Future Proof Kicks Off With Emotional Connections And Product Launches

Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Jamie Hopkins On Living With Purpose, Stephanie Bogan On Effective Leadership, Josh Brown And Brad Gerstner On $1,000 Investments For Babies, Morningstar Rolls Out New Research And Product Enhancements, And Practice Intelligence Is Launching Its Client-Focused Insights Platform For Advisors And Firms In Q4

The second annual Future Proof Festival kicked off in Huntington Beach, California, on Sunday with what may be one of the most personal keynote speeches ever delivered at a wealth management conference.

Jamie Hopkins, Managing Partner of Wealth Solutions at Carson Group, spoke of the death of his father during a construction job site accident when Hopkins was 8 years old, how his mother continued the family business from that time through the present, and how Hopkins himself endured broken bones during his quest to exercise by running every day for over eight years.

Jamie Hopkins, Managing Partner of Wealth Solutions, Carson Group

His point in revealing these life events was to encourage his fellow wealth management professionals in attendance to find their intention in life, their “why” or their purpose and drive, as well as the importance of a conviction mindset, relevant experience, grit and adaptability.

“I want this profession to take care of families like my parents,” said Hopkins, explaining that they lacked a will and life insurance at the time of his father’s death. “Great leaders come in with conviction,” he insisted, adding that “as we move through this business we have to be able to adapt. Companies that are more adaptable grow faster. This profession adapts. We need to be able to adapt.”

Effective Leadership

Stephanie Bogan, Founder, Limitless Adviser Coaching

Stephanie Bogan, Founder of Limitless Adviser Coaching, presented “The 6 Mindsets of Highly Effective Leaders”: direction setting, alignment, mobilizing, engagement, connection and effectiveness. She exhorted advisors to be bold and confident on a daily basis, which in part translates into charging clients what the advisor is actually worth instead of accepting discounts in order to land prospects.

Bogan also insisted that great leaders embrace uncertainty and inclusiveness. She told the audience to implement systems for elevating team performance and team psychology, as well as to help a firm’s stakeholders help the business.

“Excellent leaders show up for their teams,” she said. “All of your success happens with and through other people.”

Investing In America

Brad Gerstner, Founder and CEO, Altimeter Capital Management

Ritholtz Wealth Management CEO Josh Brown spoke with Altimeter Capital Management Founder and CEO Brad Gerstner about the concept of “baby equity” – Brown’s phrase for Gerstner’s push for a nationwide mandate to establish $1,000 investment accounts at birth for all newborn Americans, who would have to keep a significant portion of the money invested for 50 years.

The proposal for a roughly $3.7 billion annual initiative is envisioned as involving government backing and the services of financial institutions in order to mend what Gerstner warned is a growing, unsustainable schism between capitalism and democracy. In theory, the value proposition includes stronger financial health for regular people while financial institutions would compete for the accounts to gain lifelong clients.

“Once we set up the infrastructure, the power of the private sector will kick in,” Gerstner said.

Morningstar Rollouts

On Monday morning, timed to coincide with Future Proof, Morningstar rolled out its new The Voice of the Advisor report, unveiled its Enterprise Analytics suite of dashboards through the Morningstar Advisor Workstation, and announced that its “Mo” AI chatbot that debuted in May is available through a new Intelligence Engine API service.

The Voice of the Advisor, which captured data from more than 600 U.S. financial advisors and wealth managers, reports that advisors who provide a wide range of products to their clients say alternatives are 14% to 19% of their total AUM, that advisors spend an average of 20 hours per week on client-focused activities and that 27% of advisors plan to expand their offerings in the next 12 months.

Lee Davidson, Chief Analytics Officer, Morningstar

Enterprise Analytics will have a Compliance Dashboard available at the end of the month, an Insights Dashboard will provide a holistic view of a firm’s investment recommendations and a Performance Dashboard will offer benchmarking metrics that show firms how their advisors perform against the industry or their peer groups.

The Intelligence Engine API aims to help financial services firms build their own generative AI solutions by pulling from Morningstar’s independent data, research and editorial content – while allowing firms to integrate their own proprietary research.

“Mo has answered tens of thousands of investment research questions in a few short months, demonstrating the impact generative AI can have on this space,” said Lee Davidson, Chief Analytics Officer at Morningstar. “Resources are tight, and firms are looking for ways to streamline processes with AI. The Intelligence Engine API enables teams to redefine workflows, shifting analyst focus away from recurring tasks and toward higher value activities.”

Practice Intelligence

Tom Rieman, Founding Partner and CEO, Practice Intelligence

Tom Rieman, Founding Partner and CEO of Practice Intelligence, also spoke with Wealth Solutions Report about his new growth platform that is launching in the fourth quarter. It is designed to help advisors and their firms align their practices with the behaviors and services their clients find most meaningful.

The research-based platform strives to highlight client sentiment on core attributes that define the advice proposition, by implementing algorithm-driven relationship quality metrics. Rieman said that advisors will be able to use Practice Intelligence to minimize guesswork regarding how to serve clients better, create a roadmap for strategic improvement and utilize an artificial intelligence-based portal to enhance practice efficiencies.

“Growth is elusive for most advisors, and at the same time there’s a significant disconnect between what clients want and what advisors deliver,” Rieman told WSR. “We help advisors garner the feedback and the insights about how their clients experience advice, take that, have an irrefutable moment of truth, help them direct their actions toward developing and working on delivering a better advice experience and building better client relationships.”

Chris Latham, Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at clatham@wealthsolutionsreport.com

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