Advisors eager to uncover the next technology trends affecting their industry should take a peak at FinTech Innovation Lab. Not yet three years old, the incubator links start-ups with 14 financial partners, including Bank of America, UBS and Capital One, to help develop new technology products for the financial services market. Recent graduates include Aqumin, a graphics developer for financial data, and True Office, which teaches compliance needs through gaming. We caught up with two of its lead sponsors, Bob Gach, Accenture’s managing director for glocal capital markets industry practice and Maria Gotsch, president and CEO for the Partnership for New York City Fund who explained how some tools are making it easier for reps to adopt lower net worth clients, and why advisors shouldn’t ignore the technology working its way through their world.
Wealthmanagement: What are some core trends reps should have on their radar?
Maria Gotsch: Some tools are potentially opening a way for investment managers to reach groups which may have not been cost effective before. The traditional investment manager at a large institution want a minimum number of assets, which is a fairly high number. It’s not cost effective for an investment manager to spend the time with those with smaller accounts. But if you can use technology to give them information, you can aggregate 10 people with $100,000 to use technology more efficiently.
In the last couple of years we’ve also seen number of tools where companies are willing to white label them for a big money manager to offer their clients. This kind of data can be pretty rich. If you have a tool which is about helping you save for college, where family members can contribute, you have a lot of information about your clients. But you are also providing a service, a value add even before you take a dollar of their money.
Bob Gach: Technology can be disruptive or adaptive. You can’t afford to ignore it. People want to have more choice. Technology provides individuals with more access. So we are seeing a fundamental shift in how individual managers can and should interact with people. Instead of being a product push, with a little bit of support and with some high level planning, managers have the opportunity to be involved in the activity of the investor like college planning. Then, instead of a point to point solution, it’s more an ecosystem.