A New Wave of Advisor Recordkeeping Tools | Lord Abbett
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Practice Management

Platforms allow firms to collectively review, edit, and grant control over digital documents.

This Practice Management article is intended for financial advisors only (registered representatives of broker/dealers or associated persons of Registered Investment Advisors).

Every day, Ross Gerber and his team manually tackle the arduous task of ensuring recordkeeping of client communications from multiple channels.

“We literally waste so much time,” complains Gerber, co-founder and CEO of Gerber Kawaski Wealth Management, in Santa Monica, California, which manages more than $370 million in assets.

Despite the resources committed, such attempts at recordkeeping are hardly failsafe. Given the multiple devices clients are using, Gerber says, “we do the best we can.”

Enter a new category of tools dedicated to solving the problem of recording client communications in a multi-device world.

Advisors need flexibility to work with their clients over smartphones, videoconferencing, online, and other channels, and some new high-tech solutions aim to ensure all those client communications—no matter what channel they come through—are captured and recorded to meet regulatory requirements.

Near Real Time
A new platform developed by Qumram, a Zurich-based company, is among one of the highest-profile entrants in this burgeoning market. The company lists UBS as its key customer. Qumram’s software recodes and replays user sessions on websites, social media, and mobile applications.

Costs range depending on the number of users, anywhere from $30,000 to $150,000 per annum subscriptions. No client installation is necessary, says Mathias Wegm ller, Qumram’s co-founder and head of business development.

IBM has introduced a similar product called Tea Leaf, which the company says “captures and manages visitor interactions on websites in cloud and on-premises environments with no impact on site performance.” Subscribers to the IBM platform can see “unexpected customer experiences and customer struggles in near real time,” the company promises.

SuiteBox, a New Zealand-based startup, unveiled a similar product at a London Finovate conference for the financial services industry last month, where Qumram also demonstrated its offering.

SuiteBox started selling its systems in its home country and in Australia last year, and it just embarked on a marketing campaign in Europe. It plans to offer the product in the United States by the end of 2016, says Trevor Stacy, a SuiteBox representative. SuiteBox charges $50 per month per user.

Unlike the IBM and Qumram products, SuiteBox’s doesn’t offer all channels, all the time. Instead, it creates a dedicated one that allows participants to collectively review, edit, and grant control over digital documents, and to sign on-screen with embedded authentication—all recordable with the ability to replay events—saving video and documents into a CRM or to an alternative document storage location.

Gerber is ready to try out one of the newly offered solutions for recording client communications.  

“If we had something that tracked and archived all of these things, it would solve all of our compliance archiving issues and give us more freedom on more devices without the worry of a lack of documentation,” he declares. “I really like something that tracks the changes as well as providing analytics of devices and usage. This is obviously for bigger organizations with multiple reps like mine. We need something like this.”

—By Miriam Rozen





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