Wealth managers and financial advisors rely on many different pieces of software to do their jobs – portfolio accounting, reporting, financial planning, risk analytics, CRM, and even highly specialized applications like tax optimization or s estate planning. However, often advisors feel these systems do not always speak to one another. Investment News recently published an interesting but unsurprising finding from its own Advisor Technology Study: 57% of advisors surveyed cite the lack of integration between their core applications as their biggest pain point with technology.
According to the study, a typical advisory firm uses five technology vendors. Some providers tout integration, but one advisor characterized it as "lackluster." Integration often amounts to little more than basic capabilities like single sign-on or the ability to push data from one application to another, but with no consistency in format or structure. "Firms are left to either stitch things together themselves," the article says, "or rely on a partner, such as a custodian, to do it for them." And far from embracing open architecture, fintech players are getting increasingly "niche," trying to win the "best-of-breed" battle without looking at how they fit into the bigger picture.
Worse, the lack of meaningful integration impedes a firm's effectiveness. For example, the Investment News story cites a Cerulli Associates study in which 94% of respondents said, "…limited technology integration creates productivity challenges…".
We think there's a better way. Suppose some of these providers of specialized applications collaborated on integration. Imagine they worked together to figure out how to exchange data and optimize the integration from an advisor workflow perspective, making it seamless and bringing the user as close to the elusive "all-in-one" platform experience as possible.
That is the idea behind the extensive Black Diamond® Wealth Platform integration ecosystem. We figured out long ago that we did not need to have our platform do everything. Instead, we forged strong working alliances with solution providers who excel at what they do. We listened to advisors and learned which applications they preferred. We built our platform on an open architecture, enabling it to serve as the hub of an application ecosystem with tight integration protocols. And we worked hard with our integration partners to ensure our platform and their applications communicate.
We recently held a webinar for Black Diamond clients to discuss the platform’s latest integration enhancements. In the session, we dove into the many partnerships we have developed this year, enabling advisors to select applications that support their business objectives and assemble them in a seamless technology stack that makes their workdays easier. So, if integrations or the lack thereof is a pain point in your operation, watch the webinar and learn more about pain-free integration.
 Neal, Ryan W., “The Trouble with Tech Integration,” InvestmentNews, June 21, 2022