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Celebrating the Intersection of Technology and Financial Services At Social Business Innovation Summit 2015

Summit-Blog-GraphicOn Wednesday, June 3, Hearsay Social will bring together key thought leaders in financial services and Silicon Valley technology for its third annual Social Business Innovation Summit (#SBIS15).
Following the huge success of last year’s Social Business Innovation Summit (watch the video), Hearsay Social has once again developed an exciting program that will drive conversation and action around the digital transformation that is taking place within the financial services industry. Executives and thought leaders representing multiple functions, including the C-suite, sales, marketing and compliance, from some of the world’s top financial services firms will convene in downtown San Francisco to connect with CEOs of disruptive technology companies, and learn how they are innovating and redefining established markets.
The Summit will include a combination of TED-style keynotes, fireside chats and many opportunities for attendees to network and share ideas with their peers from around the world.
Speakers Email-01
Clara Shih (@clarashih), CEO and founder of Hearsay Social, will begin the dialogue by sharing her perspectives on why today’s advisor risk becoming obsolete. She’ll discuss why and how advisors and their financial services leaders must quickly adapt to best reach and serve clients.
Attendees also will hear from Dan Preston (@danpres), CEO of Metromile, a technology company that has completely changed the relationship between consumers and car insurance, as well as Dave Girouard (@davegirouard), CEO and founder of Upstart, the leader in marketplace lending that is fulfilling a need overlooked by traditional banks. Elad Gil (@eladgil), CEO and founder of Color Genomics, will share his insights on technology’s impact on human lifespans and, in turn, the wealth management and insurance industries.
From within the industry, Summit attendees will hear from Tash Elwyn (@tashelwynRJ), president of Raymond James & Associates, about the transformative role that social media and technology plays in wealth management. Knut Olson (@knutolson), senior vice president of mission advancement at Thrivent Financial, will discuss what Thrivent is doing to innovate and modernize its advisor force in order to stay connected with clients to grow business and deepen relationships.
Be sure to follow #SBIS15 and @hearsaysocial on June 3 for live Summit coverage and to follow the conversation, and check back for a round-up of key learnings and takeaways.
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Customer Spotlight: How Raymond James is Leveraging the Power of Social Media (VIDEO)

This blog post is part of our new Customer Spotlight Series designed to showcase a Hearsay Social customer, share their experiences with our technology, and highlight the benefits they are reaping from it. Here, Tash Elwyn shares his thoughts on how leveraging technology like Hearsay Social is making an impact at Raymond James.
Ever wonder how leading-edge firms are leveraging the power of social media in their business programs? Well, we recently sat down with Tash Elwyn, President of the Private Client Group at Raymond James and Associates, to learn how Raymond James is implementing social media in their business program to differentiate themselves, cultivate relationships, and grow their business.
Similar to other firms in the financial services industry, regulatory concerns and marketing support were factors considered in the implementation of their social media program. Raymond James advisors are able to use their voice and better engage with customers and prospects by listening through social media and leveraging technology like Hearsay Social.
In this short video, Elwyn explains how their firm measures the impact of social media both from an engagement standpoint and a brand standpoint — and likens social media to email and smartphones, essentially challenging advisors to “get off the fence, or risk the fence breaking.”
Watch the video below to hear more from a firm who ‘get’s it’ and what’s next in terms of digital and social for Raymond James:

For more information on how advisors can leverage the power of social media, check out Hearsay Social’s Predictive Social Suite for Advisors and read our recent Advisor of the Future executive report.
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4 ways Wall Street will regain the trust of Main Street: Takeaways from SIFMA Annual, part 1

It’s been over 5 years since the financial crisis, yet do you trust financial institutions the same way you did before 2008? Are you confident that Wall Street and the folks who represent the firms in banking are being transparent and working in your best interest?

These are the questions that were being asked and addressed last week at the SIFMA Annual Meeting in New York City.

Representing 575 member firms and over 800,000 employees in the securities business alone, SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association) brings together hundreds of securities firms, banks, and asset managers to promote job creation and economic growth.

At last week’s Annual Meeting, almost 1,000 financial services executives from America’s top banks congregated to hear from thought leaders, practitioners, and rule makers including former President Bill Clinton, Senator Judd Gregg, SEC Chair Mary Jo White, FINRA Chairman and CEO Richard G. Ketchum, and former Governor Jeb Bush.

The theme of the conference, “Helping Americans Succeed, Helping Main Street Prosper,” placed the spotlight on how financial institutions can restore the public’s trust and confidence in the industry.

So how will Wall Street and its financial institutions regain the trust of Main Street? Judd Gregg, SIFMA’s CEO and former U.S. senator, laid out 4 practices that SIFMA and its members are driving:

1. Putting clients first

“It’s the start of open dialogue and clear expectations, both of which build trust and are critical in helping clients determine their financial goals, then reach them through appropriate investments,” said Chet Helck, SIFMA chairman and CEO of Raymond James Global Private Client Group.

It is up to SIFMA members, he noted, to earn back trust and have the discipline to uphold standards by which they operate, as well as identify those who aren’t. He also shared with the audience that Raymond James Financial, when launching or changing new programs and offerings, always asks, “how does this affect our clients?”

Mary Jo White, chair of the SEC, added that the role of the SEC also facilitates this through regulations and enforcement of those regulations focused on transparency and fraud prevention.

2. Investing in America

The financial services industry plays a key role in the path to prosperity for Americans, said Jim Rosenthal, COO of Morgan Stanley, so the industry must continue to provide the foundation for growth and prosperity by funding small businesses through an efficient lending process.

From his own experience in meeting people from all walks of life as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton said that one can’t underestimate the difficult position the majority of people face. Clinton offered specific ideas that the industry can help, including micro-credit lending to fund new business ideas, training, and new job growth.

Clinton also highlighted the need to target those with requisite skills and get them trained to prepare for the “next generation economy.”

3. Driving transparency and cooperation

It’s critical to transform the industry to be safer and more transparent to the general public.

To do this, regulations and enforcement help, but as Governor Jed Bush explained, it’s critical to “simplify the rules and make them more clear” for both the financial institutions’ teams who need to implement and abide by them and the general public.

In addition to transparency, cooperation is key. President Clinton highlighted that we live in one of the most interdependent ages in history: there has never been greater trade, travel, and technology than there is today. America and the financial services industry, he said, should focus on cooperation to drive shared prosperity. For example, large financial institutions and banks should find common causes with community banks who want to make good loans to individuals and businesses.

4. Educating on the importance of the market economy and financial literacy

Education campaigns, according to President Clinton, should focus on the basics:

  • Discuss issues or topics that are “self-evident”

  • Communicate “how we can help you” with specificity

  • Share how free enterprise works

  • Explain the rules and intent of Dodd-Frank

  • Provide examples of how “we think you can improve upon your current situation”

One program that highlights SIFMA’s commitment to educating the younger generation is its annual Stock Market Game, which helps elementary school students learn first-hand about the stock market.

Overall, the conference framed several of the challenges the industry and America faces, and offered many perspectives on potential solutions with initiatives like the one above to make SIFMA’s goals a reality.

One other practice I would offer to enhance and accelerate those above would be for financial services firms to invest in social media technology and training for its advisors, broker-dealers, and wealth managers to better reach Main Street. To her credit, when SEC Chair Mary Jo White was asked by session moderator, Peter Cook, Chief Washington Correspondent and Host of “Capitol Gains” for Bloomberg Television, whether or not she was a person who uses social media, she replied, “I think you have to be a social media person today to some degree.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Social media is a key way of driving transparency, empowering the public, and re-establishing trust. It can enhance how businesses reach their clients and give firms a personality.

How exactly? Stay tuned for part 2 of my takeaways and recommendations from SIFMA Annual.

Bringing women together at the Raymond James Women’s Symposium

Paul Reilly, CEO of Raymond James, speaking at the Women’s Symposium about the value of recruiting more female advisors.

Did you know that 25% fewer men graduate from college than women?
In 1975, before Title IX was implemented, 17% more men graduated from college than women in the United States, according to The Census Bureau. But, in the last few decades, the tables have turned.
And yet, even though there is a huge trend towards a more educated female population, it seems they aren’t opting for a career in financial services. Women’s rights activist Gloria Feldt recently noted that women make up 51% of the population and 47% of the workforce but only 18% of the executive leadership at corporations. In addition, only 9% of client-facing financial advisors are women, according to data from Cerulli Associates Inc.
At Raymond James, the senior leadership team actively encourages and recruits female advisors to meet the market’s needs and match female college graduates in the United States.
“Today, 15% of our financial advisors are female, which is almost double the industry average” said Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly. “But we need to move the needle and actively encourage more women to join the financial services profession.”
One way that Raymond James encourages women to become financial advisors is through their own Network for Women Advisors. This group focuses on finding and promoting ways for female advisors to thrive in their business. Additionally, Raymond James annually hosts the Women’s Symposium, a 3-day conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. for members of the Network for Women Advisors and their guests. At the symposium, attendees listen to experts in the industry discuss new trends, goal planning, sustainability, leadership, social media, and more. The Women’s Symposium is also an excellent way for the women of Raymond James to cultivate relationships with their peers and learn about new opportunities through the network.
Welcome Reception and Networking Dinner at the Raymond James Women’s Symposium.

One of the two Social Media Sessions with (from right to left) Sacha Millstone (wealth manager at Raymond James), Patty Grayson (part of the Millstone Evans Group of Raymond James), and myself.

I had the pleasure of joining these women at the Symposium last week to speak about the value of social media for growing an advisor’s business. While there, I found it to be so much more than a female conference: it was also an invaluable way to bring women together, support their careers, and give them the tools and resources to become successful financial advisors, role models to others, leaders in their industry and, indeed, leaders in life.
If you’re in the financial services industry, how are you encouraging more women to Lean In, grow their network and pursue new opportunities?

Join Raymond James, LIMRA, and Hearsay Social for "An Intro to Social Media Compliance"

It’s a great time to be a compliance officer.
So said one panelist at last week’s SIFMA Social Media Seminar, demonstrating that now is the time to work with marketing and sales teams to empower them on social media. With over a billion users on social networks, prohibiting or ignoring social media is simply no longer an option.
That’s why we hope to see you on next week’s webinar, An Intro to Social Media Compliance, hosted by these industry experts:

In this upcoming webinar, you’ll hear real business stories from Patrick Cuillo, who manages compliance for Raymond James Financial. You’ll also hear from Stephen Selby (@LIMRA_CRS), LIMRA’s expert in regulatory compliance for insurance firms. Finally, our own Yasmin Zarabi (@yasminzarabi), attorney and social media law expert, will present on social media compliance best practices.
These three industry experts will discuss the important first steps that regulated financial services and insurance firms must take to address regulatory compliance requirements related to social media use.

Register for “An Intro to Social Media Compliance” here.

Raymond James Financial partners with Hearsay Social to support its advisors on social media

Today we’re proud to announce that Raymond James Financial has partnered with Hearsay Social to support its advisors on social media.

A diversified holding company providing financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities, Raymond James will now be able to build customer relationships and grow business on social media through the use of Hearsay Social.

Facebook Page for Jeffrey E Blum, one of thousands of financial advisors at Raymond James who will be using Hearsay Social to grow their business.

Raymond James CMO Mike White discusses the news:

“Social media engagement is becoming critical to helping advisors manage and build their brands and support their client and prospective client communications. We are pleased to be able to offer our advisors more capabilities, greater flexibility and enhanced technology through the Hearsay Social platform. Advisors who incorporate social communication strategies into their broader marketing and communications efforts can improve their ability to support deepening client relationships and add new ones.

“Hearsay Social’s platform not only helps keep them compliant, but will help advisors take advantage of many of the communication and relationship-building features that are unique to social media platforms. The ability to utilize this platform on mobile devices and non-work computers is an additional benefit.”

Tens of thousands of relationship managers already use Hearsay Social every day to listen and respond to what their customers and prospects are saying on social networks. We look forward to working with Raymond James to help their advisors do the same.

Advisors will be able to take advantage of the full set of features offered by Hearsay Social, including Social Signals, which identifies when clients share important stories on social networks (such as retirement or marriage). These signals will allow Raymond James advisors to reach out to their clients and prospects with warm, targeted, and timely outreach.

To learn more about today’s announcement, read the press release or this story in the New York Times.