In the latest RIA Disruption Series event, the panel of RIAs highlight how they using technology to evolve their business models, achieve scale and create better end-client experiences.

Watch the full video here. 


Greg Friedman – CEO and Founder of Private Ocean, $2.4B AUM RIA in California

Matt Reiner – Partner at Capital Investment Advisors, a $3B AUM RIA in Georgia

Bob Phillips – Managing Partner & Chief Technology Officer at 3EDGE Asset Management, a $1.2B AUM RIA in Massachusetts

Ainslie Simmonds (Moderator) – PIMCO, EVP, Global Head of Digital Platforms


More technology means more time for human engagement. Technology is viewed as a resource to enhance operational efficiency and scale. Allowing systems to automate or do the heavy lifting behind the scenes provides teams more time during the day to focus on the human aspect of a client relationship (even if currently via phone or video).

Traditional barriers to prospecting and servicing clients are becoming obsolete. The benefits of increased technological use, including virtual meetings, is driving productivity and allowing advisors to showcase more resources and connect more easily with clients across
the country.

Customize. Customize. Customize. Leveraging video, email, social media posts and podcasts allows advisors broad reach on a specific topic or message. Understanding client preferences or relevant topics through marketing segmentation can allow advisors to have more personalized and engaging client experiences through technology.

WFH can enhance team engagement vs. minimize it. Prior to the pandemic many teams took for granted the ease of regular office communication. The WFH environment has required facilitating regularly scheduled team meetings in order to increase communication. Complementing structured business meetings with informal conversations such as coffee chats can provide opportunities for personal engagement.

Implement technology boundaries. One of the downsides of the increased utilization of technology is the perception of increased access to both clients and team members. Setting clear boundaries between work and home is imperative for maintaining proper balance amongst co-workers.

Too many technology choices - consider an independent consultant. Working with a knowledgeable consultant can help in addressing pain points and identifying RIA specific solutions that can help build a better business. Start with an understanding of the challenges you are trying to solve for your business architecture versus being influenced by the newest bells and whistles each platform offers.

Robo – a threat or an opportunity? Robo platforms have efficiently provided access and information to markets and investments to individuals that have not historically engaged with the financial services industry. Developing a complimentary financial planning service model can be a growth engine for the advisor community. Added bonus: An opportunity for the advisor community to learn from their innovation, technological development, customized resources and client engagement methodologies.

Biggest technology challenge could be a future opportunity. Today, many firms have a plethora of data management andfinancial planning tools yet the compatibility between systems has not caught up. Closed API infrastructure creates operational inefficiencies. True innovation for our industry will be reliant on RIAs and technology companies solving for this complex challenge together.

Biggest technological advancement for wealth management: VR. VR has already been implemented in the automotive, real estate, travel and health care industries. Imagine a future where clients could visualize the outcome of different investment decisions and financial planning scenarios.