Sometimes industry disruption happens down in the details and at other moments the changes come fast enough to make headlines. Either way, it's an opportunity to wealth managers who seize the moment -- and a warning shot to everyone else.
The launch of a new voice-driven assistant from Envestnet is one of the headline developments. The sizzle factor is instant: opening up client data to Alexa means that any advisor on the go can get a 5-minute briefing on demand.
Suddenly meeting prep gets structured and streamlined. And that opens up a lot of time in the day to have more meetings. While we all have the same number of minutes in the work week, the advisor who can fit more contact points into that timeline has an edge in terms of retention and prospecting.
And that's where the incremental details start adding up behind the headline. The Alexa interface is more than a new way to hear your CRM files instead of scrolling down a screen.
Because Envestnet's Yodlee account aggregation system provides the brains, the "briefing" can build a more holistic map of the client's overall situation: assets held elsewhere, debt, cash flow. Suddenly the assistant can see more than what your traditional account view displays.
From there, it's just a matter of training the assistant to give you the information that's useful in your process. There's a machine learning component here that will ultimately lead to some stunning places.
Advisors have an opportunity to teach Alexa to look at a client file the way they would. Problem areas and planning opportunities can be flagged and drawn to the advisor's attention -- the real excitement here is the Envision system behind the voice interface, which we'll be talking about more in the very near future.
It's part of a pattern emerging from this year's Envestnet advisor conference in New Orleans. Sizzle and steak, revolution and evolution, voice assistant and new ways to systematize the work every advisor does. They go together.