Envestnet’s Inaugural RIA Forum: Insights on Client Engagement, Practice Growth, Innovation, and More
Envestnet’s first-ever RIA Forum on December 2, 2021, was a big success by all accounts. Hundreds of Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) from around the country participated in our virtual event, joining Envestnet leaders and a leader from the RIA community to discuss new ideas to help you differentiate your practice and drive growth.
The first in our new quarterly virtual meeting series, RIA Forum is designed for the RIA community to discuss critical issues, highlight opportunities, share ideas, and help you address key challenges. As a leading partner to RIAs, we understand the unique and complex needs of both you and your clients. And we are committed to addressing the topics that are important to you – today and in the future.
Envestnet RIA Forum highlights: Six key takeaways from the leaders
1. Advisors have done an incredible job adapting to the changes in the marketplace, advancing what it means to deliver financial advice.
“The future of advice is the Intelligent Financial Life, how you connect daily financial behavior with where your clients want to go in the future, and how you optimize solutions in a more intelligent way.”
—Bill Crager, CEO, Envestnet
Crager’s introductory session focused on his perspectives for the future of our industry and what it means for Envestnet to be fully vested in making the Intelligent Financial Life a reality for your clients. He discussed significant changes in the industry – from building a digital toolset to how technology powered by data and connected to solutions can help RIAs continue to transform their value proposition.
2. The more quickly RIAs embrace technology, the bigger (and more profitable) they will become.
“We are here to help clients transition from being the CEO of their company to being the CEO of their capital. My greatest piece of advice to RIAs is finding out what you are good at and staying with it.”
—Bruce Lee, Founder, Keebeck Wealth Management
Lee discussed how he believes RIAs can distinguish their practices from the competition. He covered
themes and trends in the RIA environment and what he sees helping advisors grow quickly and steadily. He talked about achieving growth, from top-line revenue generation to making your practice more scalable by working with technology partners and organizing your digital workforce to greater efficiency.
The forum then shifted to a panel discussion with top leaders from Envestnet. They covered financial planning, data utilization, solutions, and connecting it all in a single platform. Before this panel discussion, two live polling questions were posed to the participants to provide a directional frame for the conversation.
When asked the top growth area of focus for their business today, here are survey results:
- 43% focus on expanding their prospecting efforts
- 19% focus on enhancing the client experience and operating their business more efficiently
When asked what areas can have the biggest impact, here are the survey results:
- 40% focus on integrating technology platforms
- 30% focus on utilizing data and analytics more effectively
- 18% focus on driving goal-based financial planning
3. The financial planning process has been evolving, with an accelerated interest in planning since the start of the pandemic.
“There is no single activity that is more impactful to achieving financial goals than the development of a quality financial plan.”
—Rose Palazzo, Group Head, MoneyGuide
Palazzo discussed the importance of planning and how all has changed over the past two years, with more investors seeking out planning services and advice. She talked about the amazing opportunity that planning provides because it allows RIAs to have conversations with clients that uncover needs, helps you evaluate how goals have shifted, and deepens relationships with clients.
4. Data can power the transformation of the wealth management business, making it your competitive advantage.
“We believe the best way for RIAs to consume insights and more predictive analytics and artificial intelligence is to embed them in their workflow through technology integration.”
—Farouk Ferchichi, Chief Data & Analytics Officer
Ferchichi discussed the importance of data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) and what it all means in the context of wealth management. He talked about the value of the right digital partner to simplify and serve up analytics to help you become more productive and expand your offerings.
5. For the RIA community, nothing works if not connected with an integrated platform and a compelling digital experience.
“At the end of the day, we see a confluence of roadmaps where everyone is fighting for eyeballs and trying to build a better mousetrap to engage with the end-consumer. The firms that are winning create the best engagement.”
—Brandon Rembe, Chief Product Officer
Rembe discussed research with RIAs around their platform needs, what sorts of things they want to have connected, and what he sees as key trends evolving today. He believes clients are looking for a single partner and one central view to support them through accumulation, decumulation, estate planning, and so much more. In Rembe’s opinion, getting the digital experience right, in one central view, will be essential to RIA’s success in the future.
6. Make your investment portfolios more robust to demonstrate your value.
“Clients expect help in more areas than ever before, and RIAs have a massive opportunity to differentiate with innovative solutions and strategies.”
—Dana D’Auria, Co-CIO
D’Auria talked about the portfolio opportunities to address investor needs. Over the past five years, the solutions universe has expanded, as have the trends most relevant to RIAs. From tax management to impact and alternative investments, D’Auria discussed how innovative solutions could heighten the level of customization that RIAs bring to clients.
For more insights from the RIA Forum, you can watch the replay here. Join this 90-minute virtual event when it’s most convenient for you, and stay tuned for the next quarterly event, where we’ll share more ideas focused on your needs and our vision for the future.
We are Fully Vested in helping you address the key challenges you face as you evolve and grow your business. To learn more about how you can take advantage of opportunities to scale, better engage with clients and prospects, streamline your operations, and more, connect with us at RIASales@envestnet.com.