LPL Financial has unveiled its latest proprietary technology designed for its network of 17,000 advisers to shave off time spent preparing for meetings with investor clients.
Meeting Manager is integrated into the ClientWorks platform for advisers and incorporates meeting scheduling, customized agenda building and annual review compliance requirements all into a single interface. LPL built the tool after hearing from its adviser network that they were facing a capacity crisis, according to company vice president of product strategy Doug Wardley.
“Advisers are trying to find more time in their day to focus on their client experiences with everything going on in their lives,” Wardley said. “They are juggling family as we work remote, working with struggling clients and facing margin pressure.”
In fact, based on an internal study, LPL Financial learned that advisers were, on average, going through six different applications to prepare for meetings with clients, Wardley said. “That was just on average, we saw one adviser that went to 23 applications just to prepare for a meeting.”
The product is currently in the first alpha test phase and is slated to be launched in the coming months.
LPL Financial announced the roll out Thursday during its Focus 2020 virtual conference and gave InvestmentNews an exclusive demo.
Once an adviser in the ClientWorks workstation clicks the tab to launch Meeting Manager, they are guided through a scheduling tool that is linked with their Outlook emails. Next an adviser is taken to the reporting and documents tab where LPL Financial has created a template for annual reviews that meets all compliance requirements.
“We built an integration with our client reporting tool so all of the templates that are saved within the client reporting tool can be leveraged and pulled in so they don’t have to leave this page and go into another application,” Teague said.
The adviser has the ability to generate an agenda as the tool pulls in all of their documentation into a PDF. The adviser can customize the PDF, which can be emailed to the client or presented via video conference. Down the road, LPL Financial plans to integrate its MoneyGuide financial planning tool and its AdvisoryWorld proposal generation tool into the Meeting Manager.
“We wanted to create a workflow where multiple hands can touch it during the process as we’ve learned that it’s not necessarily just one person in the office putting everything together for a client meeting,” said the firm’s senior vice president of product management Sarah Teague. “Admins, portfolio managers and then the adviser or maybe a team of advisers have some component of the meeting that they’re responsible for so we created this dashboard where everyone can have access to meetings that have and have not been scheduled.”
The announcement comes on the heels of LPL Financial’s partnership with Slack as its next communication platform for advisers. The partnership builds on the broker-dealer’s goal to transform its legacy technology into modern tools for advisers.
Revamped adviser-facing workstations and technology tools have been a big trend in recent months — especially at some of the largest wealth managers, like Merrill Lynch, UBS and Wells Fargo — as the coronavirus pandemic sparked remote work environments with no end in sight. To that end, firms are racing to develop tech tools to keep advisers thriving despite the market volatility.
“It’s not just about enabling the technology for advisers,” LPL Financial’s senior vice president of strategic partners and platform technology Gary Carrai said. “It’s about integrating technology inside of an ecosystem of applications to make things less stressful for the adviser.”
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