Selecting a New Wealth Management Platform? 8 Factors to Focus on When Making Your Final Decision

By Vestmark Inc., Resources

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When looking to evolve your technology, there’s so much to consider that the process often feels overwhelming. Not only are there an ever-increasing number of platforms catering to wealth management firms, but each one has a multitude of features, functions, and capabilities. Once you narrow down your options, you have the added challenge of whether it’ll “play nice” with your existing tech, or if even more changes are needed. Not to mention, adopting new operational procedures can be a time-consuming and energy-intensive process for staff members. Nobody wants all that time, effort, and capital going to waste if the tech turns out to be the wrong fit.

The good news is that finding your next wealthtech partner doesn’t have to be the long, tedious task you may have experienced in the past. By honing in on the most important factors during your search, you can gain a better understanding of which platforms will best serve your firm now and in the future.

Here are 8 factors we encourage you to consider as you research potential wealth management platforms.

Factor #1: The Client Experience

First and foremost, you should have a clear understanding of how their platform enhances your clients’ experience. Start by asking if there are any client-facing features, such as a portal they can log in to or personalized reporting. If the platform is intended only to be accessed by your advisors or support staff, then ask the provider how it’ll enable advisors to better serve their clients on the backend.

Factor #2: Innovation & Roadmap

Just as you have goals and growth objectives for your firm, the fintech provider you’re considering likely has forward-focused plans as well. Before committing to a provider, you should have a good understanding of what path the company is currently on. Do they plan to revamp their offerings in the near future? Will they still be relevant to your needs? Are you able to grow together as long-term partners?

    Factor #3: Scalability & Flexibility

    Similar to what we mentioned above, ask your potential provider how their platform can accommodate your future growth and evolving needs. How flexible is the platform? Will it adapt to your specific workflows and integrations? If you need to unlock additional features or storage space down the road, can that be easily done? Will it disrupt your firm’s workflow?

    If you’re locked into a fairly rigid contract, it may be difficult to adjust the parameters of your partnership as you grow (or scale back).

    Factor #4: Pricing & Transparency

    Of course, protecting your bottom line should be a top priority. Make sure you know exactly what you’ll be charged for and what’s included in that price. Ask about the possibility of additional costs in the future or any hidden fees you may be unaware of now.

    Make sure you also understand the pricing structure. Is it a monthly subscription fee? Is there a discount for a multi-year commitment? Is an up-front investment required? Are additional features available “a la carte”?

    Factor #5: Data Ownership & Security

    Something that often slips by during the selection process is the matter of data ownership. Be sure to ask your potential provider about their data ownership policies and what sort of processes are involved in the event you want to export data in the future.

    Along that same line, make sure your partner has adequate cybersecurity measures in place to protect your clients’ sensitive and confidential data.

    Factor #6: Community & Support

    Companies tend to put their best foot forward during the sales process. But once you become a full-fledged client, you’ll still want to receive timely responses to your questions and easy access to the platform’s customer service team members. Find out what sort of training materials or resources are provided and if there are any user forums to connect with other users on.

    Whenever an issue occurs, it can stop your firm’s operations in its tracks. It’s important to resolve concerns quickly, and that depends on the platform’s support system and procedures.

    Factor #7: References & Case Studies

    Most well-established wealth management technology leaders will have ample case studies and success stories to share. If these aren't readily available, be sure to ask for access to them. You may also want to find a previous or current user you can talk to about their experience with the platform.

    Factor #8: Compliance & Regulatory Considerations

    Tech providers who specifically serve wealth management professionals should be well aware of your compliance needs, but it’s always good to double-check their specific standards and processes. You may even want to ask what they do to keep up with the evolving regulatory landscape to ensure they aren’t following outdated rulings.

    Need Help Selecting Your Next Fintech Partner?

    Selecting a new platform is a strategic decision with long-term implications. By focusing on the important factors that will impact your new tech partnership, you can better identify the right long-term platform for your unique needs.

    Download “Empowering Growth: A Guide to Selecting the Right Wealth Management Platform” now for an even deeper dive into making smart, strategic additions to your tech stack.

    By Vestmark Inc., Resources