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Retention with Technology

06/21/2022

The right tech stack is no longer nice to have, but mission critical for retaining financial advisor talent

Throughout the pandemic, the relationship between financial advisors and their clients was  clearly put to the test. Encouragingly, despite many headwinds, McKinsey’s 10th annual PriceMetrix report found that the value of advisor-to-client advice was on full display recently, as advisors achieved record client and asset retention. The right tech stack played a meaningful role in driving advisor success.

 

Yes, Advisors Leave for Better Technology

However, despite FinTech and WealthTech solutions building positive momentum, the road ahead is less certain. A clear trend in the advisory world is a shift away from traditional broker-dealers toward the Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) structure. The data tells the story. According to the 2022 FINRA Industry Snapshot, the number of FINRA-registered firms has steadily declined from 3,726 in 2017 to 3,394 last year. Total representatives dipped from 630,235 to 612,457 in that time. Meanwhile, the growth in RIAs continued unabated. The same report found that “Investment Advisor Firms Only” ticked up from 29,600 in 2017 to 31,669 in 2021.

 

 

Registered Representatives by Firm Size, 2017–2021, Count as of Year-End. (Source: FINRA

 

The Problem: Technology

What’s driving advisors and representatives away from big wealth management firms to the RIA structure? technology angst. In a 2020 study by Broadridge Financial Solutions, 77% of advisors said they lost business due to not having the right technology tools. The pandemic underscored the need for advisors, both at the broker-dealer level and within RIA shops, to own the best tech stack for ideal client experiences.

 

“As wealth management firms across North America look to attract and retain talent, they should be aware that one in two financial advisors often think about leaving their firm to join one with better technology,” said Donna Bristow, Managing Director at Broadridge Financial Solutions.

 





Bad Tech Leads to Losing Business (Source: Broadridge Financial Solutions)

 


It Takes the Right Technology to Retain Advisors

Another 2020 survey found that winning the talent war requires the right technology. According to J.D. Power’s U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study, investment in technology programs has been strong, but the execution of those tools has been weak. It’s not enough to simply throw a bunch of tech programs at advisors. Coalescing market data, client information, and services tools means little if advisors’ need for efficiency and scalability are not met. Tech must be well-integrated and meaningful to satisfy advisors at broker-dealers. The help of software experts is needed.

 

Teaming with Halo

Halo Investing has solutions to help meet the demands of advisors. For broker-dealers, Halo can be a tech provider to help stop turnover and make advisors happy. Partnering with Halo means you will have seamless technology that can save time and money all while improving client relationships. We’ve built an award-winning financial technology platform focused solely on helping advisors, banks, and insurance companies make business more efficient.

Better technology will help wirehouses halt the trend of losing advisors to other channels. Just recently, InvestmentNews Research reported that the RIA channel gained 1,530 advisors in 2021, while wirehouses lost 2,065. This comes as Wall Street firms, according to the report, pour money into technology and acquisitions – yet they are still losing the fight to keep quality advisors. 

 

How to Keep Talent

Advisors today often like to operate in niches. That means specializing in a particular segment of the investing and planning landscape. For some advisors, that could be working solely with retirees of a particular profession. The key to success often involves becoming an expert and providing differentiated solutions. That’s where Halo steps in. Structured notes and other protective investments available through Halo’s tech platform can make it simple, fast, and inexpensive to explore defined-outcome financial solutions with risk-conscious retirees. With next-gen capabilities, advisors at broker-dealers can then better compete with other planners in product offerings and client experiences. 

 

Halo is Independent

Unlike some of our competitors, Halo Investing is not beholden to any large bank holding company. Our sole focus is improving advisors’ business and positively impacting investors. Protective investments offered on our platform are not influenced by any single issuer. Moreover, Halo handles back-end processes that often hamper advisors’ day-to-day. We address the operational tech needs and desires of advisors working for large wirehouses and broker-dealers. 

Halo’s offering brings it all together. We integrate wealth management processes from brokerage to insurance to general advisory activities. Halo helps advisors with daily reporting of annuity products, incorporating protective investments into traditional portfolios, making account opening and management seamless, all while helping fee-based advisors win new business.

 

The Bottom Line

The right tools are required for advisors to achieve scale and grow their book. Saving time, minimizing expenses, and improving client engagement are top of mind among advisors.The transition out of wirehouses and into the independent channel continues. According to several industry studies, it has become a major challenge among large investment firms to retain top talent due to poor technology and execution. Halo is here to change that. Our tech stack solutions and team of financial professionals can help advisors get up and running quickly.

 

 

Halo Investing is not a broker/dealer. Securities offered through Sentinus-Halo Securities LLC, a SEC registered broker/dealer and member of FINRA/SIPC. Sentinus-Halo Securities LLC is affiliated with Halo Investing Insurance Services and Halo Investing. Sentinus-Halo Securities LLC acts solely as distributor/selling agent and is not the issuer or guarantor of any structured note products.