How advisors can compete with robo rivals

Equisoft vice president explains how software can help give human advisors the edge

How advisors can compete with robo rivals

The battle lines have been drawn and advisors have been told they can take on robo rivals with the help of Equisoft’s newly-acquired financial planning software.

Jonathan Georges, vice president of Equisoft’s Wealth Management Solutions, believes advisors can reap the rewards of the company’s recent double move: first acquiring Apeiron Software Limited, best known for its RetireWare platform, and then for the takeover of Planist, which is known in the Quebec marketplace for its financial planning web portal that assesses a clients’ overall financial health.

Georges said:  “We are not going to launch our own robo advisor but we are going to provide the technology platform for advisors to compete with the robo advisors.

“With traditional robo advisors – which are kind of an oxymoron – people are realising that they have to leverage the human advisors’ network in some way. They are offering some kind of white label solution, but the trouble is that it is becoming a kind of referral arrangement. So, in essence, advisors are referring their clients to a robo advisor and the assets don’t reside in their book anymore.

“That’s where our solution comes in. Don’t refer your assets to someone else, your competition; leverage the technology that is available to you to grow your own book. That’s what we are offering.”

Georges believes the acquisitions build on Equisoft’s base of portfolio construction and investment analytics investment functionality by adding more sophisticated financial planning capabilities.

He said: “We now view the market as investment analytics, portfolio construction and, as a separate kind of piece of the advisor technology stack, if you will, a financial planning component.

“While we offer them some more basic financial planning capabilities, we are looking to strengthen those capabilities and allow for more advanced financial planning, for things like estate planning, helping advisors manage professional assets for the likes of doctors, dentists, lawyers; the higher net-worth clients who therefore have more complex needs and more complex financial situations.”

Equisoft plans to roll out its enhancements over the next few months, with the full scale of changes taking place over 2018.

Georges said: “We are going to offer a one-stop solution for advisors regardless of the advisors’ financial planning needs and each of their clients’ needs.”

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