Advances in technology and diversity are helping financial advisors find new growth opportunities, according to this year’s LPL Focus 2019 conference. From more inclusive recruiting programs to improved lead generation, advisors have better opportunities than ever to connect with prospects, monetize their business and help clients meet their goals.

More Diversity Equals New Opportunities

Recognizing the need for more inclusive business practices across financial services, Focus 2019 highlighted the importance of bringing on advisors from a wider range of backgrounds and creating talent acquisition programs designed specifically with diversity in mind. The conference also featured breakout sessions aimed at sharing best practices for diverse recruiting and connecting authentically with African American, Hispanic, LGBT and women investors. 

“We have the opportunity and responsibility to be agents of positive change in our industry,” says Kathleen Zemaitis, senior vice president, LPL Financial Advisor Diversity and Inclusion. “We hope to empower our advisors in the work they do, helping more investors gain access to objective financial advice from a trusted advisor.” To further support these efforts, LPL introduced a suite of tools designed to help advisors reach new markets. It also provided networking opportunities for advisors from diverse groups along with members of the LPL leadership team.

Enhanced Tech Solutions Boost Outcomes

With PWC reporting that the rise of fintech companies is reshaping the financial services industry and placing up to 22% of traditional asset management and wealth management business at risk by 2020, Focus 2019 emphasized that adopting new digital solutions can enhance communication and offer additional avenues for growth. As the keynote speaker at a breakout session on lead generation, Winnie Sun, co-founder and managing director of Sun Group Wealth Partners, highlighted the potential of social media for broadening advisors’ reach and connecting with prospective clients in a more direct way.

This lead generation trend was one of several technology-inspired solutions showcased during the conference. Others focused on increasing efficiency and minimizing time spent on non-essential tasks. With LPL reporting that advisors spend more than 40% of their time on administrative tasks, adopting solutions such as SEC and FINRA compliant texting tools could free up time to pursue new business opportunities. 

Explaining that these types of solutions could “transform how [advisors] spend their time,” LPL President and CEO Dan Arnold emphasized the need to streamline advisor workflows through solutions like LPL’s ClientWorks platform. Designed to help advisors open new accounts with 30% fewer required fields, these types of solutions could significantly shorten the amount of time required to onboard new clients.

Easier Monetization Helps Advisors Succeed

Technology is also helping to simplify the process of acquiring other practices, and offering additional growth opportunities in the process. With tax reform and business-focused regulatory practices leading to increased interest in mergers and acquisitions in recent years, end-to-end solutions like those offered by LPL can make it easier to move through every stage of the M&A process including valuation and deal structuring. 

“We want to be able to take as much work and complexity as possible off of the advisors’ plates, so they can stay focused on their core business,” said Greg Cornick, LPL Financial executive vice president, Finance and head of Advisor Financial Solutions. In addition to helping with acquisitions, LPL also offers a portfolio of monetization solutions, including access to capital and resources to help advisors monetize their business in the event of an unplanned exit. 

Highlighting the importance of combining tech-focused solutions with an increased commitment to diversity, Focus 2019 emphasized how advisors can leverage technology and inclusion to create growth for themselves and their clients.