Investing and advisory is changing rapidly! For the first time since the dawn of online investing the financial services are changing from list based sites into more enticing offerings using the tools offered by social media.

An interesting article in Investment News presented examples of even the older generation moving to online services to manage their assets, read the article here.

2014-05-26_09-47-22Instead of having to select between individual stocks the casual investor looks to follow others and being able to invest in themes. A great example of a stock focused site for this type of investing is Motif Investing who has created a new type of brokerage firm around this concept.

 

This relates to all asset classes and not only stocks which is why Bricknode; with its broad API; can support financial service firms who wish to create their own concepts using Bricknode Financial Systems as the general framework.

A very interesting article was published in the Financial Times which was reported upon by various media like Veckans Affärer. Facebook could become the ultimate player within the financial industry who really understands how to use the Internet for conducting social banking and for the future maybe social trading?

Facebook has made a lot of smart moves lately where it has used its money to quickly make acquisitions instead of trying to develop everything itself. It definitely grasps the importance of time to market. With its global reach the company could become the fastest established financial institution ever. In an industry where numerous companies are struggling to establish a technical standard of their own and gain acceptance, could Facebook accomplish this by offering standardised banking API’s?

The next few years will continue to boost the financial technology shift into cloud solutions for financial companies and Bricknode is right in the middle of it!

If you manage or own a financial advisory firm; or if you are running a financial institution with financial advisory as one of your business segments you should be reading this article.

Lets start by specifying some of your greatest pains with regards to your financial advisors.

Now, lets address one by one and look at how I think technology can offer a solution to each one of them.

Lack of productivity

The absolute greatest challenge for a financial advisor is how to leverage their time and this is one segment where technology really can help.

A great example of this is the effort by Danske Bank to start offering eMeetings. By utilising technology in the advisory process you could have customers pre-fill a lot of the questionnaires which you need in order to conduct the advisory process. The advisory tool could then present a few default packages based on the economic situation of the customer in relation to their risk appetite.

A simplified advisory process could look like this:

  1. Book a meeting
  2. Send an electronic information collection form to the customer
  3. Automatically compute received information to arrive at advisory packages
  4. Review advice live with the customer through a web presentation

Fulfilling regulatory requirements

As a manager or owner of a financial advisory business you can never be absolutely sure that your advisors are fulfilling all of their regulatory requirements unless you have a strict technical process in place. Using a customer acquisition software service you could configure the process ad-hoc and get some ease of mind while at the same time increasing productivity.

Verifying advisory process

To build company value as a financial advisor you have to be able to measure the effectiveness of your advisory process while at the same time being able to replicate it throughout your whole staff of advisors.

You constantly have to develop and adapt your process to the changing needs of your customers and the global environment. By utilising an integrated cloud based solution you could constantly configure your process and measure the results for both your advisors and your end customers.

Bricknode has embarked on the journey of working with financial advisors in order to create scalable value and increase competitiveness among small and mid-sized advisors. Please give us feedback on our Advisory module and Customer acquisition module!

At least in the Swedish financial press there is a very hot topic currently being discussed with regards to the kickback-based business models used by financial advisors.

Today’s newspaper holds an article written by Christoffer Folkebo, the CEO of Max Matthiessen, a well-known insurance advisory firm. The article focuses on developing a standardised way for presenting all fees surrounding fund investments in a transparent way for customers.

I have previously touched upon this topic through various articles including “3 steps for surviving as a financial service company in the 21st century”, Thoughts on commission less world in our LinkedIn Group, Richard Leeson also wrote a good blog post on the topic titled “A Commission Less World”.

If for example kickbacks for financial advisors are to be banned the industry has to find a new scalable way of doing business. Obviously a financial advisor has to receive some sort of compensation for their work and the most transparent way would be to just charge a fee upfront for their services. If an advisor would charge for their hours spent only the very rich could afford having this type of service which means that the advisors instead could move towards implementing some sort of subscription model.

The next question one has to ask is what is the end customer ready to pay for? My response would be:

By categorising customers in certain ways it is possible to automate some of the ongoing advisory process and by doing this the advisor would be able to scale out their services without selling hours.

In summary, all these events and business model adaptations are a testament to the fact that IT-systems are getting an even more centralised role in all aspects of the financial services business.

Bricknode has joined the likes of SAP, MetLife and numerous other industry leaders who have migrated to MongoDB!

Why did we do it? Well, MongoDB offers unparalleled possibilities for us with regards to scalability, security and future expansion. Our attitude has always been that the database is something that “just should work” and offer the highest performance possible in order for us as a company to focus on delivering great solutions to our customers problems.

Migrating to a new database is very often a long and cumbersome process if at all possible but the team at Bricknode accomplished this with great speed thanks to the dynamic framework of the system.

Take a moment to read the great White Paper which has been assembled by Erik Ekblom by clicking here.

frontsmall_migratingtomongodb

Bricknode releases Front End 2.0

Bricknode introduces
Front End 2.0 within Bricknode Financial Systems which is a complete new
version of its end customer module. Within Bricknode Financial Systems brokers
and financial institutions can operate their businesses across multiple assets
to distribute great products to end customers.

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 14, 2014

Bricknode has announced the official release of its Front
End 2.0 within Bricknode Financial Systems which is a big step towards
improving the value for end customers. The new Front End offers numerous
benefits to the end user like aggregated portfolio and account views in real
time, exposure reports and performance measures together with customer
communication.

Through the new Front End licensees of Bricknode Financial
Systems can distribute their products even more effectively and cater to their
clients needs.

“I am very excited with regards to the new Front End release
of Bricknode Financial Systems. The Front End offers the best benefits of
online banking combined with online brokerage. This is yet another example of
how quickly new module releases can be assembled using the revolutionary
technological framework of BFS in the cloud.” said Stefan Willebrand, Executive
Chairman of Bricknode.

To read a detailed guide for Front End 2.0 please visit the
Knowledgebase at: https://bricknode.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201605523.

To request a free trial or demo, please visit http://www.bricknode.com

Bricknode is a young innovative company focusing on financial software. Our mission is to empower our business partners to deliver the best financial products to their end customers and partners in the most efficient way possible.

Bricknode Financial Systems is a cloud-based platform, which makes it possible for securities firms and other financial institutions to establish themselves online.