A Scalable Investment Personalization Platform for Advisor Growth

Financial services have finally reached the capability for mass customization. This is none-too-soon as many other industries have been rushing ahead to build a high level of personalized or tailored offerings as the new standard for customer service and client engagement. Whether with books, music, entertainment, food, clothing, or social media, client digital experiences have become hyper-personalized. It is important for all advisors to note that this inexorable business trend is having the effect of changing client expectations for their other service providers, including financial services.            

The financial industry’s value proposition has been previously built on an insufficient discovery methodology around the Know Your Customer (KYC) rule and with a “one size fits most” approach. Now technology - armed with an expanded mindset and a truly client-centric approach - provides new ways to build better business models and value propositions. But to accomplish this change requires a deeper understanding of both human behavior and technology’s human design applications – the ability to calibrate every client or prospect into an individual with unique needs and goals in their financial life. It also comes down to the strategic mixing and matching of the right technologies into the right alchemical formula and flow to manifest an intensely relevant, end-to-end client journey experience that strongly reinforces its value proposition every step along the way.

To understand how this level of personalization is being built and enabling advisors to personalize their offerings at scale, we reached out to Institute Founding Innovator Member Dr. Vinay Nair, Founder & CEO of TIFIN – an AI-powered FinTech company that leverages data science, investment intelligence, and technology to help deliver engaging and personalized investor experiences. They just announced their WealthTech division, TIFIN Wealth, and merged several of their capabilities to launch a new platform, TIFIN Grow. The TIFIN platform combines TIFIN’s risk, planning, financial personality, and other related capabilities to drive personalization at scale for client engagement and advisor growth.

Hortz: What was your motivation for building this new platform? What problems did you see that the TIFIN Grow platform is addressing?

Nair: Everything we have done at TIFIN is designed to help make investing a powerful driver of financial well-being. We do this by eliminating frictions both investors and advisors face. When it came to developing TIFIN Grow, we saw an opportunity to create a platform that transforms the traditional compliance driven Know You Customer workflows which fails to capture who a client truly is and what matters most to them into a modern, intelligent process that allows advisors to prioritize prospects, customize their offering, and manage investment personalization at scale.

This is more important than ever before. We hear from advisors, especially the independent RIA channel, that they are hyper-focused on client acquisition and growth strategies over the next few years. A recent study from Schwab supports this thinking. The study highlights that 93% of firms expect to deliver growth in the next 5 years. The #1 way they expect to deliver growth is through client acquisition, and how they will succeed is by meeting each individual’s specific needs. All of this aligns with our thesis that hyper-personalized investment strategies are shifting from a “nice to have” to table stakes for any firm looking to grow.

Hortz: What are the different capabilities within the TIFIN Grow platform?

Nair: Over the last two years we have expanded our WealthTech division, TIFIN Wealth. As we launched new capabilities, we found synergies existed between our financial personality assessment, our fact-based risk tolerance platform, and our simple, conversational planning solution. And while many advisors may like to start their prospecting journey with a specific capability, they end up in a similar place proposing an investment recommendation.

With TIFIN Grow, we have merged our risk, planning, and personality capabilities and expanded the intelligence through our proprietary AI-based platform. This holistic offering is designed to improve the investment proposal process for prospects and streamline ongoing portfolio management through enhancement recommendations and Next Best Action prompts.

Hortz: What added value did you see in mixing your various solutions into an integrated platform?

Nair: TIFIN Grow helps an advisor understand a prospect’s unique concerns, circumstances, needs, and wants, allowing them to deliver a bespoke investment proposal. This evolves the traditional assessments input process into a growth driver we have coined KCYP, or “Know and Convert Your Prospect''. While knowledge is important, it does nothing to help grow an advisor's business without intelligence that drives action.

This consolidated insights platform also allows us to introduce a new prospect look-alike scoring capability known as TIFIN Prioritize. We assist advisors by identifying their best clients and providing an intelligent scoring system that can look across a list of potential prospects to match which prospects are the most similar to those clients. This empowers the advisor to prioritize their outreach efforts.

Hortz: Can you walk us through the process or steps that an advisor and their client would walk through on this platform and journey?

Nair: We have designed the TIFIN Grow UI so that it is easy to use and modular. We do not force a specific workflow or order of events. While we believe the real power of differentiation comes from the blending of assessment inputs from Risk, Plan, and Personality to create a truly customized investment strategy, an advisor may choose to activate only one or two inputs if that is appropriate and suitable for a specific client.

Hortz: What has been the feedback from advisors and their clients on this engagement path? Any interesting instances or case studies to share?

Nair: We saw early validation of the Grow framework early last year when we brought the TIFIN Risk capabilities onto our TIFIN Personality platform. While many of our forward-thinking advisors loved the deep insight into a prospect’s intrinsic financial motivations via their Personality scores, when we introduced our risk-scoring overlay this was met with a positive response and we saw more advisors create investment proposals utilizing the joint functionality. TIFIN Plan is the youngest of the three solutions (launched in Q4 of 2021), but when we added our Risk capabilities there, it again provided advisors with compliance coverage and reassurance to execute personalized investment proposals based on an individual’s specific planning needs.

Hortz: Any other recommendations or advice you can offer wealth managers on the need to grow their businesses through personalization at scale?

Nair: While investment personalization can provide a major advantage when it comes to successfully converting prospects, personalization needs to extend beyond the investment proposal. Once you are armed with deep client-level insights, this needs to continue into an ongoing nurture and engagement strategy.

Growth cannot happen without retaining your existing business. This is why TIFIN Wealth has also created an intelligent personalized engagement platform through Clout by TIFIN. We see Clout and Grow living side-by-side for many of our clients so that they can deliver scalable personalization throughout the client lifecycle. When executed properly, this powerful combination can create a flywheel to acquire clients, deepen relationships, and obtain referrals, all key to accelerating growth.