The return of the T3 - Technology Tools for Today financial technology conference in Denton,TX was an important event bringing together and creating a financial industry ecosystem of FinTech leaders, advisors, social media gurus, and industry executives. Joel Bruckenstein, T3’s organizer, proudly declared at the podium that the conference, after being physically closed due to the pandemic, had a record number of exhibitors and nearly 1,000 participants making this the biggest T3 event in the sixteen years of the conference’s history.
While there has been very good reporting on the speakers and key themes discussed, we asked Institute Founding member Nathan Stevenson, CEO of ForwardLane - an AI-powered insight automation platform that accelerates the productivity and meaningful engagement between financial advisors and their clients – to provide us with a conference participant review from his perspective as a FinTech CEO.
T3 2022 Conference Impressions
Written by: Nathan Stevenson, CEO, ForwardLane
The recent T3 - Technology Tools for Today wealth management conference in Denton,TX was a 4 day extravaganza of modern “wealth tech”. I was asked to report on the conference from an insider’s lens as a FinTech CEO and share thoughts on key trends and applications we see developing in modern technology for advisors in 2022.
3 Key Trends:
- Digitalization is happening, fast - From Neesha Hathi Chief Digital Officer at Schwab describing how they are building a digital platform foundation for RIAs; to Tamarac and MoneyGuidePro and Dani Fava support in EnvestNet’s Intelligent Financial Life ecosystem of solutions; to Orion’s Daniel Crosby sharing his innovative behavioral finance-based perspective on digital with the “Protect.Live.Dream” behavioral planning approach; to SEI’s extensive digitization of numerous complex processes; and FP Alpha’s exciting work in the Estate and Trust Planning space; there is no shortage of digital initiatives.
- Hyper Personalization is the goal - Personalization is at the core of just about every technology initiative across planning, custody, portfolio management, ESG, and certainly client engagement efforts. Personalization really means providing relevant, tailored, on-demand insights, advice and intelligence to clients when they need it most.
- Data is the differentiator - Tricia Haskins provided a powerful and passionate presentation on Digital Empowerment, while Sequoia Financial Group’s CTO, Trevor Chuna, talked about digital and how advisors can leverage data to provide a much-improved, personalized client experience; whether that is delivered through a client portal, mobile application, via email or in person. Matt Meinecke at RFG Advisory presented AI as an enabler for the modern RIA. This hybrid engagement model is deeply dependent on a firm's ability to activate data and analytics to generate insights that are meaningful.
A New Openness - I was inspired and excited by the collaborative nature of partnership discussions and an openness to dialog and co-operation in the ecosystem. In addition to Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres, Gavin Sptizner, Craig Iskovitz and John O’Connell connected the dots for many participants and continued to grow a thriving wealthtech ecosystem.
More firms are realizing that partnerships can make the circle bigger for everyone and that inter-connectivity provides a smoother, superior digital experience - just like the Apple AppStore and the connected digital experience across the Apple ecosystem. Oleg Tishkevich has embodied this new ideal with his Invent digital wealth integration ecosystem.
If we think towards the confluence of these trends, I wonder what we can expect to see from a real-world use perspective?
A Next Generation Advisor Experience - This is undoubtedly in the making, and it looks amazing:
- AdvisorEngine’s CEO, Rich Cancro showcased a fast, responsive CRM platform that looks and acts like their svelte minimalist modern design and enables personalization.
- FP Alpha demonstrated bringing complex estates and wills together with AI/NLP which then creates an easy-to-understand snapshot from dense documents.
- Evan Rapoport at SmartX showed how their modern trade execution engine is able to execute trades in real-time and offer true best execution to clients.
- Morningstar users will soon be benefiting from this impressive technology as it will power the Morningstar TAMP platform.
- Jenny Johnson, CEO of Franklin Templeton talked about digital and their investment in AdvisorEngine as the leading edge of that initiative and went beyond to talk about blockchain and how she is a major proponent of blockchain.
Together with behavioral insights and the ability to provide personalized portfolios at scale, the advisor of the future will be supercharged with a digital cockpit of insights, advice, and automation, and this will be shared with clients enabling them to benefit from all the latest and greatest technology, advice, education, and capabilities. Leveraging these technologies will provide advisors a much-needed deeper human connection with their clients.
This is an exciting time as AI, digital, blockchain, and other key technologies reach wider adoption. The future is bright for the next generation/millennial advisor who will look and feel a lot like Luke Skywalker leading people with digital enablement and empowerment, helping them become their best financial selves.