WSR Hosts A Roundtable With Future Proof Wealth Festival Participants Matt Middleton Of Advisor Circle, Sindhu Joseph Of CogniCor, Ryan George Of Docupace And Glenn Elliott Of Practifi
The Future Proof wealth technology festival, which hopes to be held largely outdoors, officially kicked off Sunday and will run through Wednesday in Huntington Beach, Calif. As the financial services industry approaches its fall conference season, it’s worth asking if there’s sufficient appetite for yet another entrant to the wealthtech conference market.
Historically, the premier wealthtech event has been the T3 Advisor Conference hosted by Joel Bruckenstein in partnership with Bob Veres. That conference resumed live events in May, after a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, with its highest attendance ever at approximately 1,000 people showing up in Denton, Texas.
Wealth Management magazine, having hired business-side talent from its industry news competitors, forayed into hosting its own well attended EDGE conference a few weeks later in Hollywood, Fla.
But, at a certain point, how much is too much in wealthtech events, and will marketing budgets have to align with the most ROI for attending such events? By disrupting established wealthtech organizers, the pandemic created a window for new event organizers to inaugurate their own conferences.
Perhaps the latest example of this is Future Proof. It remains to be seen whether the new conference will become a popular annual must-attend event. At the very least, we have no indication that it will become the financial services version of the 2017 Fyre Festival debacle.
With that in mind, we connected with the organizer of Future Proof and three participating financial advisor-focused wealthtech providers on what to expect at the inaugural event:
- Matt Middleton is CEO and Co-Founder of Advisor Circle, a content and product studio for the financial services industry and the creator of Future Proof.
- Sindhu Joseph, Ph.D., is CEO and Co-Founder of CogniCor, an artificial intelligence-based (AI) business automation platform that aims to provide operational efficiency and productivity.
- Ryan George is Chief Marketing Officer at Docupace, a cloud-based solutions provider focused on digitizing and automating operations.
- Glenn Elliott is CEO & Co-Founder of Practifi, a platform that strives to automate workflows, create rich client records, and access advanced analytics in a unified experience.
Now that we’ve had our say, we will let them speak in their own words. We begin our roundtable discussion with a Q&A where Middleton explains why he launched the event and what he hopes the industry will get out of it.
WSR: What wealth management industry need is the new Future Proof festival solving, given the numerous longstanding annual events by various major players in the space?
Middleton: Future Proof is bringing together a diverse group of financial leaders, institutional investors, asset managers, fintech startups, creators, activists, artists, musicians and other personalities, which is why we coined it “the world’s largest wealth festival.” The goal is for participants to expand their perspectives and challenge their thinking about the wealth management industry.
If you’re exposed to and attending the same “major” conferences year in and year out, you’re not getting uncomfortable and having radical and frank discussions about how to improve the wealth management industry. It’s our opinion that Future Proof’s audience is the most engaged multi-generational investor audience ever to gather. It is purposely not limited to traditional finance and is meant to challenge the conference status quo, to the benefit of all participants.
WSR: Who should attend the festival? What will these types of attendees get out of it, which is useful for their business, that they can’t get elsewhere?
Middleton: We encourage participation from anyone who touches the wealth management industry and are ready to welcome more than 2,000 attendees. This groundbreaking event is bringing together our industry’s most prominent figures and emerging minds to explore the intersection of money, tech, culture and impact like never before.
To create a truly unique and differentiated event, we have invested heavily in the environment / community to create a seamless experience, from registration to customizing your days to booking meetings.
Attendees can optimize their time, and personalize their own Future Proof experience, all from the attendee portal in our interactive festival app. Whether you’re there to learn best practices from peers, network and grow your business or simply to challenge the way you think, everyone will walk away from the festival with something beneficial to their business.
Putting people first, Future Proof believes shared experiences create connections, build lasting relationships and will help drive the industry forward.
WSR: Why is much of the event being held outdoors, what happens to the outdoor agenda sessions if it rains, and will the event be available online or virtually for people who cannot attend in person?
Middleton: Future Proof is an immersive, four-day outdoor citywide event, which has never been done or even attempted in our industry. It is unlike your father’s stuffy hotel ballroom conferences and is built to spark conversation and collaboration, featuring a half-mile long space with multiple stages alongside one of California’s top beaches.
The weather is looking great … after all it is California. There will be no virtual or online component to Future Proof, with the exception of content being posted to YouTube, following the event.
Sindhu Joseph, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of CogniCor, explains why she is a presenting on the Future Proof panel called Wealth Management and AI: The Complete Story.
“When Chief Information Officers at wealth management firms think of how AI can create efficiencies, most are thinking about fraud detection or automated trading capabilities. But, one of the biggest challenges financial advisors and wealth firms face today is how to focus on providing high-touch service to clients amidst numerous regulatory processes while providing sound investment advice.
“There’s a premium placed on time and attention. We aim to alleviate those challenges with digital assistants that provide scalability and automation. When implemented correctly, AI-enabled technology can enhance a firm’s ability to deliver services to advisors, agents and clients.
“These tools allow well-trained teams to provide better experiences faster and with fewer mistakes with lower or no additional investment in human resources. That’s important when the industry is facing labor shortages and the greatest wealth transfer set to occur over the next two decades.
“The upcoming Future Proof conference will provide innovators and service providers with the platform to discuss catalysts for change in the wealth management industry. I’ll join Andrew Altfest, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at FP Alpha, and Ryan Lawler, a fintech reporter for Axios on a panel on the opportunities for AI applications across the wealth management space. I’m honestly looking forward to the event and the chance to find ways to address the next set of challenges facing this industry.”
Ryan George, Chief Marketing Officer at Docupace, explains why Docupace is a sponsor of Future Proof and why he is attending the event personally.
“One of the most substantial advancements in our industry has been the proliferation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs. Advisory firms with a grasp on the who, what, why and how of their clients and prospects find their teams ahead of the pack. Using this information efficiently leads to better engagement, expansion of wallet share and clients willing to recommend services to friends and family.
“Firms that want to utilize this data at the next level will allocate additional funds and more resources toward digitizing and automating data collection. By streamlining this process, firms can hold larger data sets and create better personalized recommendations while making the process easier for back-office professionals. The interconnected themes of data management, automation, AI and much more will be at the center of the Future Proof event.
“However, for me, the most important aspect of this event will be operating within the community it will create. If this industry can slingshot itself into the future, the disruptors and big thinkers at this event may be the only group able to make it happen. Future Proof isn’t just a gathering of financial services professionals hanging out on the beach. It’s the event where our community will decide where we’re going.”
Glenn Elliott, CEO & Co-Founder of Practifi, explains why Practifi is conducting an official demonstration at Future Proof.
“The ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of data has changed the wealth management industry in recent years. From client behavior patterns to market movements and planning trends, the democratization of analytics and data management has empowered boutique firms to compete with the larger players, even in a period of significant consolidation.
“This trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future as more and better tools come on the market for firms and individual advisors that allow them to create personalized solutions based on data-informed business insights. These tools increase business efficiency while remaining compliant with industry regulations. Frankly, wealth management firms cannot perform without data-driven, personalized client experiences.
“Future Proof will explore this data-driven trend, AI, automation and much more. These gatherings are critical for the wealth management and technology industries – they bring together thinkers, innovators and investors, providing the theoretical with a real-world testing platform. We are excited to interact with our peers and other members of the wealthtech and fintech communities to advance our industry and further improve the wealth management experience.”
Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at email@example.com