The Fintech Pieces Are Finally Fitting Together
Source: FA-IQ, Feb. 16, 2017
BRUCE LOVE, MANAGING EDITOR, FINANCIAL ADVISOR IQ: Hi. This is Bruce Love with Financial Advisor IQ. And I’m here with Josh Pace, CEO of Trust Company of America. Josh, ultimately, Fintech is really supposed to be helping advisors to get in front of clients and leave all the nasty stuff to themselves. Is it actually doing that these days?
JOSHUA PACE, CEO, TCA: Absolutely. For advisors who see technology as a differentiator, they get to harness all that power. And their growth is really a function of how much time they can spend out growing their business and working with their clients. So it is an absolute game changer. We see it within our client base today that those that use a broad set of technology achieve much greater results in terms of growth.
BRUCE LOVE: There’s been a bigger focus on not only cost but also your ability to streamline technology. People really at certain levels in the advice business find it hard to work out what to do there. Where do they start? And what’s the ideal?
JOSHUA PACE: I think the ideal is having technology sets that actually already work together as opposed to being forced to weave them together yourself. Right. So you’re a financial advisor, we talk about that we want you in the front office versus the back office. If you’re spending all your time working with consultants and helpers or on how to get your CRM to talk to your custodial platform, that’s a poor trade-off of time. You’d be better served to work with the technology set that already works together because then you can automate an entire workflow. And that makes life easy.
BRUCE LOVE: Is that really easy to do, though, if you’re talking about legacy systems? And no one’s really doing this from scratch, are they?
JOSHUA PACE: Well, you’d be surprised that there are a lot of advisors that have their homegrown technology. Some of it goes back to when they started -- there wasn’t this technology out there, so they built it themselves.
And they’re trapped to a certain extent. But for now, all the stuff is readily available. If you want a great CRM, cool. There are a number of them that you can choose from.
And you want a piece of planning software, great. There’s a couple of good choices in risk software. They all exist today. And at least in our world, what we do is we build deep integrations so that your data and workflow can move seamlessly from one application into another so that it doesn’t feel like you’re changing into a different universe.
And I think when you do it yourself and you try to weave it together, it’s tough. It’s tough. It’s expensive. It’s time consuming. It’s risky.
BRUCE LOVE: Is that the big trend at the moment is systems that can not overlap but can bring everything together?
JOSHUA PACE: I think you see a lot of different business models. So you have some companies that they go out and buy best of breed solutions, weave them all together or attempt to weave them all together to have a unified solution. That is a viable path. It’s not our chosen path.
Then there’s the open architecture play, which is some that go mile wide, inch deep. So these integrations, it’s very easy to call something an integration. But they don’t have a lot of depth. So when put to the test in the workflow of the advisor, maybe it doesn’t fulfill all their needs.
And our approach has been to do fewer integrations but do them more deeply. So we’re open architecture with an opinion. And that is, I’m not going to tell you, hey, we work with 20 CRMs, we work with a couple. And these are the best ones from our vantage point.
And these are the reasons why we think you should use them. And, oh, by the way, the integration is done and you have a seamless workflow. That’s a game changer for an advisor. It saves hours upon hours of that back office.
BRUCE LOVE: Josh, thank you very much.
JOSHUA PACE: My pleasure.