Many small to mid-sized financial advisory firms headed to San Antonio in early October to uncover new best practices and fresh perspectives for running and growing their businesses at Bob Veres’ Insider’s Forum. This year’s event included a number of interesting sessions on industry hot topics as well as fresh technology solutions.
At F2 Strategy, we’re often asked to share our thoughts on the events we attend because we can tell it like it is. Here’s my perspective on two broad concepts that consumed a lot of the Forum as well as the insights that came out of our own session on effectively picking new technology:
The AI Hype Cycle is On Fire
Every presentation we attended involved AI in some way. It’s clear everyone is trying to figure out what to do, but no one I saw at the conference has developed sophisticated products around AI yet. So far a few examples of successful AI use cases I’ve seen involve back-office efficiency, such as using AI to create first drafts of client emails or using it to save time searching for appropriate forms and paperwork.
Additionally, wealth management firms aren’t waiting for someone else to figure it out. We’ve seen a lot of firms jumping in and working on creating efficiencies with AI before vendors have presented a strong option.
Emphasizing People Management
Whether it's a result of the pandemic, the demands of the younger generation workforce, or the reality of turnover in the market, firms want to become more effective at managing and mentoring their teams.
It was great to see this area of the business get so much attention. As small and mid-sized firms grow, it’s important to develop a framework for attracting, retaining and growing talent. It’s an evolution of professionalization that all growing advisory firms need to go through to scale. The human element is critical. If a firm doesn’t have the right people in the right seats, it won’t be able to use the technology solution it invests in as effectively as it could.
How to Effectively Pick New Technology
During the session I presented, we shared the importance of having a very clear process to define requirements, research vendors and evaluate their solutions. How often advisory firms should review their technology depends on how quickly the firm can implement change. Technology implementations can also take into account a firm's culture by basing the pace of change on its ability to handle change
management. That pace is dependent upon the amount of buy-in and support from management, training and support given to advisors and commitment to follow up after implementation.
Two minutes wasn’t enough? Get in touch with Chris Emert for more about this conference.