Most IFAs are reluctant about adopting technology in their business, saying their set up is not so big that they can afford high-end softwares and technologies. However, a few advisors we talked to say prioritising your needs and evaluating the cost to value of the technology are key drivers in selecting and implementing technology in your advisory business no matter what its size is.
Sreekant Meenakshi, Founder and Director, FundsIndia.com
If you look at the client engagement process of an IFA, it starts with acquiring a client, going on to basic planning, then to fund recommendation, followed by portfolio creation and finally ending it with periodic communication and maintenance. Depending on the business of the IFA and the resources at his disposition, technology can become an intrinsic part of his business model.
IFAs often think adapting technology is an all or none approach. However, it is for the IFA himself to decide how much of technology he is going to adopt and in which areas. Technology can be either in the form of a software or a service.
I would suggest IFAs to first do a cost benefit analysis and see for himself if a particular service is worth his money. While there are many free services available for client servicing, acquisition and maintenance, when it comes to servicing, on boarding and transactions the services mostly come with a price. In such cases, you will have to try it out either on yourself or a few friends, before you take the plunge.
Gajendra Kothari, MD and CEO, Etica Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd.
IFAs can and must use technology at every step. For example, when you go and meet prospects and even during the on boarding process, a good CRM software ensures that you have every communication with the client on record. This helps in ensuring good customised service while saving a whole lot of time. It also reduces the possibility of human error.
Another advantage of having a client database is that it ensures continuity of work. Even if an employee leaves your company, his or her replacement will not need much handholding while dealing with your client because they will be able to get all the information they need on the CRM.
Even during planning, a good financial planning software, a risk profiling software and an investment recommendation software, not just increase your productivity by 10 times, they also give you an added advantage of ensuring that your study of the client was thorough.
Another aspect of the advisory business where technology is getting popular is in online transactions. While most of these platforms are available free of cost, an IFA can save at least 50 % of his time by taking his documentation online.
I feel that IFAs must also look into softwares that help clients view their profile. Such softwares improve the client experience and make it easy for you to update your client.
However not all IFAs can afford to go all in. For those who are starting out with limited funds I would suggest prioritising those areas in which technology can be most beneficial for their business. My priority list would be online transaction, back office software, financial planning software and lastly CRM in that order
Virendra Ranawat, Co-Founder and CEO, MySipOnline
One of the major areas where technology has become invaluable to IFAs is in maintaining client database. Today IFAs use various softwares to maintain and manage their client database. Intricate filing systems and detailed excel sheets have become outdated.
Pitching to clients is another major area in which technology comes handy. There are many financial planning softwares and risk calculators available that make it easy to approach clients with funds best suited for them. What used to take an advisor, hours of detailed perusal of a client’s files, is done by these softwares in minutes.