For any advisor, success stems from the ability to serve their clients. The more time advisors can spend nurturing existing relationships and building new ones, the better. So how can you maximize that time?
The right technology platforms and back-end processes can save significant time, and enable better client and portfolio management. That allows advisors to do more.
Advisors and their clients desire more efficiency. It’s evident in everything from remote meetings to the range of activities taking place behind the scenes. The pressure to deliver, along with the resulting opportunities, is only increasing. To serve advisors well, Sterling Mutuals tries to remember three points.
One, technology doesn’t work without process.
Technology is a powerful tool, but it’s one that should fit into smart processes. Along the way, processes can go smoothly or encounter delays. Each step equates to potential gains or losses.
Take something as straightforward as getting prior approval for trades. Do documents need to be rescanned and sent to multiple partners? Or are processes in place, with the appropriate technology, to make this step efficient and free up advisors’ time?
Another aspect of getting process right is internal support. At Sterling Mutuals, every advisor is assigned to a separate and dedicated service team. That team deals with inquiries about accounts, trades, IT, commission, and other advisor needs. That accelerates the resolutions—again, giving advisors more time to do what has the most value.
Two, communication is key.
Too often in some firms, older legacy systems don’t communicate well. Individually, they may be useful; together, they don’t work to their capacity. A solid back-office platform works seamlessly. It gets interfaces and integration right.
Three, technology and processes should work together.
That maximizes what’s possible. An effective approach isn’t just about the ability to access what you need remotely or securely—that should be a given—but about robust and comprehensive systems.
Sterling Mutuals, for instance, relies on the OneBoss enterprise software solution. It offers an advanced client portal, document management and workflow capabilities, head office oversight of trades, Tier 1 and Tier 2 compliance, an advanced client portal, and much more. With one of the tools, advisors can rebalance, apply new portfolio strategies and preview the results before placing a trade. That ensures client portfolios are administered with the appropriate know your client (KYC) risk tolerances and objectives.
This technology also simplifies the daily monitoring of client accounts onto a single list. That happens by setting up advanced portfolio alarms to track specific moves by percentage or dollar amounts. The system notifies advisors when a client’s portfolio needs to be rebalanced or a fund price crosses a set threshold.
Sterling Mutuals also stays at the forefront through Ensemble—a next-generation client service platform powered by OneBoss. This digital platform can automate as much of the client experience as advisors want, allowing them to customize service levels to meet their growing business.
With Ensemble, advisors can handle digital onboarding, and have clients go through an automated KYC questionnaire to determine suitability. Based on the answers, the system recommends the appropriate portfolios that advisors create. Ensemble also enables electronic signatures for all documents, and integrates KYC and trades into OneBoss (no double entries needed).
Those are just some of the possibilities and applications to enhance advisors’ business. It underscores how this industry needs to think of technology holistically.
Advisors understand that well. Recently, one advisor, who transitioned to Sterling Mutuals last summer, called the move “a breath of fresh air.” That was partly because of his access to a wider range of investments, and what he feels is his greater ability to satisfy the best interests of his clients. He also emphasized how Sterling Mutuals is ahead of the curve with technology and compliance. Without being tied down with administrative tasks, he can spend more time “doing what I do best for my clients.”
That should always be the bottom line.
When advisors succeed, so can their clients.
This three-part series will look at what can put advisors in the best position to excel: efficiencies that come from smart investments in technology and processes; the advantages of not being tied to a proprietary product, and to operating on a fee-for-service platform; and finally, the value proposition of operating in an independent yet large environment.
Together, these three areas are about working within a truly supportive culture, and being able to deliver superior experiences and outcomes for clients.
Learn more about how Sterling Mutuals can help advisors to meet their clients’ needs.