Wait a minute. Aren’t today’s tech solutions for independent broker dealers similar to those that have been around for decades? Why examine tech for a broker dealer platform now? The answer to these valid questions are found in the changing perspective of the role that a broker dealer platform holds.
Let’s take a look back: In the early 1980s, when computers were first introduced and on into the early 1990s, when we actually began to figure out how to program computers to find the information needed, the technology built by large advisor platforms was focused, naturally, on the specifics needed by their own associates, rather than for the industry at large. As other platforms were created, those were associated with large advisor groups, or affiliated collaboratives, as well. At this point in 2023, technology is now assumed to be the same across the board, irrespective of the entity creating it.
This is where we diverge. In the following, we’ll demonstrate why this assumption needs to move over for today’s tech. The best tech solutions now offer, suggest, and address more than ever before. Let’s take a look at the model of a broker dealer platform:
The consolidation of custody and clearing firms in today’s marketplace has brought together back-end platforms with limited options for other players. Whether for broker dealers or Registered Investment Advisors (RIA), the costs of building proprietary, customized tech for any one entity remains quite high. As a result, the tech already in place is often optimized by other entities using key elements from industry leaders. In any case, the tech has been continually improved and refined to fit industry models and standards across the board. Broker dealer platforms reflect these improvements and offer a sound tech base from which to execute.
Today’s best tech is for brokerage firms of all sizes. Whether behemoth or small-to-mid-sized brokerage firms, platforms offer open-architecture product access to facilitate implementation by representatives of any product through the platform. This is particularly helpful for smaller brokerage firms, as the tech holds superior execution capabilities at every level, allowing the advisors to leverage time spent in the process. The rapid execution capabilities lead to more time to search for and acquire new clients, thereby growing their organization, as a result.
Financial planning software solutions within the independent broker dealer platforms are specialized and highly-detailed to provide the most consistent and reliable forecasting, planning and results available. As such, broker dealers can utilize tech to perform due diligence and research thoroughly, which saves time overall and increases accuracy in the process.
Customer Relationship Management:
Customer relationship management software can cover almost every aspect of relationships, except the dynamic of “personal” touch. Within the advisor software, elements such as the following are often included:
- Organization: Files, Notes, Financial Information:
Connections between advisors and clients, prospects and coworkers
- Pipeline Management:
Opportunities outlined and managed
Create groups/individual views
File templates, tasks, reports, group/team activities
- Mail and Administrative:
Emails, Security, Mobile integrations
Broker dealers who have in-house advisors will want all the advantages of human resources and administrative oversight. Options include:
- Advisor incentive compensation planning
- Regulatory compliance
- Research/resource tools
Beyond the Best Tech
In addition to all of the tech solutions provided for independent broker dealers, we advise adding the “personal touch” of relationship-building. The available tech makes it easy to forget the faces behind the computer screens, but statistics indicate that people appreciate a personal relationship with those who handle their financial transactions or investment matters. For this reason alone, tech solutions should always combine with personal service and relationship-building. These will optimize opportunities, of course, but also build a depth of commonality that will be sustained despite economic changes, shifts in future trends, and other unknowns.
The word, “instrument” is a collective word, referring to any kind of monetary contract, much of which is included in broker dealer platforms. In a juxtaposition, the same word is used to indicate a key element necessary for growth: personal relationships are a key instrument in building a broker dealer firm, carrying as much a priority as are the best tech solutions. Whether seeking the tech needed for your firm or looking to improve processes to find additional products and solutions for your customers, consider the unique and valuable personal touch part of your firm to be the connective tissue of your business.