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There’s A Way to Measure Tech/Human Interplay

March 14, 2018

To keep up with the changing landscape of wealth management options and regulatory changes, most financial advisors know they have to deliver more to their clients while using less time and fewer resources, SEI says in a press release outlining the results of a survey and highlighting a way to measure outcomes from this balancing act.

Several factors have contributed to a shift from advisor-centric planning to more personalized and client-centric collaborative investment processes, SEI says.

Sharper focus on the fiduciary standard, competition from robo-advisors and changes in how consumers approach wealth management put pressure on advisors to do more than ever, according to the report.

Fortunately, advisors have a growing array of technological tools to assist them in doing just that, according to the report, based on a survey of 542 advisors.

But, while advisors should remember that adding technology to their practice is “pivotal,” they still need to balance it with the human component, John Anderson, head of practice-management solutions at SEI, says in the report. The trick is to combine both to add value, he says.

To measure the effects of combining “high-tech” with “high-touch,” Oaks, Pa.-based SEI partnered with financial software provider ActiFi to assess 46 advice firms from September 2015 to December 2017.

They found that adopting automated processes, for example, helped advisors better engage with clients, according to SEI. While before implementing the processes, 70% of advisors agreed or somewhat agreed that they lacked time for client-related work such as meetings, prospecting and financial planning, 41% fewer advisors felt that way after implementing automation, the survey found.

This came with a 66% increase in the number of clients they were able to serve, according to SEI.

By Alex Padalka