Skip to content

Hearsay Innovation Summit 2016: Enabling the Omnichannel Advisor in the Age of the Always-Connected Consumer

Hearsay-IS2016-1409San Francisco was the perfect backdrop to Hearsay Social’s fourth annual Innovation Summit (#hearsaysummit), celebrating the intersection of financial services, innovation, and technology. Last week, we had the pleasure and honor of hosting over a hundred thought leaders in technology, wealth management, mortgage, insurance, and banking.
The Summit, which took place on Thursday at the Terra Gallery, provided a unique opportunity for a select group of senior executives, heads of sales, marketing, and compliance, and technology leaders to discuss the most important challenges and opportunities facing the financial services industry.

Key themes included the ongoing role of human advisors and agents and the necessity of firms to leverage technology to empower their advisors to keep them at the center of all customer journeys. Presenters focused on the changing business models and client expectations, including their perspectives of the industry, companies, people, products, and trends poised to emerge in 2016 and beyond.

Here are additional highlights, photos, and key takeaways from the day’s event.

Meeting the expectations of both advisors and clients will challenge existing financial services firms

Hearsay-IS2016-0409Kicking off the Summit was Shelley O’Connor, co-head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (@MorganStanley), who shared how her company’s goals to increase efficiencies in branches, enhance the advisor-client experience, and make it easier for advisors to touch more clients more often will be met digitally. 
Today’s shifting client expectations will require advisors to cut through the noise and deliver insights that go well beyond a company’s product offering, she said during Thursday’s opening keynote. I’ve shared this sentiment before and believe the key to connecting with today’s omnichannel client is to engage them in the ways they want to use, not the ways we find convenient.
Naureen Hassan, chief digital officer at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, outlined four key areas that the company will focus on to reach its digital goals; namely, marketing, digitized processes, next-gen products, and client experience. Hearsay-IS2016-0438The company uses data and technology to better understand, acquire, retain, and serve their clients during their whole life cycle.
My co-founder and Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih (@clarashih) spoke about today’s omnichannel advisor and client, and what firms must do to own the digital last mile. For example, in order for advisors to move up the value chain over the next several years, firms will need to leverage next-gen technology tools that enable advisors to deliver the right content, to the right person, at the right time.Hearsay-IS2016-0572
This underscores the importance of marketing to millennials and devising effective solutions that help reach, engage, and convert this highly influential market.

Understanding your customer is crucial to building an ecosystem that lasts

Kenneth Lin (@kennethlin), CEO and founder of Credit Karma, a financial technology startup that continues to challenge financial industry incumbents such as banks and payment networks, spoke during a fireside chat with Noah Wintroub (@nwintroub), global head of internet and digital media at JPMorgan, and challenged everyone to think of their data and what it can do to help companies truly understand their customers.
Hearsay-IS2016-0774
The pair spoke about how communicating with customers via social and mobile is a huge part of that, as is optimizing your platforms to get a good grasp of what’s important to your consumer base. In Credit Karma’s case, they’ve built a billion-dollar business disrupting the credit score industry by giving people free access to their scores and helping to match consumers with mortgages, auto loans, and more.
In a fireside chat with The Wall Street Journal tech reporter Deepa Seetharaman (@dseetharaman), Braintree COO Amit Jhawar (@Braintree) discussed the next generation of online payments, and how his company democratizes payments, allowing easy access to loans for the masses. His advice? Companies will need to retool their business models to meet consumers’ growing demand for convenience and security. Hearsay-IS2016-1002

The advice industry must adapt to changing client demographics

Chip Roame (@chiproame), managing partner at Tiburon Strategic Advisors, led an incredible discussion and shared some staggering statistics, noting that consumer wealth is approximately $60 trillion and expected liquidation is $30 trillion. 
Hearsay-IS2016-1046In a robo-advice start-up versus traditional brokerage “debate,” panelists Michael Sha, CEO and founder of SigFig (@sigfiginsights), Bo Lu (@bolu), CEO and founder of FutureAdvisor, and Naureen of Morgan Stanley cleared up some misconceptions that often surround robo-advice options. All parties agreed that the future of wealth management will include a combination of traditional and online advice offerings to meet the needs of a diverse and ever-changing client base. Bo challenged us to think of our own jobs – how many of us utilize software to provide products and services. Advisors and agents have been somewhat under-armed, and firms must do a better job at ensuring advisors are armed. 
Hearsay-IS2016-1187  Hearsay-IS2016-1214
Hearsay-IS2016-1375We were also thrilled to have as a guest Debbie Sterling (@debbieblox), CEO and founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company out to inspire the next generation of female engineers. During a fireside chat with The WSJ’s Deepa, Debbie shared why and how she has made it her mission in life to tackle the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Watch this video for an inside look at how the company has introduced engineering concepts to girls through storytelling and toy building.

Advisors and wealth managers aren’t making the most of technology

Jon Sakoda (@jonsakoda), general partner at New Enterprise Associates (a Hearsay Social investor), discussed the big tech challenges that lie ahead. He says we’re experiencing the “unbundling of financial services” and admonished that “disruption is a leap of faith.”
Hearsay-IS2016-1472The overarching takeaways from all the speakers? Advisors need every advantage to navigate uncertain change, including digital technologies that free their time to focus on what they do best – helping coach clients through tough life decisions.
Thank you to everyone who came to see us, and thanks to the entire Hearsay Social team, our attendees and invited guests, and our partners for the support and for making this the best Summit yet!
Omnichannel Blog Banner-01 (2)
View slides from the presenters at SlideShare, and check out the Summit videos on YouTube.
Related Posts:

Hearsay Innovation Summit 2016: What's Next for Financial Services?

 

SummitVisual-01

It’s all hands on deck at Hearsay Social as we prepare for our fourth annual Innovation Summit (#hearsaysummit), which takes place this Thursday, May 5, in our hometown of Silicon Valley. We’re honored to host nearly 100 executive leaders and startup thinkers from the financial services industry and beyond for a day of thought-provoking discussion about the future of financial services products, distribution and the new customer experience.

Key themes include what the ongoing role of human advisors and agents should be in an era of direct-to-consumer options and changing consumer expectations, and the implications of the recent Department of Labor ruling regarding fiduciary duty. Attendees represent various sectors and functions of the industry, including wealth management, mortgage, insurance and banking, as well as general management, marketing, technology, compliance and distribution.
In a series of TED-style talks, fireside chats and – new this year – a spirited presidential-style debate, guests will learn the latest industry perspectives, best practices, challenges and growth opportunities from leaders and disruptors in both financial services and technology.
Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 3.49.21 PM
Shelley O’Connor, co-head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (@morganstanley), will deliver the opening keynote address. Clara Shih (@clarashih), CEO and founder of Hearsay Social, will present her perspectives on today’s omnichannel, always-connected customer journey and what firms and advisors must do to own the digital last mile.
Attendees also will hear from Kenneth Lin (@kennethlin), CEO and founder of Credit Karma, and Amit Jhawar, COO of Braintree (@braintree), as they discuss how they’re revolutionizing the way people obtain credit scores and companies process payments. Charles “Chip” Roame (@chiproame), managing partner at Tiburon Strategic Advisors, will present the firm’s latest wealth management research.
Also on the agenda is a friendly “robo-advisor versus traditional brokerage showdown” featuring the CEOs of two robo-advice startups – Michael Sha of SigFig (@sigfiginsights) and Bo Lu (@bolu) of FutureAdvisor (acquired by BlackRock) – and Naureen Hassan, chief digital officer of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
To provide a broader view of technology at large and the forces shaping Silicon Valley, Debbie Sterling (@debbieblox), CEO and founder of Goldieblox, will share her startup story and viewpoints on where the tech industry is heading. Special guest Jon Sakoda (@jonsakoda), general partner of venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, also will discuss his expert insights on the current and future state of tech.
Check out #HSonAir’s special podcast for more on what to expect:

Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @hearsaysocial and #hearsaysummit this Thursday, May 5, for live Summit coverage, and check back for key learnings and takeaways from the event!
Related Posts:

Driving the Modernization of Financial Services in Asia

shutterstock_344562560Last week, I had the pleasure of returning to Hong Kong, where I am from originally, to officially open our Asia headquarters. Along with Jason Suen, founding Managing Partner of Hearsay Social Asia, I met with leaders of local and regional private banks and carriers to discuss their business challenges, growth opportunities, and how Hearsay Social can support them.
After many conversations, one thing was clear: Banks and agencies in Asia must modernize their field organizations in order to survive. Take insurance, for example. The high-churn, part-time agent model is unsustainable. And bancassurance, despite its allure from a margin and seeming turnkey perspective, threatens to disintermediate carriers from the all-important customer relationship.
Firms know they must help their agents professionalize, modernize, and digitize their field organizations to ensure continued growth and relevancy. Knowing that nearly every customer decision journey in Asia today starts with a Google search to validate not only the firm but the specific relationship manager’s education, experience, and qualifications, firms must enable each agent, private banker, and intermediary to be findable and reachable with a branded website, LinkedIn profile, and Facebook business page. 
All of the data points to Asian consumers as the most active and advanced users of social and mobile: More than 90 percent of online adults in Asia are on social media, and 97 percent of active social media users in Asia access their networks on their mobile devices. And yet banks and insurers have minimal digital presence. 
The opportunity to bridge this gap is enormous. This is why we have decided to set up shop in Asia and today, I’m excited to announce we’ve added three marquee customers – Manulife Asia, AXA Hong Kong, and MetLife Hong Kong – as well as the expansion of our Predictive Omnichannel Suite into the region. You can view the press announcement here.
All three firms understand that in addition to investing in corporate digital programs and initiatives, it’s critical to empower agents on digital so they can 1) build more productive, lasting relationships with today’s always-connected, social, mobile consumer, 2) establish a trusted, professional online presence that’s easily findable by Web-savvy prospects, and 3) confidently grow their networks without the risk of infringing company policy or guidelines.
I’m proud that our deep relationships with these global companies are – and will continue to be – a critical driver of our international growth in not just Asia, but Europe, North America, and beyond. We now have more than 130,000 advisors and agents using our products in more than 20 countries. The Hearsay Enterprise Platform, too, is evolving rapidly to provide expanded language support and other features to serve our international customers.
Thanks to the global Hearsay Social team for tirelessly supporting our customers, and to our customers for their continued partnership and belief in us. I look forward to many more milestones together.
Our Asia expansion was covered in the following daily newspapers:

 
亞洲金融服務業的現代化推動
上週,我有幸回到我的家鄉香港,正式開設我們的亞洲總部。我和我們的亞太常務
董事Jason Suen一起會見了一些本地以及地區性私人銀行的領導。我們討論了他們
的在業務中存在的挑戰,發展機遇以及Hearsay Social能帶來怎麼樣的幫助。
通過諸多會談,我們對一點非常明確:亞洲的銀行和經紀想要繼續存活下來必須將
他們所在領域的組織現代化。拿保險行業舉個例子。高流失的兼職經紀模式是不穩
定的。銀行保險儘管看起來簡單且高收益,但實則讓經紀很難掌控重要的客戶關係

公司都知道他們必須幫助自己的經紀在他們的領域內變得更專業化,現代化,電子
化,以保證持續的影響力以及效益增長。我們知道,在這個時代的亞洲,幾乎每個
客戶在做一個生意決定之前都會用Google搜索一下一家公司背景以及經理人的教育
,經驗以及資格,公司必須讓每個經紀,私人銀行家,以及中間人的信息都能在網
上被搜索到,無論是通過LinkedIn Profile(領英個人資料)還是Facebook(臉書
)商務主頁。
所有的數據都顯示亞洲的消費者是最活躍,最先進的移動社交用戶:在亞洲,多于
百分之九十的成年人使用社交媒體,並且有百分之九十七的活躍用戶使用移動設備
登錄他們的社交網絡。但銀行和保險行業現在在電子領域仍觸及甚微。
我們要架起兩者之前的橋樑,機遇無窮。這就是為什麼我們決定在亞洲建立分公司
。今天,我非常興奮地宣佈我們與宏利金融(亞洲),安盛(香港)以及大都會人
壽(香港)成為合作夥伴。我同時也宣佈將我們的預測性全方位渠道軟件推廣到亞
洲。請參考我們的發佈公告。
除了了解到對於電子程序以及主動性投資的重要以外,三家公司都都認為增強經紀
的電子業務能力是重中之重,這樣的好處有:1.與如今社交移動化的客戶建立更多
持續高產的良好關係2.建立專業可查詢的網絡信息3.自如且不會觸及違規風險地建
立并發展他們的網絡。
我很驕傲地認為我們與這些全球性公司的深層關係是我們國際化增長至關重要的驅
動器,不僅僅在亞洲,乃至歐洲,北美以及更遠。這樣的關係也將長久持續。如今
我們有來自20多個國家超過13萬的經紀使用我們的產品。Hearsay企業平台也正在
為國際用戶迅速提供多語言支持以及其他各種功能。
感謝我們Hearsay Social全球組對於我們用戶不畏疲倦的支持,感謝我們用戶對於
我們的信任和合作。我期待我們下一個乃至更多里程碑的到來。
 

Welcoming Bill Salisbury to the Hearsay Social Team

Today, I am excited to officially welcome a key player to our senior management team. Bill
Salisbury, an industry veteran who has spent the past several decades growing revenues and leading financing transactions for technology companies, including Google and Salesforce.com, has joined the company as our first CFO.
BillPiccrop_3 (1)
Bill has more than 25 years of experience leading finance organizations and global software and technology companies including Avast Software, Crescendo Bioscience, Morgan Stanley, and Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Additionally, Bill’s experience spanning startup CFO, investment banker, and corporate attorney will be a tremendous asset to our company in this next phase of rapid growth as we launch new products and enter new international markets.
With Bill’s wide-angle view, Hearsay Social is uniquely positioned to scale the business as we continue to build a world-class company delivering enterprise software to the financial services industry.
Bill, we’re delighted to have you on board to help the company scale internationally, to new products and beyond!
Read the official press release, and see recent press coverage in Re/codeThinkAdvisor and TechCrunch.
 

Get busy living [digitally], or get busy dying

Anyone familiar with the masterpiece movie “The Shawshank Redemption” with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman will remember this quote, with a slight modification. I added the “digitally”  to the title, and it’s what kept echoing in my head as I read the annual World Wealth Report released by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.  The annual report is an industry leading benchmark for tracking high net worth individuals (HNWIs), their wealth, and the global and economic conditions that drive change in the Wealth Management Industry.
So why the quote? Well simply, if you check out their results from the digital and social surveys and have any inclination on the evolving trends of consumer buying behavior, this report should serve as a major wake up call for advisors and their firms that the “big” money has gone digital.

“Digital has become the new wealth management industry mandate for meeting client expectations, providing integrated client experiences, reducing flight risks and increasing profitability. Regardless of age, wealth level, geography and need for advice, HNWIs are demanding digital capability from the wealth management industry….”

source: World Wealth Report Web Site 
According to the survey over one-half of respondents claim that all or most wealth management is digital and nearly two-thirds of clients with at least $1 Million or more in investable assets expect to manage some of their wealth digitally in the next five years. The fast-paced advances in technology have affected all levels of investors and consumers and their behavior when it comes to the purchase of products and services and the need for information.  We have become conditioned to expect access to services and to information on a 24/7 cycle that is quickly becoming standard — and financial resources are not immune to this expectation.  In addition, the high rate of acceptance of digital channels by HNWIs, illustrated in the report, shatters a couple of long-held beliefs about the use of digital services in wealth management — namely that they are not being used
As a result, advisor and firms that have yet to adopt a digital or social strategy are at risk of falling behind, not being part of the conversation, and at worst, losing clients in the process. In fact two-thirds of HNWIs would consider leaving their wealth management firm if an integrated and consistent client experience across all channels was not provided. To avoid the risk of losing both assets and potentially their best talent, firms need to adopt a transformative mindset that embraces the use of technology to interact with clients and improve the digital experience.  Although nothing will replace the personal one-to-one relationship that clients have with their advisor, digital connectivity for access to information and content will continue to grow as the tools for distribution improve.
Early adopters such as RBC Wealth Management understand the importance of having a presence and leveraging digital and social use as an enabler and enhancer to the relationship, not a replacement. In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business, John Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management had this to say about the importance of digital transformation and disruption.

“….[Digital] is the single biggest transformational area in the wealth management space. Because consumers are telling us that within five years, they expect most of the relationship they have with their financial advisors to be coming through digital channels and mobile applications.  Doesn’t mean they are going to move away from advisors, but they are going to expect that advisor relationship to be digitally and social media enhanced.”

As we often share at Hearsay Social, social media is not replacing human capital, it’s enhancing it.  Here below are the benefits and challenges of Digitalization for Key Stakeholders (Figure 33, Page 44) from the report.

Although social continues to be a risk and challenge for many firms, the greater risk is doing nothing and being left behind as the industry evolves.  Social works, and studies in the U.S. have show that 49% of wealth managers have acquired new clients through social media, of those, 29% brought in $1 million or more in financial assets.
Without a digital strategy, it will be very challenging for firms to attract new talent to support the growing wealth needs of investors under 40 who are leading the way in the use of emerging mobile applications, video, and social channels.  Among the under-40 HNWIs, 40% cite social media as important for accessing information, 36% for engaging with wealth managers and firms, and 34% for executing transactions.
Bill Sullivan, Global Head of Market Intelligence at Capgemini Financial Services does a great job of breaking down the findings of global digital growth in the following video.

With the high volume of wealth transfer expected in the next two decades, this is too large of an opportunity for any advisor or firm to ignore.  So, get busy living digitally, or get busy dying.

Infographic from the Wealth Report
Infographic from the Wealth Report

Read the entire Annual Wealth Report at https://www.worldwealthreport.com/