Advisors cite lack of automation, integration as biggest tech challenges

By National Underwriter

National Underwriter


By Warren S. Hersch

Almost one in two advisors say their greatest technology challenge is a lack of integration or automation, according to new research.

Blueleaf, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of asset management solutions, published this finding in a survey that explores financial advisors’ business goals, strategies and challenges, as well technology plans for 2013. The company completed the national online survey of financial service professionals (more than half of whom are registered investment advisors) in February.

Nearly one-third of the advisors questioned in the survey (32.3 percent) cite a lack of integration among technology solutions as their greatest challenge. And an additional 16 percent indicate a lack of automation.

Other advisors point to lack of budget (14.5 percent), lack of expertise (10.9 percent), lack of functionality (8.8 percent) and lack of training and support (7.8 percent) as their greatest technology challenge. Fewer than one in two respondents (9.8 percent) say they have no technology challenges.

The report adds that one-third of advisors spend between 6 and 20 hours per month generation report. Of this group, those who devote between 6 and 10 hours on reports constitute the largest proportion at 15.5 percent.

The report adds that information-gathering and sharing are on the rise: More than four in ten (42.1 percent) have account aggregation. Comparable percentages use a client portal (44.5 percent) and document value (38.2 percent)

The report reveals that 46 percent of advisors use an iPad or other tablet on the job. Just over half (51.4 percent) don’t use these devices or are unsure (2.6 percent).

The most widely adopted portfolio accounting system among advisors, the study reveals, is Portfolio Center, which is used more than one in ten (13 percent) of advisors. The next four mostly used systems are Morningstar Office (12 percent), Excel (11 percent), Allbridge Wealth Reporting (8 percent) and Advent AXYS (6 percent).

Turning to customer relationship management solutions, Microsoft Outlook, is the most popular CRM solution, used by one in five (20.5 percent) of advisors. The next four most popular CRM solutions are Salesforce (14.1 percent), Redtail (14 percent), Junxure (7.4 percent) and Act! (5.8 percent).

Originally published on LifeHealthPro.com