Blog > Firm Growth > CEO POV: Challenges and Opportunities In Wealth Management Webinar Recap

CEO POV: Challenges and Opportunities In Wealth Management Webinar Recap

About this session:

This webcast was about the challenges and opportunities in wealth management. It was sponsored by Advisor Engine in partnership with Nitrogen. The discussion covered growth strategies, operational efficiency, and improving client experience in wealth management firms. The speakers shared insights from recent research and their own experiences in leading successful companies.

Insights Surfaced:

  1. Hypergrowth firms (growing over 21% in the last year) invest more time and money in growth activities and technology.
  2. The most effective tactic for building client relationships is timely communication.
  3. There is a significant gap in marketing spend between hypergrowth and slow growth firms.
  4. Firms need to invest in technology to drive operational efficiency and support growth.
  5. There is a need for wealth management firms to improve their digital experience to match their in-person experience.

Meet the Speakers

Aaron Klein, CEO, Nitrogen

Aaron co-founded Nitrogen in 2011, growing the company to serve tens of thousands of financial advisors, and twice being named as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in finance by Fast Company Magazine. He also co-founded Hope Takes Root, an initiative to serve orphans and vulnerable kids in Ethiopia, and serves on the board of Invest in Others, an organization that supports financial advisors who give back to their communities. InvestmentNews has honored him as one of the industry’s top 40 under 40 executives.

Rich Cancro, Founder & CEO, AdvisorEngine

Rich brings over 25 years of experience building wealth management technology. Prior to founding AdvisorEngine, Rich served as a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was Head of the RIA custody business and responsible for developing their Global Wealth and Investment Management financial planning and reporting tools. Before that, Rich created industry-leading solutions for J.P. Morgan, Bear Stearns and DLJDirect. Rich holds a Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College.

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Takeaway 1: Firms that prioritize client experience, operational efficiency, and organic growth are more likely to succeed

The webinar emphasized the importance of prioritizing client experience, operational efficiency, and organic growth in wealth management firms. The panelists agreed that these factors are critical for success in the industry.

“The people who are coming here and investing their time into thinking about this problem are the ones who are largely in this space. They have the great potential of becoming a hypergrowth firm,” said Aaron Klein. “They’ve just got to figure out the few things that they need to change to kind of get to hypergrowth status.”

Rich Cancro echoed Klein’s sentiments, highlighting the importance of client experience in wealth management. “The good news, the really good news is 89% of the advisors (that we did the research on) said they think providing a really good digital experience is important. The challenge is, though, only 34% of them are actually working on it.”

Takeaway 2: The importance of timely communication for building client relationships

The webinar highlighted the importance of timely communication in building and maintaining client relationships. The panelists agreed that being able to effectively and promptly communicate with clients is a key factor in driving growth in the wealth management industry.

“Timely communication is a big deal and that’s the one way that we’ve created where technology can actually  help you read the client’s mind and  help you put yourself into a good position to be able to drive that timely communication,” said Aaron Klein.

Rich Cancro also emphasized the role of technology in facilitating timely communication: “The good news is that the technology that’s out there today will help you [with timely communication and] scale those small balance accounts. And by the way, we’re talking about 20-30 year olds, right? So they’re in their growth period.”

Takeaway 3: The necessity of change and transformation for success

The dialogue also touched upon the necessity of change and transformation for firms to succeed in the evolving business landscape. Both CEOs shared their experiences of overseeing transformations in their respective firms and emphasized that the status quo is insufficient in the current market environment.

Klein recounted the transformation from Riskalyze to Nitrogen and how it enhanced the firm’s brand identity. He noted, “It was a great journey for us, and we’re glad we made the change.” Cancro shared the transformation journey from Juncture to Advisor Engine, emphasizing how it elevated their brand identity and helped to better align their physical presence, marketing, and client experience. He concluded, “I’d say for advisors and why I’m talking about this, it’s the same thing. You have a physical presence that typically advisors have curated over years… and your client experience, all three of those have to come together.”

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