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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.
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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. 
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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!
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View slides from the presenters at SlideShare, and check out the Summit videos on YouTube.
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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。
 

Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih: The Vertical Cloud and Regulations Will Have a Profound Impact on Business in 2016

shutterstock_293401085In 2015, the exponential changes taking place within the technology industry was a recurring theme in the business world. Change was no longer just ubiquitous; it was accelerating. Today, this message has become even clearer as technological advancements continue at a rapid pace and are revolutionizing every aspect of our daily lives.
I wrote how this is fundamentally changing the consumer experience in a recent article published by Fast Company entitled “The Rise of Millennials, Crowdsourcing, And Automation.” But what about the enterprise? Here are two massive trends that business leaders need to watch in 2016:

The vertical cloud comes of age

For some years now, many cloud vendors have sold their products to multiple industries – an approach that has worked exceptionally well for companies like Workday and Salesforce. In 2016 and beyond, thanks to key technology developments across the public and private arena including low cost web hosting services and no-cost open-source programming languages, we will see the vertical cloud come of age, particularly in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, government, and financial services – industries that have largely been neglected by Silicon Valley due to the unique complexities involved. According to Frost & Sullivan, the opportunity in healthcare cloud will grow from $903 million in 2013 to $3.5 billion in 2020, while TechNavio predicts cloud financial services will grow 25% per year through 2018.
With the privilege of focus, vertical cloud solutions will be game-changing with obvious benefits. It offers more tailored offerings to address specific needs and solve unique industry challenges; it offers rapid ease of deployment, eliminating the need for lengthy implementations to customize and “verticalize” a “one-size-fits-all” product; and it allows those vendors to develop true industry expertise and deeper customer relationships such that customer feedback can rapidly evolve into newer and better solutions over time.
Ultimately, this enables those vertical cloud solutions to grow faster and establish dominant market share than traditional software vendors. Gartner estimates that the 2015 vertical spend of $113 billion will grow at 7 percent per year, something that Salesforce took note of last year (following Infor’s lead at their Dreamforce event) by doubling down on their vertical-focused strategy.

Regulators will aggressively play ‘catch-up’ to keep up with the impending regulatory tsunami

In 2016, there will be a growing number of regulators and regulations from the SEC, FINRA, DoL, CFPB, IRS, CFTC, OCC, state regulators, and others. The rapid and revolutionary shifts enabled by technology in recent years have caught regulators off-guard in everything from hospitality and transportation to healthcare and cybersecurity. But in 2016, I expect regulators across industries and countries to aggressively play catch-up and apply new levels of pressure on many disruptive companies.
We’re seeing this start now, with regulators across the globe poking holes in Uber’s business model. Right here in San Francisco, Prop F, aimed at regulating AirBnB’s impact on the tight housing market, failed to pass but still garnered 45 percent of the popular vote.
Not surprisingly, this game of regulatory catch-up is even more pronounced in highly regulated industries such as financial services. For example, the Department of Labor has proposed new rules requiring financial advisors to disclose any potential conflicts of interest with funds they recommend, while leaders at the SEC consider if and how to regulate robo-advisor firms, perhaps holding them to a fiduciary standard for offering (automated) advice.
Hearsay Social, for one, is helping firms and advisors navigate the impending tailwinds by keeping them abreast of these changes and offering solutions to remain successful.
As regulators continue to keep up with these massive changes, 2016 will be a year where businesses across industries will need to prepare for the shifting regulatory landscape while still delivering value to their customers. To overcome the overhead costs and time required to manage to regulatory guidelines and policies, companies will need to find ways to drive efficiency and growth by leveraging technology that enables their workforce to be more productive and compliant.
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Delivering Innovative Compliance Solutions to Our Customers

shutterstock_315885482One of our core objectives at Hearsay Social is to deliver industry-leading compliance and governance solutions to our customers. Developing truly innovative compliance technology is multi-faceted; it’s not just about coverage or control, but also about effective governance solutions that must be scalable across an organization.
At Hearsay Social, we are focused on building technology that empowers our users to work more productively. We closely study the workflows of our users including compliance professionals, and concentrate our engineering efforts on building powerful technology that makes their daily activities more efficient.
Today, we announced a variety of new compliance functionality that provides additional risk controls and increased efficiencies for the compliance teams we work with.
These enhancements include:
Updated text change reviews: With many tools, it is common that compliance and supervision teams scan static content such as profiles or posts word by word to identify changes. This can be a huge drag on time. We’ve tried dramatically to speed up our customers’ compliance flows by providing visualized change management for text fields. The new solution from Hearsay Social visibly highlights edits in text fields, including additions and deletions, making it possible for compliance teams to clearly compare requested copy changes and make efficient supervision decisions.
Customizable supervision dashboards and saved queries: With the launch of the Universal Supervision dashboard earlier this year, we delivered greater visibility and control to compliance professionals. With customizable dashboards, each member on the team can make their own view according to their supervision responsibilities and risk areas they monitor. Instead of requiring a user to repeatedly make the same query, compliance professionals can now save the supervision views and queries they use often in order to more efficiently do their job.
Flexible lexicon controls: There is not a one-size-fits-all lexicon for social media compliance across an organization. Different activities across social networks require different policies and controls. Over the past year, we have greatly enhanced the ability for companies to add and manage lexicon terms by activity type, limiting alert and approval queues to activities that are against the rules for each distinctive activity type.
On behalf of the entire Hearsay Social team, we’re truly excited to bring these latest innovations to our customers and their supervision teams to ensure social media compliance even more easily, quickly and accurately.
For more details, check out our press announcement.

Transforming Traditional Advisor Channels: Announcing Hearsay Messages and the Predictive Omnichannel Suite


Today, there are millions of financial advisors and insurance agents worldwide, including more than 500,000 in the U.S. alone. And while technology is rapidly changing consumer behavior, preferences, and expectations, the way a typical advisor engages with customers has largely remained unchanged. What once worked before – cold calling, Yellow Pages, static advisor websites – no longer have a place in today’s digital world. A recent study confirmed 83 percent of consumers prefer communication via email, text and/or social.
Customers are now omnichannel: researching online, reaching out to connections via social and mobile for recommendations, and making purchase decisions long before interacting with a single sales professional. In fact, the average consumer spends six hours every day online – on social, mobile, and digital.
Add to this the onslaught of robo-advisors, self-service consumer e-commerce sites, and anticipated regulatory rulings, and advisors have even more pressure to deliver more to clients while charging less. Confronted with this reality, advisors must fundamentally change the way they do business in order to stay relevant and survive.
Advisors know they need to adapt; they know they need to deliver more value and be accessible across all the channels their clients and prospects are engaging on. But advisors aren’t marketing or compliance experts. And asking advisors to figure out how to do it themselves – or barring them from using these channels due to compliance concerns – has proven to be both inefficient and ineffective.
Six years ago, we saw an opportunity to leverage technology to begin addressing these inefficiencies and the need for change through social selling. Since then, more than 115,000 advisors and agents are using our platform to connect with today’s social, mobile, digital consumer. Today, I’m thrilled to announce our Predictive Omnichannel Suite (#omnichanneladvisor), a full set of integrated apps purpose-built for advisors to save time, stay relevant, and deliver more personalized service to their clients.

Hearsay MessagesWe’re also announcing a new product: Hearsay Messages. Many of you have told us that clients and advisors want to text each other, but compliance requirements got in the way. Hearsay Messages is our answer to your call – a compliance-enabled text messaging application that will allow advisors to send and receive business-related texts with customers using the mobile device they already have.
What is a predictive omnichannel suite?
Our four integrated apps (Hearsay Social, Hearsay Sites, Hearsay Mail, and Hearsay Messages) will help advisors engage across channels with their clients. Each app will have built-in predictive analytics to help advisors save time – everything from auto-suggesting meeting reminders to suggesting the “next best action,” i.e., who to reach out to, when to reach out, and what to say.
All four apps are built on the same single, unified platform so advisors don’t have to log in to four different systems, and compliance supervision teams don’t have to approve the same action four times.
Why are we doing this?
The world has changed. Clients expect and demand engagement on their terms any time, anywhere, and on every channel. Traditional field organizations have no choice but to adapt. It’s become our mission to help with this field transformation.
Looking back, it’s been an incredible year at Hearsay Social – thanks to your trust and confidence as well as to our second engineering office, which we recently opened in Seattle. It’s been an amazing journey to go from a single social media platform to a full omnichannel suite in less than 12 months.
Social selling, beautiful and modern SEO-optimized advisor websites, personalized email at scale that doesn’t feel like spam, and text messaging – all have become table stakes in today’s buyer journey and client experience.
We couldn’t have accomplished all this without your support. Here’s to many more milestones ahead together and to helping equip your field organization to succeed now and into the future.
For more details, contact your customer success manager and check out our new executive playbook, The Omnichannel Advisor. Also take a look at my keynote, “The Age of the Trusted Advisor,” from our Innovation Summit in June.

The Age of the Trusted, Omnichannel Advisor: Insights from Social Business Innovation Summit 2015

Last week, we hosted our third Social Business Innovation Summit (#SBIS15) here in our hometown of Silicon Valley. It was an honor and delight to bring together more than 100 top insurance and wealth management executives, and hear from seven impressive fellow Silicon Valley tech startups. Based on feedback we’ve heard thus far, it sounds like we achieved our collective goal of getting inspired, sharing best practices  and making connections that I’m certain will shape the future of the financial services industry.


To kick off the day, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tash Elwyn (@tashelwynRJ), president of Raymond James and Associates, for a fireside chat. We had a lively conversation on how wealth management firms can stay relevant in a digital world. Among many other insights, Tash expressed the importance of social media and the need to evangelize it from both the C-suite and the field.
I also hosted a fireside chat with Knut Olson (@knutolson), chief operating officer at Thrivent Financial, who shared how Thrivent has built the technological capabilities for its advisors to not only more efficiently manage one-on-one relationships with clients, but deepen them using social media and other digital avenues.
Both conversations with Tash and Knut reinforced why the industry needs to embrace the dawn of what I call the trusted advisor – an advisor who takes advantage of predictive, big data analytics and machine learning, all while leveraging what can’t be replaced by an algorithm: the emotional, personal connection an advisor has to a client or prospect. Those who turn a blind eye toward technology, automation and consumers’ increasingly digital preferences – the obsolete advisor – will be quickly left behind.
Representing the Silicon Valley view of the industry, Metromile CEO Dan Preston (@danpresspoke about how his pay-per-mile car insurance company is turning the traditional way of pricing and purchasing car insurance on its head. What I found interesting is that, as insurance carriers refine risk modeling using predictive analytics, how much we must pay for insurance will have a much greater impact on essential decisions such as where we live, work and play.
Dave Girouard (@davegirouard), CEO of Upstart, a marketplace lending startup, gave attendees a stark message: People who have no business being in your industry will disrupt it. Will you embrace it or be consumed by it? This is a question I’ve shared many times in my own presentations and authored articles. The former Google executive is an example of a technologist who saw a market that was being overlooked by Silicon Valley – financial lending – and went on to create an efficient, Web-based platform that makes it easy for lenders and borrowers to connect.
Last but definitely not least, we heard from Elad Gil (@eladgil), CEO and co-founder of Color Genomics, a startup with a mission to democratize genetic testing by using software and automation to substantially decrease costs. (Full disclosure: I’m an investor and on their advisory board.) Elad discussed how, as wearable device technology becomes mainstream, the way we view and access health care will be dramatically different; for example, consumers can continuously self-monitor on their own, creating a huge amount of data that can be quickly mined to prevent, diagnose and manage disease. This has enormous implications not only for the wealth management, retirement and life insurance industries, but the human lifespan as a whole.
The big takeaway from all the speakers? Technology is here to stay, and the financial services firms and advisors that will succeed must not only embrace its disruptive impact, but use it to enhance and scale what this industry is built upon: trust-based relationships.
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!
For additional insights, watch my keynote from the Social Business Innovation Summit 2015 and view my presentation. Please also download our Executive Report on The Advisor of the Future: How to Stay Relevant in the Digital Age.

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Kicking off Social Business Innovation Summit 2015.

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Tash Elwyn of Raymond James and Associates.

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Knut Olson of Thrivent Financial.

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Dan Preston of Metromile.

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Dave Girouard of Upstart.

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Elad Gil of Color Genomics.

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Hearsay Social Named to CNBC’s Disruptor 50 List!

Hearsay Social today was named to CNBC's 2015 Disruptor 50 list.
Hearsay Social today was named to CNBC’s 2015 Disruptor 50 list.

We’re thrilled to announce that Hearsay Social today was named to the third annual CNBC Disruptor 50 list, which ranks 50 of the country’s “most ambitious and innovative companies changing the economy and overall business landscape.”
Hearsay Social was selected from more than 350 companies for challenging the status quo and creating a new ecosystem for our products and services. Forward-thinking upstarts including Uber, Airbnb and Dropbox also were included on the 2015 list. As a vertically focused company solely dedicated to the financial services industry, it’s an honor to be among such well-known consumer brands.
This recognition comes on the heels of Hearsay Social CEO and co-founder Clara Shih’s nomination last fall to the CNBC Next List, a who’s who of influential leaders developing solutions that will transform business over the next quarter century including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.
CNBC.com’s special 2015 Disruptor 50 report, disruptor50.cnbc.com, features an in-depth profile of Hearsay Social and an explanation of how CNBC chose and ranked the companies on the list. CNBC also will track our progress as a Disruptor throughout the coming year.
It’s been a time of tremendous growth and innovation for us at Hearsay Social. We have a dedicated presence in 10 cities around the world, and have built a world-class engineering team that’s constantly challenging the company to deliver the same type of experience to the financial services industry that’s as powerful, easy to use and intuitive as the most popular consumer apps.
Today, more than 100,000 financial advisors and insurance agents use the Hearsay Social platform to develop a strong social presence, build relationships with their clients and prospects, and ultimately increase business. Most of all, we’re thankful to count leading financial institutions such as New York Life, Raymond James and Penn Mutual as some of our amazing customers and partners.
For more information on how we’re disrupting the financial services industry, check out the press announcement and read our recent Advisor of the Future executive report.

Hearsay Social Named "Best Place to Work" in Bay Area

IMG_2894We are thrilled to share that Hearsay Social has been named one of this year’s “Best Places to Work” by the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. Top employers were selected across five categories, and Hearsay Social was ranked No. 8 in the mid-sized company category.
“We are extremely proud of our strong company culture at Hearsay Social,” said Patty Buckley, VP of Operations, People and Culture, which includes a mentality of 1) people first, 2) company before self and 3) rapid execution. “This award is evidence of our growing reputation for being both a great company and a magnet for top talent.” In fact, approximately one-third of all new hires in the past year are from referrals by current employees.
Companies on the “Best Places to Work” list are ranked in various categories based solely on employee satisfaction surveys in areas such as work satisfaction, employee recognition, professional development, organizational leadership and management practices.

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From left to right: Yola Harsono, Mark Gilbert, Ashley Sullivan, Shannon Armitage, Andrew Winkler, Dan England.

Here are just a few ways Hearsay Social fosters a winning work environment:
People-first approach to decision-making
When we set employee policies or programs, we always try to consider the best interest of the people before that of the company’s interest in them as employees. One example of our people-focused approach is with our vacation and leave plans; we’ve made them flexible, so that people can work around their life instead of build their life around the requirements of their work.
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Our new “name bubbles” courtesy of Jaime Caban @gogojaime.

Open floor plans and transparency across teams
The Hearsay Social leadership team has made the “open-door” policy such a priority that we don’t have offices or doors. The leadership team sits in the open-seating plan with the rest of the company. Hearsay Social helps employees understand they are valuable by giving them access to senior leaders and providing easy ways to connect with colleagues from other lines of business.
Exposure to inspiring ideas and innovative thinkers from around the globe
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CEO Clara Shih speaking with Bill McNabb, CEO of Vanguard. Photo credit: Gary Liu

Through our employees’ relationships, we’ve been fortunate and proud to host and hear from great leaders and innovators across industries. We’ve had fireside chats with Howard Schultz (the CEO of Starbucks), Bill McNabb (the CEO of Vanguard), Roberta Kaplan (the lawyer who argued the US vs. Windsor case in front of the Supreme Court), Square and Twitter executives, and many others. Making sure these events are crafted for all employees and ensuring that everyone has access to these incredible leaders reflects our all-for-one spirit.
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Introducing the New Curated Content Channels for Advisors

Curated-ContentAn authentic voice. We all have one.
It is who we are. It is the words, grammar and syntax we use everyday to communicate our thoughts and talk about what is important to us, to the world around us.
Our authentic voice communicates our personality, and expresses our humanity.
How ironic it is therefore that on the most human of technologies, social networks, we often find ourselves communicating in a way that is robotic. Too often advisors post and re-post the same series of financial updates on social in some vague attempt to engage a following.
But ask, is that how an advisor communicates in the offline world? As an advisor of a person’s financial wellbeing, something that is highly personal, do you begin a conversation citing stats and dry, distant financial content in the hope your listener reacts positively?
Or do you make yourself relatable. Talk about your personal interests, ask questions and uncover the interests of others around you?
You do the latter. You want people to connect with you first as a person, and then as a financial advisor.
As Clara Shih, our CEO, has often noted, financial advisors have always been social. They have always first dawn on their personal connections and personal networks to build and grow their financial business.
Understanding this, Hearsay Social launched today Curated Content Channels, an innovative way for advisors to find and articulate in their authentic voice on social.
With the help of our Customer Success team, Hearsay admins can now create new content channels in the Hearsay content library. These content channels can be on any topic, general interest or financial, and can even be localized to focus on content from a particular region or city.
The Curated Content Channels offering will draw on tens of thousands of online sources to present the relevant content to the Hearsay admin. The Hearsay Customer Success rep can work with the admin to actually teach the system what content is desired, so the system will actually learn and seek out more relevant content in the future.
With a few clicks, admins can create a stream of relevant, curated content to make available for their advisors. This will save admins the considerable time they now spend to find content to populate content libraries.
Advisors, for their part, can find the content that is more relevant to them and that helps them best find their authentic voice. Sharing and commenting on their personally relevant content will help the advisor evolve from a seemingly automated poster to their original human, and social form.
Learn more about Curated Content Channels in the press release.