The rapid shift to newer, faster and better technology is impacting the relationship between advisors and clients.
On Wednesday Adhesion Wealth Advisor Solutions announced it improved its WealthADV technology platform to provide more ways for investment advisors to communicate with clients. The newest development: clients can now check their portfolios and performance reports with the iPad as well as most Mac and Microsoft Windows-based devices.
With more customers adopting smartphones and now tablet computers, advisors are starting to jump on the bandwagon with the realization that they need to keep up with their clients.
In the second quarter, 14.7 million smartphones were sold in the United States, according to anAug. 2 report from market research firm Canalys. And Apple sold 3 million units of the iPad in less than three months of its release.
“It’s time for Advisor 3.0,” said Michael Stier, president and CEO of Adhesion, in a press release. “The industry is experiencing a series of events that will likely change it forever—financial crises, failed institutions, and regulatory changes; consolidation, breakaway brokers, and a ‘post-Madoff-wary’ investor. There is a fundamental reshaping of the industry taking place, and Adhesion has created the solutions that will help RIAs thrive from the resulting opportunities.”
Adhesion’s client portal enhancement is the first phase of a major upgrade to the company’s WealthADV platform, the company said. In October, Adhesion will start to roll out an array of new capabilities, including new capabilities for advisors to interact with and analyze client portfolio and practice data; complete WealthADV access for advisors via the iPad; and iPhone and Android-based apps for clients with smart phones.
During this first phase, clients can pull up current market values, portfolio holdings, or other recent activity from their iPad or other web-browsing device. Advisors will no longer have to print and send out performance reports; it will all be available online.
“While nothing is better than a face-to-face meeting with a client, we plan to leverage Adhesion’s new client access capabilities to build even closer connections to their daily lives,” said Philip Brice, managing principal at Elliott Davis Investment Advisors (EDIA), in a press release. “Our intent is to continue to stand out as a leader in a competitive environment and use the most advanced capabilities to actively grow our business.”
Adhesion is not alone. Securities America, for instance, offers an entirely Web-based workstation for its 1,900 affiliated advisors, and wants to make a lot of those applications available on the iPhone by yearend. Once testing is complete, advisors will be able to access client account balance and transaction information directly from fund companies. Meanwhile, Brinker Capital, an investment management firm based in Berwyn, Pa., introduced a suite of applications in April that allow financial advisors to access client information, view their assets under management by product type, monitor the status of clients’ incoming business as assets are incorporated into their portfolios, track the status of clients’ deposits and distributions and read Brinker’s blogs. Clients can access a message center, get detailed account information and instantly dial an advisor’s phone number with a click. More than 130 investors and advisors have signed up for Brinker’s mobile apps, which are compatible with iPhone, BlackBerry and Treo devices, and 78 of them were advisors, according to John Coyne, president of Brinker Capital.