8 Factors to Consider When Selecting a Wealth Management Platform for Growth
The tools your firm uses are more than just one-off solutions – they shape the way your advisors and clients think about finances, interact with one another and make important decisions. In many ways, choosing the right software for your team is similar to finding a trusted partner.
And since implementing and training that software can be time-consuming and costly for your team, it’s critical that you research and choose solutions that fit your firm’s needs in 2024. Wealth management platforms provide a wide range of solutions at each level of your organization – but as your firm looks to achieve growth in the coming years, how can you feel confident in choosing software that’s a best-fit for your practice?
In this guide, we’re exploring what a true growth-focused wealth management technology looks like, as well as eight key factors you should consider as you choose a wealth management solution for your firm in the new year.
What is a Growth-focused Wealth Management Platform?
A wealth management platform is a software solution built for RIAs and advisory firms, providing tools to help these teams manage client assets, enhance lead generation, streamline compliance and improve the overall client experience.
Growth-focused wealth management platforms take these key goals and kick them into overdrive, building integrations, processes and solutions for firms looking to achieve sustained growth and success. They go beyond basic asset management to provide a comprehensive suite of tools and features that support the expansion and advancement of your team. It’s about building truly scalable efficiency.
At Nitrogen, we sum that up in one simple phrase: We empower the world to invest fearlessly. From your advisory team to support staff, compliance and clients alike – a wealth management platform built for growth should give you the tools you need to achieve more with confidence.
8 Factors to Consider When Selecting a Wealth Management Platform for Growth
Let’s explore the eight key benefits you should look for when choosing wealth management software for your RIA, including tech integrations, lead gen, analytics capabilities and more.
1. Technology integrations
Choosing a piece of software isn’t as simple as finding a great vendor – you also need to ensure that the new technology can work well with your existing systems. While siloed systems leave room for both user and data error, true integrations provide firms with efficiency, security and scalability.
InvestmentNews Research’s 2022 Adviser Technology Study found that the average advisory firm uses five different tech partners, while a third of the respondents indicated they were looking to expand that number by adding even more tech solutions to their stack.
Even more telling, that same study found that 57% of advisors pinpointed a lack of integrations as their biggest tech pain point. Simply put: A standalone solution could bring more headache than it’s worth.
As you begin your search for wealth management platforms, it’s essential to know whether the solutions you’re considering have the integration capabilities your firm needs. For example, the Nitrogen platform is built on six core APIs (with more in the works) that allow you to easily integrate with:
- Popular CRMs (such as Redtail and Salesforce)
- Portfolio management systems
- Trading platforms
- Your firm’s own data lake or warehouse
- 40+ other technology providers
2. Lead generation
Lead generation is any strategy, tool or resource your firm uses to generate interest in your services, while also giving you more information about potential prospects (like their demographics or email addresses). Case studies, webinars, newsletters and even in-person events could fall into the lead gen category.
And while it’s no secret that many firms are switching up their lead gen strategies – opting for social media, in-person events and newsletters over cold-calling or more traditional ads – are advisors effectively tracking, nurturing and following up on those leads?
Historical data points to no, with one 2016 study showing that “just 38% of firms formally tracked leads.”
The answer to that problem may lie in advisor software solutions built specifically with lead generation in mind. SmartAsset reports that “over 63% of advisors are using lead generation platforms more this year  when compared with previous years.”
Top wealth management platforms will, of course, incorporate that lead outreach into their larger processes. At Nitrogen, lead generation begins with our proprietary Risk Number®, which gives site visitors a simple and quick way to understand their risk alignment.
With just a few lines of code, your firm can engage leads, gather key prospect information (including name, email, goals and net worth), and boost conversions.
Fun fact: One Nitrogen client saw a 15% increase in prospects after incorporating the Risk Number® questionnaire!
3. Analytics, research and reports capabilities
Long-term growth doesn’t happen on luck and whims, it’s driven by real data. As you’re searching for wealth management tools for your firm, it’s a good idea to look at their research and analytics capabilities, such as:
- Securities screening: You shouldn’t have to manually search hundreds of thousands of securities to find the best fit for each of your clients. With tools like Discovery, you can filter and search for securities based on client needs.
- Stress tests: Modeling scenarios is a must for finding solutions tailored to your clients.
- Detailed portfolio analysis: Our portfolio statistics tools give advisors access to modeled performance comparisons, sector breakdowns, regional exposure and more – all through the lens of risk.
What happens when you have proper analytics and research at your fingertips? Advisors get the full picture, clients see intuitive reports and compliance has a repeatable, documented process across your entire firm.
4. Scalability and consistency
As your firm grows and you add more talent to your team, it’s important to create a consistent client experience, both from a retention perspective as well as compliance.
To that end, your wealth management platform of choice should offer comprehensive training resources and ongoing support, ensuring all team members – regardless of their level of expertise – can effectively use the platform.
Ask your potential wealth management vendor about how their implementation and processes function across a team of two or a team of 200.
Compliance can eat away at your advisors’ time – keeping their focus off of client service and adding more “background” tasks to their already busy schedules.
Investopedia reports that “some advisors say that they spend an aggregate average of one day per week dealing solely with compliance issues.” That’s why technology that automatically monitors and alerts advisors to potential issues is so critical for growth-focused RIAs.
A compliance-focused wealth management platform will save time and benefit members at each level of your firm:
- Advisors: When your advisors immediately know which accounts need attention, they can take action – keeping clients happy and retaining at-risk revenue.
- Compliance officers: The right tech gives your compliance team a birds-eye view and thorough documentation for regulatory purposes.
- Executives: Your managers and executives can feel confident knowing they’ve given their team the tools they need for success.
When compliance starts feeling more like an opportunity than a challenge, you know you’re on the right track.
6. Talent growth and retention
Having the right resources and tools available is key to attracting (and keeping) top advisors at your firm – especially as many advisors age out of the industry.
You’ve likely heard of the Great Wealth Transfer, where an estimated $84.4 trillion in assets will pass from older generations to their heirs in the coming decades. On a smaller scale, that phenomenon could parallel advisor demographics, coinciding with a recent trend toward aging advisors.
Barron reports the average advisor age as 57 in 2022, up from 54 in 2020. Firms looking for continued growth will need to find strategies for attracting young talent while keeping their tenured advisors happy – as well as any clients affected by staffing changes.
A big piece of that puzzle is your firm’s core technology, including your wealth management platform of choice.
In Advisor360°’s 2022 Connected Wealth Report, more than half of respondents said “they consider their technology platform to be an extension of their practice.” Tech isn’t just a part of the advisor toolbox, it’s integral to how they serve their clients on a daily basis.
That same report showed that “65% of advisors have lost business from clients and prospects because of outdated technology.”
As you browse wealth management platform solutions, be sure to inquire about their onboarding and training, ongoing support services and other advisor resources.
7. The client experience
Your advisors are one half of your business, the other being your clients.
And clients want to be treated like individuals, not just another name in your book. Forty-seven percent of clients wish their advisor would reach out more, a number that jumps to 53% for the higher net worth crowd and roughly 56% for those under the age of 60.
And while spending more time with clients seems like an easy solution, more than one in four advisors say they simply don’t have the time. The answer to this problem may lie in your platform of choice.
Your asset management platform should foster a personalized and meaningful client experience, emphasizing a deep understanding of each client’s unique aspirations, concerns and financial goals.
Nitrogen users have access to tools and resources to know when a client might need your team’s attention. For example, our Check-ins tool is an automated behavioral coaching system that keeps advisors alert and informed about their clients’ psychology.
From there, they can send firm-branded emails to the client asking “How do you feel about the markets?” and “How are you feeling about your financial future?” Your advisors can also share customized analytics illustrations in just a few taps – answering client questions before they’re even asked.
Our Stress Test reports also offer important perspective to clients who might be wondering why their portfolio differs from market averages, and how that connects to their risk tolerance. It’s one thing to talk through the hypotheticals with a client – it’s another thing to show them.
8. Your firm’s future
When choosing new software for your firm, it’s important to think about your firm’s future – and that includes what’s on your radar for the coming year as much as your five-year or ten-year goals.
One report points to a consistent growth of RIA hires in recent years, citing a 6% spurt in 2021 alone. Charles Schwab predicted in their 2022 RIA Compensation Report that the industry will need to add “more than 70,000 new staff over the next five years.”
With that in mind, it’s likely that your firm will continue to add employees – and you need an asset wealth management platform that’s built to support that growth.
The number of clients seeking professional financial services also continues to climb. The Investment Advisor Association reports that “the number of clients using asset management services increased in 2022 to a record high of 54.3 million.”
Statista echoes that statistic, telling us that the number of clients working with SEC-registered advisors is growing, with 61.9 million in 2022 (54.3 million of which were asset-managed clients).
If your firm’s growth is on track with these trends, you’ll need a platform that can support both asset management advisors and client growth to help your organization thrive.
Selecting the right wealth management platform is a critical decision for the growth and success of your advisory firm. A growth-focused platform should provide technology integrations, robust lead generation capabilities, advanced analytics and research tools, scalability, compliance support and more. It should also prioritize the client experience and be adaptable to your firm’s current and future needs.
As you go about choosing a growth-focused wealth management platform for your firm, these eight considerations can help you weed down your options and choose the best solution for your team.
Get Started with Nitrogen
Nitrogen is modernizing wealth management to expand your firm’s impact and scale your client experiences. To learn more about how Nitrogen can benefit your organization, connect with a member of our team or request a free demo today.