Client Affairs

EXCLUSIVE: SunGard Says Two Heads Are Better Than One - The Advisor-Client Digital Mash-Up

James Pershing, January 22, 2014

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James Pershing, partner, SunGard Consulting Services, and wealth management practice lead, writes about some of the challenges and opportunities for wealth managers in the digital age.

James Pershing, partner, SunGard Consulting Services, and wealth management practice lead, writes about some of the challenges and opportunities for wealth managers in the digital age. The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily endorsed by the editors of this publication, although we are grateful for its contribution to debate about the industry.

When it comes to generating ideas, collaborating on plans and accomplishing goals, many believe that two heads are better than one.  And, logically speaking, the key ingredient required for two heads to function successfully as one must be effective communication.

Further, it is safe to assume that the communication between a financial advisor and his or her client must be effective and carefully balanced. Constant communication resulting in noise overload doesn’t work, nor does sparse communication that becomes disjointed and disorganized.

The trick is getting the right level of communication between the advisor and client to accommodate each client’s unique desires for how much information is communicated and at what frequency.  Every client is different.

However, regardless of how much information is required by a client or the frequency at which the advisor and client communicate, one thing is certain:  the advisor and client should always be on the same page.

With the proliferation of devices and apps and an ever-accelerating number of clients demanding digital information whenever and wherever, the digital experience between advisor and client must become more effective.

For instance, an advisor and client might spend valuable time building a plan for retirement or managing wealth, but once this plan is in place, the common understanding of the plan between the advisor and client often starts to fade. Why does this happen?

One reason is that many of the applications that service the two parties were built with only one party in mind.

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