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Creating Technologies That Make Investment Advisors And Programs More Successful

This paperless technology can change the way advisors do business and the way credit unions and banks look at their investment programs.

Since our founding, the senior leadership team at CFS and SPF established our companies as technology leaders dedicated to serving the needs of financial institutions (FIs) by helping their investment programs grow. We believe FIs deserve the most efficient, robust systems available from the main platform, to remote delivery tools, to specific client-tailored enhancements.

The Foundation

The foundation of a strong and modern technology system is a fully web-based account management system that simplifies administration, communications, sales, and reporting functions. For example, our foundational system is dataVISION, which was designed to efficiently handle both the front and back end administration, organization, and management of accounts all electronically. It’s a highly secure system and enables everything from marketing, to prospecting, to onboarding new clients by coordinating their data, preparing financial plans, opening the accounts, placing trades and delivering performance reports to the client. This paperless filing and contact history system is fully approved by FINRA and the SEC.

Your foundational system should allow representatives to do all of the work that they have to do over the course of their day electronically and from one platform. CFS and SPF are SEC certified as electronic books and records firms as well, which is more efficient and creates more security for clients. All official books and records are retained and maintained in dataVISION instead of physically in the branch.

Beyond the foundational system, it’s important to continually upgrade the technology platform to streamline the full account management process, from input of initial client data to performance reports. Over time, we have included many key features in our dataVISION system, including:

  • Integration with planning software By integrating with analysis, performance and reporting tools, advisors can better assess individuals’ financial situations, report on progress, and develop client financial plans to achieve stated goals. Client demographic and asset data is pulled from dataVISION to populate the planning tool, and final reports from the tool can be saved back to dataVISION for future review and reference.
  • Referral tracking system built on contact management files.
  • Single sign-on integration with clearing firm All account data, household accounts and contact records, including ongoing address and phone number changes, are automatically updated in Pershing account records directly from dataVISION through a single-sign-on connection; this also includes integration for trade execution, market information, research, and stock alerts.
  • Integration of critical compliance functionsincluding an annual compliance questionnaire and easy verification and update of an advisor’s compliance registration information directly from the platform to the registration department; automated compliance reporting and back up.
  • Expansive reports Expanded reporting capabilities are offered for both program managers and advisors, including the ability to see account status on the advisor’s activities record and to generate comprehensive assets under management reports.

Remote Delivery Strategies

As traffic in the financial institutions decrease and online banking increase, it is important for financial institutions to add remote delivery strategies to their mix of technology offerings. For example, in 2014 we introduced two document capture mobile apps that enable both advisors and clients to use their mobile devices to remotely and securely photograph and share investment documentation such as new account forms, transfer forms, check copies and others. In 2015 we have added a secure, online profiling tool that allows clients to provide their own information (risk tolerance, objectives, investable assets) online and make it instantly available to their advisors without the need for in-person meetings or unsecure emailing, faxing or mailing. Now we are working on digital signature tools as well look for more to come soon!

  • Image Capture Mobile App for advisors This award-winning application allows advisors to snap a photo of clients’ documentation and automatically uploads the information to dataVISION. The app meets all regulatory compliance requirements and is available for both Android users and iOS users on their tablets, iPod and iPhone devices and other smartphones. The CFS/SPF Mobile Scanning App provides true mobility to investment advisors, many of whom frequently work remotely. It increases efficiency and makes the advisor’s workflow easier, so they can spend more time with clients.
  • SendMyDocs image capture app for clients using mobile devices Even clients can take a picture of a document from an Android or iOS mobile device and securely upload it. This is a great advantage for those who prefer to manage their finances from home, who may live a great distance from their advisor or nearest branch, or for those who are traveling.
  • BuildMyProfile online profiling tool A fully secure online profiling tool allows advisors to enter client information into a form that will automatically create or update a contact record within dataVISION. Through a secure link, advisors can send the form directly to the client to complete. The information then automatically populates the advisors’ client contact records in any other areas where the information is needed in the dataVISION system, minimizing human error and improving efficiency. Data collected through BuildMyProfile also automatically integrates with planning software systems and can be easily used to create a financial plan.
  • Customization Registered representatives can customize their profiling tool to ask just the questions they want of clients or prospects and can include situational objectives of importance to clients. Advisors can customize it to suit their own personal profiling style and even create multiple custom forms for different client and/or prospect types. All of this data can be accessed remotely, wherever they choose to work.
  • Training videos Remote learning is now easier than ever as well. We have recently introduced a new online training center with more than 40 modules, both live and on-demand, that are enhanced with interactive questions and other features. We also have incorporated extensive training programs, using video and podcasts, into dataVISION to streamline instruction on various topics of value to representatives, including sales techniques, account planning and management. The goal of our various remote learning tools is to provide training that works for busy representatives’ schedules with easily digestible modules that can be accessed anytime from anywhere.

Consumer-facing Advancements

Banks and credit unions need the ability to offer a full menu of investment services to both individual and business customers. CFS/SPF enable this capability through additional technology modules that can be customized to match the look and feel of the financial institution’s website.

  • Home Banking integration: Home banking integration (HBI) shows all of a financial institution’s customers’ financial assets, including investments, on one page, accessible via a single login. Enlisting single sign-on technology provides the ability for an investment client to view his/her full portfolio of investments alongside deposit and loan information in their institution’s home banking system. The client can see all of their investment accounts including advisory, brokerage, and annuity accounts no matter where they’re held. In addition, a recap of investment assets is incorporated into the summary view of the client’s overall finances. This consolidated view is delivered using the same username and password that accesses the institution’s online banking platform. With HBI, clients have everything all in one place.
  • Electronic trading platform, eVISION: eVISION allows customers to place their own stock, option and mutual fund transactions at a commission discount, plus provides access to rate quotes, investment research, news, market indices and more.

With advanced, integrated and efficient systems like these, CFS/SPF ensure our customers have the best technology in the industry. Our tech expertise becomes your tech expertise. The effectiveness of our technology has changed the way advisors do business and the way credit unions and banks look at their investment programs.

See how CFS/SPF technology can help advance your investment program to its next level of success and profitability. Contact us today at www.cusonet.com or 1-800-686-4724

CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial

dataVISION, eVISION, and SendMyDocs are registered trademarks of CUSO Financial Services, L.P. Sister broker-dealers CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial help financial institutions build successful investment programs. We deliver flexible yet efficient planning, retirement, investment and insurance solutions to boost your financial growth and deepen relationships with your clients. Call 1-800-686-4724 or visit www.cusonet.com and www.sorrentopacific.com for more information.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
June 1, 2015

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