Financial advisor technology has come a long way since the early days of portfolio accounting software. Today’s wealth technology, commonly referred to as “wealthtech,” evolved from back-office solutions designed to make life easier for operations teams, and has expanded significantly to meet a wide variety of needs. From helping advisors become more efficient operationally, to enhancing capabilities to support the delivery of higher quality client service. In recent years, one of the leading trends has been investment in tools that help advisors better engage clients with a differentiated experience and more effective, personalized communication.
The rise of robo-advisors in the mid-2010s helped accelerate this trend. The robo-explosion exposed a lack of focus by traditional advisor wealthtech on the end client experience. Most technology providers had primarily focused on building solutions to help advisors with their daily workflows and tasks. After all, the advisors were the paying customers and solving their immediate pain points came first. The robo-era showed the power of a great online client experience, including digital communication tools. Because of that market evolution, we’ve seen a corresponding shift in resources and priorities among wealthtech providers so they can build solutions that help advisors communicate anytime, anywhere with clients, and deliver a better digital client experience.
A similar evolution is now happening with integrations within the wealthtech space. The first integrations between wealthtech platforms were intended to solve for operational needs like sharing large sets of data from one system to another and bi-directional workflows to help advisors streamline their daily tasks. However, a large opportunity remains to better integrate the investor experience and enhance the dialogue between advisors and clients. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic compelled advisors to leverage technology to connect with clients, technology researcher Aite Group observed, “Firms with an integrated digital strategy are raising the bar and will force more wealth management and asset management firms to accelerate their digital efforts.1”
The Black Diamond® Wealth Platform team has been working diligently with our network of integration partners to close this gap. The possibilities with the Black Diamond Relationship Timeline represents a huge step in this direction. Timeline lives within the Client Experience portal and is a digital communication tool presented alongside the client’s entire financial life. Sending investment updates, relevant news articles, and meeting notes are just some examples of how advisors are leveraging Timeline. What’s more exciting is Black Diamond’s integration partners are now connecting with Timeline, so advisors can seamlessly pull together content from a variety of sources for a comprehensive and centralized client communication experience. For example, RightCapital, Redtail CRM, and Asset-Map have already established Timeline integrations, allowing our mutual advisors to post onto their client’s Timeline straight from within those solutions. And with even more Timeline integrations on the way, the options will continue to grow. This is just another example illustrating that wealthtech integrations should be about much more than operational efficiency – it’s about helping advisors delight their clients.