Advyzon’s Insights On Trends In Advisor Tech

John Mackowiak, Chief Revenue Officer, Advyzon
John Mackowiak, Chief Revenue Officer, Advyzon
Michael Madden, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst, Wealth Solutions Report

Advyzon Executive Places People At The Center, Sees Comprehensive Solutions Increasing And Discusses Impediments To Advisors Changing Tech Stacks

2023 has been a growth year for wealthtech, with new solutions, additional capabilities and new strategic partnerships implemented to increase back office productivity, free advisors from routine work and improve services and outreach to clients. Though AI captured much attention, changes occurred across the board for wealthtech.

We asked John Mackowiak, Chief Revenue Officer at wealthtech firm Advyzon, a provider of a services and technology platform and portfolio management solutions, to share lessons from the past year, describe the trends in comprehensive versus “best-in-breed” tech stacks, explain the reasons why advisors face difficulty changing tech stacks and identify how tech solutions providers can overcome those challenges.

WSR: What did you learn in 2023 about what advisors are looking for in technology solutions?

Mackowiak: This has been a year of ups and downs. We saw a potential financial crisis take root in March and were thankfully able to avoid more widespread problems. This impacted thousands of financial advisors across the nation, necessitating a shift in focus to ensure portfolios were in good order and explain the situation to concerned clients.

This has also been a year of growth. In the wealth management and wealthtech space, we’ve seen the continued embrace of comprehensive platforms. The fragmented tech stack that has been the go-to approach for so many years isn’t going away, but wealth management firms should consider the benefits of consolidating their technology.

My biggest takeaway from this year is that as much as we talk about technology, AI and growth, most everything comes back to people.

John Mackowiak

My biggest takeaway from this year is that as much as we talk about technology, AI and growth, most everything comes back to people. Whether it be the advisor taking time to calm a client alarmed by a potential banking crisis, new wealth management firms launching, or technology teams implementing enhancements, it’s all about people.

WSR: Why should advisors that have historically taken the “best-in-breed” approach to fintech consider comprehensive solutions?

Mackowiak: I’ve been working in this industry for 20 years now. Over that time, the challenge for comprehensive solutions has been the perception that they’re a “jack of all trades, master of none.” Wealth management firms of all sizes do not want to compromise on features – nor should they – but there are many benefits to comprehensive solutions that should not be overlooked.

Comprehensive solutions make working with a client simple and intuitive, placing everything you need on one screen. For example, through integration with Office365, client notes and emails can be displayed right next to performance history and asset allocation. Need to rebalance for the household? It can be done through the client record. In this example, that’s three different applications in a fragmented tech stack.

Consider hiring a new employee. Would you ask them to learn five different tools to do their job, all with different user interfaces and some limited data flowing between them? My guess is that they’ll become an expert in only one of those applications, and the technology you’ve invested so much in will be underutilized. A single platform solves this problem.

WSR: Why is it so difficult for advisors to adopt new technology solutions and make a change from their current tech stack?

Mackowiak: Honestly, it’s a combination of complacency and fear of the unknown. We’re all busy. Taking time to review technology and then implement it can be overwhelming. If the current tech stack is good enough, why go to the trouble?

It’s incumbent on a technology provider to ensure a smooth transition.

John Mackowiak

To overcome these challenges, it’s incumbent on a technology provider to ensure a smooth transition, including evaluation, consultation, collaboration in implementation, and smooth data migration.

Another angle to consider if we’re looking at technology objectively: Gone are the days of buying a one-time license and upgrading every few years. SaaS (software-as-a-service) is the license model now. You’re paying not just for current capabilities, but for enhancements. It’s our job as a technology partner to enhance our platform regularly, providing additional value along the way.

Michael Madden, Contributing Editor and Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at mmadden@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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