WPTV Exclusive: Key tech solutions to help advisors excel

For this episode, David Mastroberardino, product director at Croesus, explains why its offerings enable advisors to evolve their business and have confidence in their data

To view full transcript, please click here

Speaker1: [00:17:14] Hello, everyone, and welcome to this WP TV exclusive, I'm Darren Matte, editor of Wealth Professional Canada Magazine. And today I'm happy to be joined by David Mastroberardino, business product leader at Croesus. David, thanks for joining me.

Speaker2: [00:17:48] Thank you for the invitation.

Speaker1: [00:17:52] Now, there's no denying the impact financial technologies have had on the day to day lives of financial advisors, they can help with all aspects of their business, but most importantly, allow advisers to focus on the things that matter most to them, like building client relationships. So what better way to learn how a platform can do this then by taking a deep dive at one. So, David, maybe start off with a little bit about Croesus and what you aim to do for advisers.

Speaker2: [00:18:17] Yes, thanks for that question. So first, I guess a bit of background on who we are for those who don't know Croesus or portfolio management application, been around since 1987. So just about thirty four years now or so, we're based in Montreal or just on the outskirts of Montreal with offices in Toronto as well. We have clients that span from coast to coast and Canada and all levels from family offices, independence to bank owned firms as well. So what we aim to do for advisors, if I have to sum it down to one phrase, is we help the advisors and portfolio managers and they're generally their teams be as efficient as possible in the portfolio management process. So what's interesting and what we do is portfolio management has evolved greatly over the years and continues to evolve, whether it be the type of investors, the type of products that are offered. Obviously, the types of firms that I just mentioned have different needs as well. So we aim to have that portfolio management aspect be as efficient as possible, whether you associate as a portfolio manager, as an advisor, an assistant, or it could be even somebody at the firm level, branch manager and everything in between, essentially.

Speaker1: [00:19:41] What are some of the key solutions or elements that advisers seem to find attractive?

Speaker2: [00:19:50] Well, I mean, we have one flagship product that's called Croesus Adviser that has obviously multiple functionalities and modules that we've developed over the thirty four years in existence. So this is the product that essentially is used by fifty thousand users on a daily basis from coast to coast. And what's interesting beyond functionality is the way we approach the application is that in portfolio management, we always looked at it as there's always a person behind the portfolio and every person is linked in some way to a portfolio. Even if they're not holding assets, they might be a reference. It might be an accountant. So we've always approached that portfolio management having different modules and different features that are attached to it, whether they be obviously viewing portfolios, viewing the history of portfolios and everything that comes with that performance calculations and reporting, et cetera. There's the CRM aspect of the let's call it the human side of the portfolio. More and more, in the recent years, we've had a lot of investment around execution and rebalancing, specifically right through the order management process and having a complete end to end, essentially automated approach from the identifying any breaches in the portfolio rights to rebalancing, generating the order and pushing that that order to market to receiving that order from the back office file overnight. So it's really a hands off process. Recently there's a lot around risk rating and the client focused reforms, as you can imagine. So if that some work around that and there's a lot of demand for those rating products and like I mentioned a little earlier, supporting different types of products, whether they be separately managed accounts, unified managed accounts. On top of that, we have a bunch of different services that we offer.

Speaker2: [00:21:43] So firms that want to outsource their mass generation of reports, we do a lot of that work. Anything around data management? We're signing a lot of partners as well. So we want to stay focused on what we do with portfolio management. But integrations, whether they be with financial planning, for example, feeds of data security level feeds, for example, from the likes of Morningstar and fund data. So we're trying to bring a lot of different aspects into that portfolio management experience that we have. We've also have a solution that's called Croesus IBalance, which is specifically designed for the head office portfolio managers. So in other words, again, portfolio management has evolved over the years to the point where a lot of firms and advisors have decided to actually outsource the portfolio management aspect of their business. So firms have set up these centrally managed teams that will rebalance all the families of the firm essentially in a couple of clicks, which is what can be achieved with IBalance. And finally, what we also see is that we've developed a differentiator, if you will, or a very good reputation around our data and the position of our data. So we've done a lot of work around our APIs and the Croesus’ APIs is essentially a way of accessing our data directly. So in addition to those, let's call them front end applications that I just mentioned, the APIs are a way to use our data to feed other systems. They can be investor portals. They can be we have to do a lot of work with discount brokerage firms as well. So those are, I would say, our top three buckets of products, if you will, with the different services and modules around those.

Speaker1: [00:23:26] And I guess, just finally, why do you think advisers should look to incorporate solutions like this in their business?

Speaker2: [00:23:33] Uh, well, there's tons of good responses around that question. I think, first of all, it comes down to precision. So precision is we're obviously in a very data heavy industry. It's a numbers based business. It's important to have confidence in those numbers and the applications that you're using. So, I mean, we're talking about performance calculations, for example, from a compliance aspect, gains and losses from a tax aspect as well. There's that sort of confidence of that precision that has to come with the type of work that we do and that advisers are doing. And obviously, they're they want to spend time with clients. You said that off the top. So that has to be automated. You have to have applications in place for that work to be streamlined to the point where it's almost second nature. Well, actually, it is second nature for these firms and told with a precision, you need to look at consistency as well. So there's the consistency of how we apply that. But there's also consistency, just as and again, we take it for granted now. And it's that's the way it should be. But the application has to be up and running during core business hours.

Speaker2: [00:24:44] Obviously, we're talking about meeting clients. We're talking about trading in those systems. So it's it's obviously that's something like I said, we might take for granted. But it's absolutely necessary that we have those in place with the appropriate disaster recovery and the security aspects that come with dealing with sensitive information as well. The compliance I mentioned that as well. Client focused reforms, all of the aspects around national instrument. 31103 without getting into all the details. And obviously at the end of the day, what our firms and our clients want is that Kris's continues to evolve with their business. So we've shown that over thirty four years. So all these aspects I've been mentioning is again, second nature, but the evolution of the business and our products in line with that is key. And that's why we actually set up our Croesus lab dealing with new technologies like artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning to bring those into the what we call the production environment, the everyday environment, so that, again, we're bringing all those other aspects, consistency, the compliance, the efficiency, the precision that becomes that second nature and expected of Croesus

Speaker1: [00:26:00] Well, that does it for another WP TV exclusive, I'd like to thank my guest, David Mastroberardino, for more on him or Chris's visit, croesus.com And of course, for all the news that matters most to advisors as wealthprofessional.ca until next time. I'm Darren Matte. Thanks for joining us.