Wealth management broker-dealer Oppenheimer is undergoing a technology makeover to help its network of more than 1,000 advisers better serve its high-net-worth clients.
To facilitate the firm’s new digital-driven strategy, Oppenheimer tapped global fintech InvestCloud to develop technology addressing three key challenges for advisers including recruiting and transitioning prospects, client onboarding and retention and business growth, according to the announcement.
Oppenheimer, which has approximately $18.9 billion assets under management, tapped InvestCloud because of the fintech’s wide toolkit of applications that allow the broker-dealer to pick and choose which apps are most appropriate for their clients, according to Oppenheimer’s head of private client division Ed Harrington.
“Put another way, [InvestCloud] is not a canned solution, it’s a malleable open source solution that allows us to collaborate,” Harrington said.
As a result, collaborating and blending tech tools with a high-touch service model is the strategy Oppenheimer sees for its future, Harrington said. To start, InvestCloud will spearhead the creation of a new digital adviser-client web-based portal, which is expected to launch during the first half of 2021.
Other firms, like Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, have recently rolled out web-based portals that allow advisers to better collaborate with their clients. Merrill introduced their new tech-driven workstation, Client Engagement Workstation, in June.
For Oppenheimer, the partnership with InvestCloud is key to quickly driving the firm’s tech strategy as InvestCloud has a porpsect portal and digital client onboarding apps that can be customized to fit Oppenheimer’s needs, according to InvestCloud CEO John Wise.
One of InvestCloud’s unique approaches to developing tech for wealth management firms is applying game theory to these web-based portals, Wise said. “What gaming theory does is it gets people more engaged with the actual digital experience,” he said.
The gamification trend brings game dynamics into advisers’ practices to encourage desired client behavior.
Adding gaming theory to something as simple as a client onboarding app means having a “progression dynamic” in a similar way any video game would have the user continuously leveling up, Wise said.
“Advisers have to take clients through an experience, and we can do a lot of things in the financial services space using our behavioral science data,” he said.
InvestCloud’s Prospect Portal, which Oppenheimer will be using, leverages game theory by first providing a hub for clients to learn more and engage with an Oppenheimer adviser prior to becoming a client.
Next, prospects are sent to InvestCloud’s digital client onboarding app, allowing them to open new accounts.
InvestCloud integrates prospect data with information gathered through a multi-question multi-answer system, which allows the firm to automatically create intuitive proposals and provide an onboarding experience that is tailored to the individual.
The announcement comes on the heels of the firm’s recent implementation of AdvisorWorks, a proprietary CRM and desktop dashboard that serves as the landing site for all adviser applications.
Other upgrades include Passport, the firm’s portfolio management platform for advisers, as well as a cloud-based electronic signature and document management platform.