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Eugene Elias
Where do you see wealth management heading?
In the current cycle, complexity is just going to increase. The ability for advisors to serve the full financial needs of a client will continue to expand. That’s not just the assets but liability, insurance, long-term healthcare and the other dimensions. The question becomes, how do you broaden the spectrum of services?

The goal is to become that trusted independent advisor for the entire family. To do that, product sets must become more complex, especially dealing with intergenerational families. The end product has to meet those demands in a very personalized way.

Read more about In|Vest speaker Eugene Elias of Atria Wealth
How can advisors create intergenerational relationships?
There’s a massive amount of attrition when both spouses die and the surviving relatives move the assets to another firm. And yet advisors are not doing enough to meet with the entire family — either children or grandchildren.

How do we help advisors not lose assets in the wealth transfer process? It’s not really about how much wealth a client has but what the advisor is doing to serve the entire needs of the client. That has a lot to do with the next generation.
How can technology play a role in bridging that gap?
Design tools that help facilitate the family relationships. For example, for aging parents there is a tremendous amount of information — a lot of documentation and login credentials — that are needed to effectively manage those assets. So, create a client portal that gives the client the ability to upload wills and annuities documentation, for example, in a digital environment where the children can also access those documents in one repository. That’s where technology is helping enhance the client relationship and helping advisors provide additional value.
How should advisors be handling cybersecurity?
Security, security, security. Are advisors allocating the right amount of capital into the security infrastructure? Are advisors hiring the right people to maintain and control the data? Are all the holes plugged? This is where advisors really have to spend the money and resources. The whole financial services world is being affected, including the biggest banks and largest wealth managers. Security can be even more daunting for the midsized and smaller shops.
Where is advisor technology most effective?
What the robots were supposed to do to the wealth management industry was supplant the advisor and create a world where there was no need for human advice. What we have actually seen is the robo advisors morphing into a more hybrid model.

There is a need for human advisors. Use technology not just for technology’s sake but to solve business problems. In our industry there are a number of problems to solve and a big one is the intergenerational transfer of wealth. Deploy technology to combat those problems with the sole purpose of strengthening and enhancing the relationship between advisor and client.
How is the relationship between the client and advisor changing?
How clients consume advice today is different than their parents or grandparents. There are plenty of clients who want to work with an advisor, but the caveat is that they want to be digitally connected. But at the center of a new technological approach is the advisor and human connectivity.

The human will never be commoditized. Tech will be commoditized. What are you doing that the person-to-person relationship with the advisor is constantly being enriched and enhanced to create the value prop. We have to be thinking about different way ts to connect to clients.