How FinTech can enhance your advisory business

Croesus provides wealth managers with all the tools they need

Over the last three decades, using technology and data management systems in business has gone from helpful to essential.

For advisors, new technology means real-time trading integrations, modelling, and data analytics tools, all integrated within a portfolio management system.

Croesus is one such firm that offers innovation and sophisticated technology to the wealth management industry. With 31 years of experience and 55% of the market share, Croesus provides portfolio management solutions to IIROC-licensed advisors in Canada and the U.S.

David Mastroberardino
David Mastroberardino

“There’s a lot of pressure on advisors,” says David Mastroberardino, Product Director at Croesus. “There are increased compliance costs and downward pressure on fees. So you need to have the tools to become more efficient.”

His firm offers various modules, all within one holistic system.

“We start with portfolio management,” he explains. “We’ve invested heavily in the last few years on our modelling functionality because of the increase in managed accounts and discretionary management. More advisors are making the switch to becoming portfolio managers, so they’re asking for solutions.”

Whether it’s stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or ETFs that portfolio managers decide to invest in for their clients’ portfolios, the modelling module has them covered. The module is based on the different objectives and time horizons of the client. For instance, say several clients want to invest in Canadian equity, but Household A doesn’t want to invest in certain stocks and Household B does.

“This information is captured in an investment policy statement, or IPS,” he says. “The technology is used to calculate the returns, gains, losses, and yields on that portfolio, so the advisor can make informed decisions across hundreds of households in a timely manner.”

Often, advisors use Microsoft Excel to manage their portfolios. “But it would take them days to rebalance their books,” he says. “Now, with Croesus, they can do it within minutes. And, when it’s all integrated into one portfolio management system, it reduces costs by reducing the number of trades.”

Another part of the system is a CRM, which offers tasks such as note-taking, managing and sharing documents, organizing campaigns, and booking meetings.

“Compliance expectations are increasing,” adds Mastroberardino. “So documenting everything is important in order to have a trace in the event that regulators come in for a review.”

Finally, one of the most unique aspects of the system is the data analytics module. “We’re sitting on tons of data after being in business for 31 years,” he says. “It made sense to leverage that. Advisors can compare how they stack up against their peers.”

3 TIPS TO LEVERAGE DATA

  1. Don’t be intimidated by technology. It’s crucial to advance in this business. Increase productivity so you can spend more time serving clients.
  2. It’s beyond time to go paperless. Many advisors are still filing away paper in a cabinet. But you can lose sensitive client information, or it can be read by others. Instead, locking away that information in a data management system (with a password) is a more secure way to manage your business.
  3. Integrating data into one application is more efficient. If you’re ever faced with a compliance review, having information readily available and just a couple of clicks away can ease the process.
Source: David Mastroberardino, Product Director at Croesus

One of the firm’s latest initiatives is the Croesus Lab, which is an R&D group that’s exploring how to solve complex problems by leveraging the latest technology like AI, blockchain, cryptocurrency and augmented reality.

For instance, having AI within the system could potentially help the advisor by rapidly identifying risk patterns and IPS breaches, and proposing solutions to solve these issues.

Patrick Chasse
Patrick Chasse

Meanwhile, as cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, Croesus Lab is aiming to provide advisors with a way to view and integrate it within their portfolios — with the same type of information that they’d get from stocks and bonds.

“By leading these explorations, we’re currently building the future of our solution, which will enable advisors to stay competitive by increasing their productivity,” says Patrick Chassé, Director, R&D, at Croesus. And, he adds, Croesus Lab partners with existing Croesus teams, as well as external research groups and universities.

“Advisors must start to understand what data Patrick Chassé analytics and technology can do for their businesses,” adds Mastroberardino. “They can be used to leverage and get insights on their books, detect inefficiencies, and identify opportunities.”

Croesus