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Advisors Can Learn A Lot from Automators

August 8, 2016

Broker-dealers and RIAs worried about robo-advisors understand the upstarts’ appeal and are willing to learn from it, guest columnist Linda Ding writes in WealthManagement.com.

Eliminating paper, centralizing digital content and automating complex processes such as the onboarding process, compliance and disaster recovery are essential to surviving the digital advice race, according to Ding, an executive at document-management software maker Laserfiche.

Ding points to Rehmann Financial, a firm that set up enterprise-content-management software to make it cheaper to share documents. In turn, such systems, integrated with customer-relationship-management systems, can make customer service more efficient as well, she writes.

Once documents are centralized and digitized, it’s also easier to automate day­-to-­day business processes, Ding writes. At Rehmann Financial, this means reducing time for opening new accounts and onboarding new representatives, as well as automating compliance tasks, such as routing correspondence to the appropriate supervisors. It also means creating more time to deliver hands-­on personalized attention to investors — the majority of whom still prefer a good relationship with a human advisor but also want online and digital capabilities, according to a recent Gallop study cited by Ding.

Meanwhile, on the robo side of things, Wealthfront is denying it’s having trouble keeping talent, WealthMangement.com reports. The robo advisor has seen several senior-management departures recently, including its product chief and chief operating officer.

Now though, Wealthfront says it has recruited three new executive-­level staff: vice presidents of engineering and research, and a general counsel.

The earlier departures, Wealthfront’s director of communications tells WealthManagement.com, were a matter of “business as usual” in Silicon Valley.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the WealthManagement.com article cited in this story, click here.