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45. The Needs of Investors and Advisors with William Trout

45. The Needs of Investors and Advisors with William Trout

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Key takeaways

  • The flexibility of technological tools and solutions is unprecedented, but also hard to keep up with.
  • Most firms lack the data to deliver an optimal ‘next best action’.
  • The distinguishing element among advice propositions is the user experience.

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In this episode, Ned speaks with Wealth Management Director at Javelin Strategy and Research, William Trout. Ned and William have seen the wealth tech industry transform throughout the years, especially in comparison to when they had just started out in the early days. William considers the variety and flexibility of technology to be unprecedented. Whether it’s API integrations or biometrics for onboarding and risk profiling, there’s a smorgasbord of different tools available to enhance financial advisory. API libraries are on the rise, and the emergence goes beyond API connectivity to more tightly knitted propositions that offer tiered solutions. The obstacles lie in the implementation and accessibility of the APIs. William observes that advisors should undertake more responsibility for their client’s financial wellness and that transactionally focused relationships with clients are unfavorable. Nonetheless, new regulations are starting to be erect and financial institutions are increasingly responsible for empowering their clients to make informed financial decisions. 

Speaking of the advice gap, William expresses that despite a larger number of players in the US providing digital advice solutions with fantastic customer experiences, they merely offer boilerplate asset allocation and generic risk profiling. At the end of the day, the industry is built with conflicting interests and sometimes, solutions may not be in the best interest of the clients. William encourages firms to look at emerging techs, like biometrics and marrying enterprise tools to continue to disrupt the advisor sector. Ned and William also mention that direct indexing tools and ESG funds allow clients to customize their preferences, which is attractive in the US because of the advent of commission-free trades. William notes that these strategies will undeniably allow differentiation in a commoditized investment management market. When asked about his thoughts on the future of the wealth tech industry, William bets on virtual and augmented reality as the rising technology that will integrate wealth management seamlessly into our everyday lives.

Meet Our Guest Speaker

William Trout

Director, Wealth Management at Javelin Strategy & Research

William Trout specializes in AI and innovative strategies within the wealth and asset management industries, like platform automation, portfolio management, data analytics, and robotic process automation among others. Before joining Javelin, William was the Head of Wealth Management at Celent and Director of Product and Segment Development for affluent clients at BBVA Compass. He often speaks at industry conferences and has been widely quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times for his expertise in delivering digital advisory.

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