capabilities.  660+ institutional firms and independent advisory clients have individually designed Apps specific to client portal, advisor portals, client communication, client reporting, and financial mobility.

4: Cache or Call?

The next critical question to understand about your technology vendor is whether they are built for big data. Broadly integrated digital platforms must take on the normalization and management of many datasets of all sizes, both structured and unstructured.  Buyers need to know that the vendor has built a continuously improving, robust data warehousing structure designed for the digital age of FinTech.  Inexpensive (cheap) database technologies and independently configured databases get slower and harder to maintain over time as the data and client demands grow.  By contrast, InvestCloud’s digital warehouse was designed specifically for data of all types and sizes from tax-lots to alternative investments, social media feeds to  unstructured client statements. We call this the “Blueprint” to financial services…a data warehouse designed for all types of financial service firms and digital capabilities. Data and integration vendors in financial services must have a deep understanding of complex data models, digital data warehousing, and fast, scalable systems to accommodate for the complexities of many types of clients, products, services, and even unforeseen business opportunities resulting in new data requirements. InvestCloud’s patented Digital Warehouse allows financial institutions of any size to access these capabilities in both cloud and on-premise deployments.

5: Aligned or Potential Competitor?

A last addition to the new vendor scorecard is less about technology and more marketplace strategy.  When platforms architecturally separate presentation “form”, from application “function”, from data “fulfillment”, as is required for success in the new cloud paradigm, suppliers have the opportunity to collaborate with partners that may now represent themselves in the same application interfaces. This go-to-market partnership approach is part of why BlackRock acquired FutureAdvisor, Invesco acquired Jemstep, and most recently, Eaton Vance’s commitment to a $33M lead investment in SigFig.2 It also speaks to the logic of Envestnet’s acquisition of Yodlee. The practical business implication, and risk, of these marketplace collaborations is that buyers need to understand how a technology vendor may become a potential competitor.  InvestCloud’s digital platform offering is free from these potential conflicts and has been a B2B solution since day one.  We only provide hyper modular apps like client portals, advisor portals, client reporting, client communication, and financial mobility.  We do not manage money or offer consumer financial services such as lending or asset allocations. We believe our commitment to investment products and financial service neutrality is important and is partially the reason why some of our key client partnerships are among the world’s largest financial service organizations.

Who Says So – The Importance of Validation

Finally, it is very important with digital service providers to acquire external validation concerning their digital platform operations and governance.  Much like GAAP standards for accounting that can be certified by auditors, parallel audit standards for technology service organizations are also crucial for vendor selection. These audits (SOC/SSAE 16) provide assurance to buyers that a service organization’s controls that directly affect security, availability, processing, maintenance, and integrity of the systems have been reviewed by 3rd party professionals.  Acquiring these certifications is a rigorous process with audit review at all levels of the organization and technical focus. Buyers should expect financial service focused vendors to have completed these certifications directly and not simply sharing the audit reports of the data center hosting the applications.  Successfully completing, with zero exceptions, the SOC 1 Type 2 (SSAE 16) and SOC 2 Type 1 audits, InvestCloud understands the rigor these attestations require. Given the private and business critical nature of client data, these certifications should be a non negotiable requirement.

About InvestCloud Inc.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, InvestCloud empowers investors and managers with a single version of the integrated truth through its unique digital platform. Today the InvestCloud platform supports over $1.6 trillion of assets across some 660 institutional customers. InvestCloud creates custom solutions for better decision-making. From Client Communications (Client Portals and Client Reporting) and Client Management (Advisor Portals) to Digital Warehousing and Data Analytics, InvestCloud offers first-class investment platforms for successful investing that are rapid to deploy and hyper- modular. Customer segments include wealth managers, institutional investors, asset managers, family offices, asset services companies and financial platforms.

For more information, visit www.investcloud.com.

1: Bridgewater, Adrian. “What’s the Difference Between a Software Product and a Platform.” Forbes. 17 May 2015

2: Din, Suleman. “SigFig’s $40M Infusion Unites Big Names Across Wealth Management.” Financial Planning. 24 May 2016

InvestCloud Delivers Tailored Digital Platforms

Comprehensive research conducted by PwC has determined that the wealth management sector of financial services is one of the least tech-literate sectors in the financial services industry.  Interviewing over 1,000 high net worth individuals (HNWI) from the U.S., Europe and Asia and over 100 client facing relationship managers at wealth management firms and banks around the world, PwC compiled their findings into a report, Sink or Swim: Why Wealth Management Can’t Afford to Miss the Digital Wave.

There are two underlying problems that continue to perpetuate this technological illiteracy. First, there is a disconnect between the digital needs of the client and the wealth managers understanding not only of those needs, but their lack of recognizing their own firm’s digital shortcomings. Currently, 98% of HNWIs use the internet daily and 69% use online banking, yet only a quarter of wealth managers offer digital platforms beyond email. Secondly, there is significant apprehension towards the modernization of legacy practices and software. While CEOs recognize the need to modernize, relationship and account managers are proving resistant, unwilling to relinquish their traditional roles, client communication channels, and business development systems. Additionally, the physical act of digitizing a firm with years worth of documents, client history, and operational status quo is a challenging but necessary undertaking.  Aging financial systems solved a modern day problem at their time of deployment but lack the digital capabilities both client and advisors need today such as client portals, advisor portals, client communication, client reporting, and financial mobility.

The traditional model of wealth management is evolving. Two-thirds of relationship managers do not consider robo-advice [Digital Advice] to be a threat, yet 14% of HNWIs currently use a robo-advisory service and 47% of those under the age of 45 who do not currently use a robo-advisor, would consider using one in the future. As the digital transformation of the legacy financial institution accelerates, HNWIs are starting to expect the same convenience and features in their financial apps as found in consumer apps, such as Uber like client reporting, client communication, client portal, and advisor portals.  However, it is not all doom and gloom for the wealth management sector. The relationship between HNWIs and their wealth manager is ranked as the second most important feature, behind only returns, and digitizing can actually improve the relationship between clients and wealth managers, not cannibalize it by providing better client communication and client reporting.

Established wealth management firms and banks have inherent advantages over fintech startups and existing robo-advisors. A highly regulated industry provides high barriers of entry for newcomers and established firms already have extensive client bases and existing relationships. The goal for firms should be to establish a digital presence that facilitates client communication, client reporting, and financial mobility, eases client on boarding, and automates portfolio rebalancing and research. HNWIs are willing to pay a premium for good advice that is easy to understand and consume, making it imperative for wealth management firms to maintain a high-touch human element in their practice.

One of the most easily recognizable strengths of InvestCloud is our ability to overlay digital capabilities on top of existing data and infrastructure combined with our proprietary PWP (Programs Writing Programs) digital platform to create client value quickly. Client Portals facilitate digital client communication and client reporting allowing clients to quickly see their financial health, aggregated accounts, and custom views specific to the client’s needs. Advisor Portals give wealth advisors and relationship managers the ability to segment their client portfolios to quickly automate strategy implementation and custom service models based on client needs and relationship fee structures.  InvestCloud’s Digital App Platform is an enabler for the financial institution to configure each digital experience based on a combination of client and advisor needs.  One-client-fee model does not fit all.  A hyper-modular app approach enables firms to customize fees, strategies, and service levels for each client type, from millennial to the Ultra High Net Worth.

A key insight of the PwC report is that HNWIs are very much willing to pay a premium for advice, yet still want the convenience of digital. InvestCloud facilitates client communication and client reporting by allowing clients to create ad hoc reports rather than rely on quarterly performance reviews and onsite meetings. Knowledgeable and informed clients are more willing to weather a volatile market and InvestCloud helps relationship managers tell the right story in any market.

The long term impact of a digital transformation includes increased client retention and a more focused effort on a wealth manager’s most important value-add, client relationships. Exceeding client expectations in an increasingly digital world is a reality with the right digital platform. Firms are identifying unique ways to offer a tiered level of advice/fee services powered by custom digital and human capabilities.  Modern advisors are implementing the capabilities to work with younger clients on building wealth, then transitioning mature clients to a more high-touch relationship in the future once the client needs are more in line with a wealthy investor. InvestCloud is partnering with many types of wealth and investment management firms to attract more clients, increase client assets, and improve client relationships.  While wealth management has traditionally been a slow adopter of technology, InvestCloud’s Digital App Platform is accelerating the transformation from monolithic service models to highly intuitive and nimble solutions for all types of clients, advisors, and institutions.

About InvestCloud Inc.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, InvestCloud empowers investors and managers with a single version of the integrated truth through its unique digital platform. Today the InvestCloud platform supports over $1.6 trillion of assets across some 660 institutional customers. InvestCloud creates custom solutions for better decision-making. From Client Communications (Client Portals and Client Reporting) and Client Management (Advisor Portals) to Digital Warehousing and Data Analytics, InvestCloud offers first-class investment platforms for successful investing that are rapid to deploy and hyper- modular. Customer segments include wealth managers, institutional investors, asset managers, family offices, asset services companies and financial platforms.

For more information, visit www.investcloud.com.

Investments: Then, Now and Tomorrow – digital platform

The past 12 months have represented a tumultuous year for the entire global financial industry, not just for wealth management.

number of factors made their mark. Ever-tightening regulations, geo-political upheaval, the latest cycle of digital innovation and an emerging client base have all presented challenges and opportunities over the last year. As well as client expectation for a client portal, advisor portal, enhanced client communication, robust client reporting, and financial mobility, all on one flexible digital platform.

The asset management industry stands on the edge of great changes that will permanently shape its future. At the forefront of these is digitalization, promising automation, AI-driven investing and data-centric advice, shaped in part by the gradual shift of global wealth to the ‘millennials’. Millennials have high expectations when it comes to client portals, advisor portals, client communication, client reporting, financial mobility, and digital platforms.

Much has been written on these predictions – but has the industry listened and acted accordingly?

Intelligent investment 

Technology investment should become more nuanced in 2017. The industry’s relationship with innovation is gaining traction thanks to its ease in generating better advice, delivering richer information and coping with the demands of a more digitally savvy customer base including client portals, advisor portals, client communication, client reporting, and financial mobility. That said, a lot of firms see technology investment as a catchall solution, channelling money without much thought to its application. Wealth managers need to understand this segment of the market if they wish to lead it.

Managers should have a good working knowledge of the current technology available to them, and what solutions should be used within their business. They also need to be thinking long term, researching developing technology that they can feed into strategy reports and business plans. This will also help them identify emerging trends and solutions that may impact their own business model – for example, how technology may bring down the cost of active portfolio management, and to what extent specific technologies like blockchain will affect the sector.

Shape-shifting wealth 

Global wealth distribution is in constant flux – particularly at the local level – but this current period of transition is an industry-wide opportunity. And it’s not just about millennials.

We are already seeing the impact of aging populations in the western hemisphere on economic growth. Emerging countries and industries will also make their own mark – especially as younger audiences seek alternative investment streams with access to client portals, advisor portals, client communication, client reporting, financial mobility, and a digital platform. Investment managers must anticipate where future assets will come from, and how to create a tailored portfolio for a more clued-up, digital client using client portals and advisor portals. The key lies in the customer digital experience.

A firm’s branding or look is now equally as important as the investment and allocation advice they provide. The new ‘face’ of the brand is no longer the wealth manager himself or herself, but the data-rich, digital platforms that provide more informed and up-to-date information for better decision-making using client portals and advisor portals.

A balance of risks 

Among the excitement and the potential of both technology and new customer trends, the wealth management landscape has also become more complex.

The DOL Fiduciary Rule – which extends fiduciary responsibility to all financial professionals who work with retirement plans – has prominently underscored the need for change that puts the financial advice industry in a stronger position. The proposed implementation delay doesn’t change anything for digital advice, since advisors and investors alike are already well down this road to a better, stronger position. Here, digital again comes into its own, giving clients more control over how they can view and act on their investments while decreasing the costs to the advisor of serving each client with client portals, advisor portals, client communication, and client reporting.

Digital provides a way to balance risks – form compliance to customer retention. Financial services firms should invest now, lest they be left behind.

To find out how to leverage InvestCloud to go digital, comply with the Fiduciary Rule and differentiate your business, request a demo through our website at www.investcloud.com/Demo or call us at +1 (888) 800-0188.

Big data: bringing it all onto a digital platform for wealth management 

A new breed of client requires an evolved form of investment advice.

Big data is key to this. But it has to be well structured, easily interpretable and readily accessible for an increasingly digitalized, millennial audience who expect to work in a much more transparent way. They also expect client portals, advisor portals, enhanced client communication, robust client reporting, and financial mobility all on one flexible digital platform.

To deliver on these imperatives, the data needs to be aggregated, stored in and analysed in a flexible, powerful digital platform. Doing so allows wealth managers to take advantage of a single, integrated view of all relevant information on an advisor portal. This also provides rich insights that augment client advice and further a firm’s overall business strategy.

 

Deep reservoirs, deeper intelligence 

Investors have access to huge volumes of data – which countries their clients like to visit, which charities they support, retailers they purchase goods from, their views on environmental issues and even their state of health. Historically, this information took years to collate, but now, much of it is available through social media and the wider internet, complementing private information gathered through face-to-face meetings.

But it’s not just about financial mobility and speed of data gathering – perhaps most importantly, it’s about secure storage and rapid access for leverage and analytics on a client portal. Better data means stronger client relationships, offering deeper conversations and more opportunities to provide individually tailored solutions. With a higher quality of personal information, this new approach appeals to a client’s own life and his or her goals.

 

Customer and advisor centric

 

Big data’s use in personalizing service is part of a bigger trend facing wealth management, namely digitalizing services to create new experiences for clients. From the customer’s side, this approach is more helpful and intuitive – even fun with a personalized client portal. But before the sector rushes to build out these experiences, the foundations must first be laid. This means centralizing all client information for enhanced client portals, advisor portals, client communication, and client reporting all on one flexible digital platform.

 

Rather than accepting bits of information spread across multiple systems, a professional should instead be able to view and control data on a single digital platform – a digital warehouse. This in turn allows the information to be processed through to digital advice and client communication, digital platforms, advisor portal, client portal, client reporting, CRM platforms, and money management tools.

The ability to access all information comes with the caveat that it needs to work across different mediums at any time. Therefore, firms need to consider mobile delivery and financial mobility as the company standard. This is achieved by using a digital platform that supports smartphones and tablets, bolstered by flexible, high-quality design to ensure true personalization.

Platform empowerment 

A unified digital platform is an enabler of better client experience, client communication, client reporting and overall management. Data is pivotal in making informed investment decisions – but without the accessibility that a digital platform provides, it’s as useless as a spreadsheet of incomprehensible data. Only by placing the data in context can we make sense of it.

Using data in this way provides a key business differentiator for investment firms looking over their collective shoulders at emerging (and in some cases now established) FinTechs. At InvestCloud, data aggregation and digital warehousing have been our bread and butter for the last seven years, and delivering personalized digital platforms is our standard. To compete effectively, investment firms need to adopt the approaches their customers want to see, not only to retain the current client base, but to attract a whole new generation of digitally savvy investors.

 

To find out how to leverage InvestCloud to give your clients what they want, request a demo through our website at www.investcloud.com/Demo or call us at +1 (888) 800-0188.