SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than half of independent registered investment advisor (RIA) (53%) staff view technology as a front office function – a key strategy for delivering a high-quality client experience, while building scale and differentiation for the firm – according to results of a survey of registrants at Schwab Advisor Services’ SOLUTIONS® workshops this past summer. In the survey, representing responses from more than 1,000 RIA firm staff, Schwab sought perspective on the changing role of technology in the advisor business and the related impacts on the client experience.
As mobile technology gains prominence, survey results show that more than two thirds of those surveyed said they either already feel mobile technology’s impact at their firm or that they expect to within the next three years. Among the benefits of mobile that are of greatest value to clients are looking up account information (35%), alerts and electronic approvals (28%), and delivering reports and documents (19%).
“For advisors, the increase in personal use of mobile devices and web-based applications translates into technology playing an integral role in facilitating client relationships,” said Neesha Hathi, senior vice president, Schwab Advisor Services. “Use of technology to support the client relationship can help firms build scale and grow their businesses while maintaining a high-touch, premiere client experience.”
Other findings from the 2014 SOLUTIONS survey:
- When it comes to managing client portfolios, participants report spending the most time on data management, followed by integrating systems (i.e., trading and rebalancing), creating dashboards, building reports for client presentations and billing.
- Half of those polled say they do not use any social media. Of those who do, LinkedIn is the most widely used, with 26 percent of respondents using the platform exclusively and 71 percent of the users doing so at least once a week.
- For their part, advisor clients are embracing a technology-enhanced service experience if it is made available to them. According to the survey, most RIA firms and their clients are on a similar technology adoption curve, with 60% of participants reporting that clients have been adapting to new service approaches and technology solutions as the firm has made them available.
Schwab’s SOLUTIONS workshops are one-day, live events offered in 12 cities throughout July and August. These in-depth technology-focused sessions provide advisors with hands-on education on Schwab technologies that advisors use in their firms’ day-to-day operations and offer insight on how technology can streamline their workflow to improve performance and help deliver exceptional client service. During SOLUTIONS registration, participants were asked a series of questions regarding technology. The more than 1,000 responses were collected from participants from 12 cities during the summer. Results are as of August, 2014.
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