The Case for Technology Consolidation, Part One: Improving the Client Experience by Eliminating Software Silos

By Vestmark Inc., Resources

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There are few things more frustrating than unnecessarily opening and closing accounts. This break in continuity means that clients and advisors lose history, performance and even transaction details—all because an advisor is working with a siloed technology platform. Instead of operating with a platform that grows alongside a client’s wealth, legacy and piecemeal tech solutions force advisors and their clients into a situation that lacks the sophistication available for modern wealth managers.

While it may be tempting to try to smooth over silos with a patch here and a workaround there, a far more scalable and complete solution is to eliminate them altogether. It’s possible.

With the right technology partner, firms can roll multiple functions, tools and systems onto a single platform. The concerns that once dictated caution for making such a move—worries about paying for a feature that advisors weren’t using, for example, or overlooking a tool and creating a gap in a firm’s offerings—have been addressed by modern modularity. Today, firms can actually solve their silos with one solution, provided by a technology developer that’s obsessed with building and improving the latest software and services for wealth managers.

No More Patchy Workflows and Disconnected Systems

As firms merge, reorganize and hurriedly tack on solutions, wealth managers have been forced to add technology to advisors’ workflows in a scattered, inconsistent manner. Decisions are often reactive, with new investment models or evolving client preferences dictating firmwide changes.

Siloed technologies and multiple workflows often produced tremendous challenges, which ultimately manifested themselves to clients in the form of a poor client experience, especially for clients who grow wealthier and more tenured with an advisor.

Some of the more common “visible silos” affecting the client experience are:

  • Additional paperwork and repetitive client agreements for account openings and transfers.
  • Data inconsistencies caused by reporting issues, which trigger unproductive advisor-client conversations and erode trust.
  • The loss of performance history, historical valuations, original tax-lot data and transactions.
  • Multiple logins and clunky data transfers, leading to disengagement and dissatisfaction.
  • Cumbersome advisor-client communication, putting client relationships and referrals in jeopardy.

Clients don’t care how an organization is structured internally, how different vendors are formatting, pushing and pulling data, or which platforms offer certain investments. At every touch point they expect a streamlined, consistent experience that is focused on their goals. They want to be helped, supported and valued.

A poor client experience affects retention, growth, and profitability. But happy clients are loyal clients, who in turn refer more loyal clients.

Erase Siloes Through Platform Alignment and Consolidation

No one wants to wrestle with disconnected tech systems and multiple investing platforms. By consolidating and updating siloed, legacy technology, it’s possible to create a smoother, more nimble client experience.

Firms that consolidate their technology, relying on a partner that champions modularity, reap the rewards of client satisfaction and loyalty. Client referrals are an important way to grow a business and can create a flywheel of growth and profitability.

Consolidating a firm’s managed account technology into a unified platform with the right provider has several benefits to the overall client experience and for the firm:

  • Clients’ assets are easily transitioned between investment solutions as wealth grows, investment goals change, or the client’s tax, risk or other personalization expectations grow, without an advisor needing to close and open accounts to make adjustments.
  • Client information is shared across the platform, so that client preferences, investment restrictions, security categorization and other important data elements are treated consistently across all accounts.
  • Firms see a significant decrease in operational costs, along with greater functionality, by switching to a unified platform.

In short, unified platforms streamline the investment experience up and down the advice chain. Home offices that implement a silo-free, unified program attract top advisors—and the clients and assets served by those advisors. Supported by a robust platform, advisors can evolve with their clients over time, building trust, loyalty and organically attracting new assets.

Designed to enable wealth managers to provide the best client and advisor experience, Vestmark’s flexible, scalable platform supports advisors across all the services they offer and throughout the entire client lifecycle.

For more about how Vestmark’s silo-free technology stack empowers wealth managers to improve the advisor experience they offer, check out part two of our consolidation series, The Power of Tech Unification to Increase Advisor Satisfaction.

By Vestmark Inc., Resources