I think it’s fair to say that today’s fintech landscape offers more opportunities than ever in the history of the profession. We can remember when fintech value propositions were confined to running a more efficient planning business, with steadily enhanced CRM client management, better trading and rebalancing tools for portfolio management, and increasingly powerful planning tools for better analysis and advice.
A keynote speaker at the T3 conference today is just as likely to tout features and benefits like an enhanced customer experience, client or prospect capture, seamless access to critical data, deeper analytics into issues for clients who live and work in niche markets – and new AI features taking all of us into entirely new realms of automated convenience.
This is the 20th iteration of Joel Bruckenstein’s annual T3 conference. I’ve attended all of them, gaining a front-row view as the fintech landscape exploded from a core set of tools to a bewildering variety of opportunities to enhance every part of an advisory firm’s service, analytics, operations, marketing, management, advice and client experience.
Much of what advisors take for granted today, in their tech stacks, was injected into the profession’s mainstream at one or another of the T3 conferences.
I can confidently say that everybody in attendance this year will have their eyes opened to more than a few new opportunities from the podium and at least a few more in an exhibit hall that brings the entire fintech landscape together in one place. Where else can you perform a year’s worth of tech due diligence in just a few days?
Over the years, advisors and their key staff members at T3 would prowl the exhibit hall, looking at demos and asking specific questions of the tech vendors. They would get a sense of their options and a surprising amount of consulting and insight into different ways their pain points can be addressed operationally. In the meantime, they would attend sessions with their antennas up, absorbing the explanations of new developments that might be solutions to challenges not yet identified.
I have a few memories to share of Joel telling a VERY skeptical audience that smartphones would be a very big deal in the near future. I hosted the first panel discussion of advisors who had moved all of their tech to something that had not yet been named ‘the cloud,’ working from anywhere, accessing their client data and software remotely. The audience was amazed and skeptical at the same time.
There were later presentations about the benefits of moving software operations to the cloud, and, more recently, right after the Covid travel hiatus, it seemed like every fintech provider and every platform whose value proposition had been focused on operational efficiency were now talking about how their solutions could enhance the client experience.
And then came AI.
Let this be your welcome letter to the next fintech adventure that is T3 2024. The next few days are our collective (that word again) opportunity to make sense of the myriad of trends, upgrades, features and startups to find solutions that will support your staff and also your advice and service to clients.
Here, as nowhere else, the fintech world is at your fingertips.