Morningstar, Morgan Stanley and T. Rowe Price announced on Tuesday the adoption of a new technology launched by fintech startup 4U Platform that provides the financial advisory industry an online portal to approve marketing content.
Any piece of content an asset manager curates for advisers, from a seminar for clients to a white paper on COVID-19, needs to cut through a lot of red tape in order to gain approval from partnering firms, 4U Platform’s Founder and co-CEO Denise Wypiszenski said. “Every firm has a different process and today when content is approved an adviser has to go through a spreadsheet list to see what pieces of content are approved.”
The 4U Platform, founded in 2015, built a tech product called 4U Connect that can replicate content to be submitted, reviewed and approved at all partnering firms via a common app, Wypiszenski said. “Every wealth management firm or provider, like Morningstar, that has an RIA audience, can come together under one platform and form one process to receive approval and share content at all of their partner firms.”
When content is approved, it’s immediately available on the fintech’s adviser portal called 4U Engage, which is a dashboard for advisers to access customized content that can be used with a single sign-on, Wypiszenski said. “Now as things are approved, an adviser will instantly be notified whether it’s a video, podcast, marketing sheet or something they want to share with their client, they can access the information and make it available,” Wypiszenski said.
When advisers use the 4U Engage platform, the technology tracks advisers usage analytics and shares with the investment firm the level of engagement from advisers. Tracking the usage of the adviser dashboard lets investment firms know what content types advisers and clients are most interested in consuming.
Morgan Stanley, for one, uses 4U Connect to get their content reviewed and approved across all their partnering firms, said Margaret Flynn-Martin, managing director at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Once the 4U Connect platform approves the content it’s in the hands of the adviser on the 4U Engage platform.
“Marketing review teams are inundated with an inordinate amount of content on any given day from third party firms that require an extensive internal review and approval process,” Flynn-Martin said. “We believe the 4U Connect digital technology solution will help drive productivity, effectiveness and efficiencies as well as speed up our third-party marketing review and approval process.”
On the 4U Connect side, the platform also scores each firms’ level of adviser engagement on a scale of zero to 10 serving as a “benchmark on the street” for firms to see how they stack up against their competition, she said.
The 4U Platform is currently working on a coordinated launch over the next several months with Morgan Stanley, Morningstar and T.Rowe Price, Wypiszenski said. “On the wealth management side, we are finalizing procurement with eight wealth management firms and we are having conversations and due diligence done at another 10 that we’re waiting for to launch our announcement.”