How Broker-Dealers Can Compete with Robo-Advisors

2 min read
  • Financial Services
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Process Automation

Broker-dealers are finding it increasingly difficult to attract millennial investors while still building relationships and effectively servicing their current clients—especially with robo-advisors encroaching into the industry.

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Timothy Welsh, President and Founder of Nexus Strategy, LLC, and James Simos, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Infinity Financial Services, recently co-hosted a webinar that highlighted how technology like Laserfiche enterprise content management (ECM) can help broker-dealers remain competitive. With Laserfiche ECM driving operational processes, broker-dealers are able to:

  • Capture information more quickly and accurately
  • Comply with SEC and FINRA compliance requirements
  • Enhance customer services

Here are the three key takeaways to successfully utilizing technology like Laserfiche ECM:

1) Streamline and Automate NIGO/IGO Reviews with Laserfiche Workflow

Data entry is a mainstay in broker-dealer firms. Client information needs to be collected, entered and reentered. “That’s where all the errors and inconsistencies creep in and tasks fall through the cracks,” says Welsh. “A lot of streamlining business now is about removing this type of friction.”

Infinity Financial Services used Laserfiche Workflow to achieve automation with its NIGO/IGO document review process. “As soon as a document hits our server, a reviewer will automatically receive a notification from Laserfiche,” says Simos. “We get eyes on the documents, and we can update the status with a click of a button. That kicks off a workflow that automatically archives the documents according to SEC and FINRA recordkeeping rules.”

2) Achieve Greater Technology Adoption with User-Friendly Tools

Having the most innovative technology that automates every task is pointless if no one is using it. “It’s important to make your tools intuitive so that people can use it,” says Welsh. “It requires leadership from the top down to make it clear why the organization needs the technology and how it can improve operations.”

“We have a policy in our firm that a document should be on its way to be processed within an hour, and the broker who is working with the client should get an update on the submitted document within 24 hours,” says Simos. “As financial advisors, we’re always looking at emails. Email works for us, and that’s the way our process works—we get email notifications.”

With Laserfiche driving Infinitity Financial Services’ NIGO/IGO approval process, emails are automatically generated and sent to designated reviewers. Even if a staff member forgets or overlooks the first email notification of a document review, Laserfiche automatically sends an email reminder to ensure the process will always continue to move forward.

3) Create Customer Focused Experiences Through Integration

At the end of the day, the broker-dealer industry is a service industry. “A lot of what separates human advisors from robo-advisors is the service,” says Welsh. “These ECM tools are meant to help advisors compete with robo-advisors while maintaining the human element.”

Like all broker-dealers, Infinity Financial Services uses a client relationship management (CRM) system to view client information. However, clients shouldn’t have to wait while advisors work through multiple applications to respond to a simple inquiry. “Integration is important when a firm uses multiple technology applications like a CRM and ECM,” says Simos. “Our advisors are able to work in the CRM to retrieve client information stored in Laserfiche without having to switch back and forth between programs.

Learn more about how Laserfiche ECM technology can help broker-dealers streamline operations by getting the white paper, ROI for RIAs: The Bottom-Line Impact of Enterprise Content Management Software for Financial Advisors.

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