James Burton [00:00:07]
Hello everyone and welcome to this WP TV special. My name is James person managing editor of wealth professional Canada. Today I’m delighted to welcome Jeff Gans, CEO of Advisor Solutions by Purpose. Jeff, thanks for joining us.
Jeff Gans: [00:00:21] Thanks, James. Good to be here. And thanks for the opportunity to talk about what we’re building here at purpose.
James Burton: [00:00:26] Now, earlier this year Advisor Solutions by Purpose was named the winner in the wealth tech service provider of the Year category at WP awards. Congratulations to Jeff and his entire team. And no better time, of course, to ask Jeff about why the provider has been so successful. So Jeff, first up, the visors, as you know, are always looking for ways to improve. How do you deliver value to these ambitious professionals?
Jeff Gans: [00:00:53] Yeah, it’s a great question. And it’s been a it’s been a great ride, as we’ve built this business over the past several years. And it really started with the premise that we didn’t believe there were enough options for advisors in Canada to run their business that there was a limited solution set. And if you look to the US and other markets, they’re really innovating quickly. And the main way they’re innovating is by helping advisors, own their equity and run a true independent business. And that’s what we set up advisor solutions by purpose to do. And so we have built out our platform in a couple of ways to help advisors go and grow their business, to own their equity to take back control of their client experience to simplify their operations and allow them to have the capacity for growth. When we talk to advisors, the number one challenge they have when it comes to growth is not their ability to acquire clients, it’s not their sales process for them like that it’s actually capacity. They’re so overwhelmed with the bureaucracy of their operations, they’re so frustrated that they can’t own their client experience. As an advisor solutions, my purpose is focused on helping advisors set up run and manage a true independent practice. And at the base of that are the core of that is our technology platform, our advisor Connect system, which has the underlying data that you need to manage your business, the workflows, and the ability to control and manage your clients account management, which lets you focus on the client relationship and allow you to focus to build your business.
James Burton: [00:02:19] Thanks so much, Jeff. Now, in your opinion, what separates you from other wealth tech providers out there, because as you know, it’s a competitive space.
Jeff Gans: [00:02:28] It certainly is. And there was a great group of firms that we were with and to be acknowledged with them was, was a great honor and privilege. At the same time when we think about our business, and what differentiates us is we look at ourselves, not just as a technology firm. When we think about what advisors need to be successful, there really are three major components. One is a technology and operating platform, we help them we build that and we build that and we partner with others, like firms like digit and conquest and fidelity provide the technology and operations they do. The second is we provide the practice management and business support. So we help them make the transition to independence, we help them with onboarding their clients, we help them work with the with their custodian, and make sure that everything is in place. And then once up and running, we help them improve and grow their business successfully. And then finally, we’re able to provide financing and capital where they need it. So all of the things that they need in place to grow a successful business. So we start by thinking, thinking about the business, what does the business need to be successful. Part of that is technology, and operations. But it’s also other things to make them successful. And we want advisors to feel confident that they can actually go out and build their own business that, you know, they have someone walking next to them, who’s assisting them make this great client, because it is a big challenge, going independent can be daunting. And while the US market it has grown to, you know, 30% share that are what are called RAs in the United States. It’s much smaller in Canada. And so that’s a big hurdle for people to get over. And we’re helping them make that change. That’s what we think sets us apart. Our technology is important. We’re investing heavily in that. And we want to keep building that. But we also know that you’ve got to help the adviser with their business be successful.
James Burton: [00:04:10] Thanks, Jeff, what innovations and features are you most proud of introducing over the past year?
Jeff Gans: [00:04:16] So in terms of what we’ve, you know, invested in, it’s a number of different spaces. One is continuing to build out our data, infrastructure, and ability to provide a centralized set of data for the client. It’s improving their workflows. So managing the process of onboarding, how do you digitize onboarding, at the same time, make it an amazing client experience, lots of firms have taken their forms and put that online, but we actually try and do is fundamentally change that experience to make it much more interactive and intuitive for the client. We’ve worked on managing the processes within the business, how do you make things like money movement, annual update, all of those things, easier for the business to run. And we will continue to invest in those workflows, the ability to segment and run the client experience in the way that you want is what we’re totally focused on building for the next 1]2 months. And I think we’re excited about where we’re going in that direction, we now have the data organized, how do we continue to build those workflows that advisors can run their practice more simply so they can focus on the client. And then other innovation that we look at outside of technology. So we’re innovating in terms of our compliance as a service business. So we’re helping advisors set up their compliance organization and think about what they need, well, you can’t outsource compliance in Canada, you can get help in thinking about that. We’re helping them on the m&a and business development front. So essentially providing the support for advisors to think about their growth strategies and their capital structures. So they can take advantage of what they’ve built, go and acquire and get even stronger, and grow their assets. And we continue to look at other ways that we can help advisors with their business by helping them on the investment side and managing their portfolios, creating a white label funds and other ways to get efficiency in the business that allows them to scale and grow.
James Burton: [00:05:57] As everyone knows, post pandemic has been filled with a lot of economic uncertainty and market volatility. So how has advisor solutions by purpose helped advisors specifically deal with these uncertain times? Yeah,
Jeff Gans: [00:06:11] good question. And we’re not you know, at the core, we’re not a portfolio management or investment company, we certainly have tools, we work with digit as a partner to do that. But what we think we do is when you think about volatility, the key to managing clients is volatility is helping them make good decisions, helping them feel organized, helping them feel confident that everything is where it needs to be. So that means better reporting, that means good processes and reminders when you need to touch base with them. That means simplifying workflows that you as an advisor can spend your time right with the client. And if you know what they’re thinking, and you can see that they’re getting more active and transactions, getting alerts to when to connect them when to talk to them. Because once again, the keys to dealing through market volatility is letting the client know that we expected this, this was part of the plan, right, we can look at your plan, we can look at your long term investment results, we can show you really good reporting and simple reporting, once you simplify that story that helps the client relax, and know that they actually are in control. Because you know, what we see as clients feel like they’re getting out of control. Well, if you’re disorganized, if you have bad reporting, if you can’t quickly bring up their information, it only serves to exacerbate that and actually lead to bad decisions within volatility. If you can actually make good decisions stay calm, you can write out the volatility over the long term, the markets have bounced back. If you look at the past few weeks, you know, those who were patient, those who didn’t, you know, you know, you know, lose their minds at the end of last year or early this year and suddenly make rash decisions. They’re doing fine. And so it’s about helping the client to manage that relationship effectively manage their workflows effectively, so that they can help the client make effective decisions.
James Burton: [00:07:51] Finally, Jeff, what’s next for advisor solutions by purpose? What goals and ambitions do you have for the year ahead?
Jeff Gans: [00:07:58] Yeah, well, you know, we’re looking at continuing to grow our business, we want to provide advisors with, you know, helping growing their business, when we think about it, we want to help advisors take control of their equity and grow that equity, it’s a huge opportunity for them, that’s, that’s underestimated. We want to help them take back control of their client experience. Let them deliver the experience they want in a simplified manner. And we’re building out tools to do that. We want to help them improve process and operations. So creating the workflows that simplify their business and allow them to get scale, and ultimately let them build their legacy. Right, the advisors we work with are creating a legacy building amazing businesses, we have some advisors who have come over from other firms, right, they’ve made the move, they’ve gone independent, they were at several 1][00 million, they’re now over a billion in assets. We have other advisors who are to make just as excited to see who started at zero or a million. And we’ve actually helped grow to 5075 125 million, super rewarding to see that business growth. And so we’re investing in technology. And we’ll continue to build our data architecture. We’ll continue to build our workflows, we’ll continue to build our tools to manage the account. We’re going to take new invest in business management, and practice management tools to help advisors understand how to improve their compliance infrastructure, how to improve their capital structure and their financing, how to get into things like marketing tools, and help them continue to grow, and will continue to help them from a financing perspective and be innovative in what we do to help them get what they need to invest in their business. All of those tools we’re working on to help businesses grow and be successful independent business owners, we think there’s a huge opportunity for unleashing the entrepreneurial power of advisors. So they’re not limited by being the lowest common denominator in a large organization. Let them be what is great, which creates, I think, for Canadian consumers more choice in the marketplace, and create the opportunity for advisors to build wealth and feel in control back in control of their practice and their client experience.
James Burton: [00:09:56] Great way to finish Jeff, congrats again on your award and thank you so much for your time and insight today.
Jeff Gans: [0010:02] Thank you for the time. It’s great to talk and, and it’s as I said, it’s a true honor for for our team, the effort that they have made just a fantastic team. I have that as passionate about advisors and to see this reward I think was, was great for all of us. So thank you.
James Burton: [00:10:18] For more information on Jeff and his team, go to purpose advisors.com And don’t forget to go to wealth professional.ca for the latest news and views on the industry. Join us next time on WP TV.