Schwab Survey Finds RIA Firm Staff Increasingly Look to Technology to Enhance the Client Experience

Majority surveyed say clients are embracing new service approaches and technology solutions

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 5:00 am PDT

Dateline:

SAN FRANCISCO

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
SCHW
"Use of technology to support the client relationship can help firms build scale and grow their businesses while maintaining a high-touch, premiere client experience."

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than half of independent registered investment advisor (RIA) (53%) staff view technology as a front office function – a key strategy for delivering a high-quality client experience, while building scale and differentiation for the firm – according to results of a survey of registrants at Schwab Advisor Services’ SOLUTIONS® workshops this past summer. In the survey, representing responses from more than 1,000 RIA firm staff, Schwab sought perspective on the changing role of technology in the advisor business and the related impacts on the client experience.

As mobile technology gains prominence, survey results show that more than two thirds of those surveyed said they either already feel mobile technology’s impact at their firm or that they expect to within the next three years. Among the benefits of mobile that are of greatest value to clients are looking up account information (35%), alerts and electronic approvals (28%), and delivering reports and documents (19%).

“For advisors, the increase in personal use of mobile devices and web-based applications translates into technology playing an integral role in facilitating client relationships,” said Neesha Hathi, senior vice president, Schwab Advisor Services. “Use of technology to support the client relationship can help firms build scale and grow their businesses while maintaining a high-touch, premiere client experience.”

Other findings from the 2014 SOLUTIONS survey:

  • When it comes to managing client portfolios, participants report spending the most time on data management, followed by integrating systems (i.e., trading and rebalancing), creating dashboards, building reports for client presentations and billing.
  • Half of those polled say they do not use any social media. Of those who do, LinkedIn is the most widely used, with 26 percent of respondents using the platform exclusively and 71 percent of the users doing so at least once a week.
  • For their part, advisor clients are embracing a technology-enhanced service experience if it is made available to them. According to the survey, most RIA firms and their clients are on a similar technology adoption curve, with 60% of participants reporting that clients have been adapting to new service approaches and technology solutions as the firm has made them available.

Schwab’s SOLUTIONS workshops are one-day, live events offered in 12 cities throughout July and August. These in-depth technology-focused sessions provide advisors with hands-on education on Schwab technologies that advisors use in their firms’ day-to-day operations and offer insight on how technology can streamline their workflow to improve performance and help deliver exceptional client service. During SOLUTIONS registration, participants were asked a series of questions regarding technology. The more than 1,000 responses were collected from participants from 12 cities during the summer. Results are as of August, 2014.

About Charles Schwab

At Charles Schwab we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.

More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and our Schwab Talk blog.

Disclosures

Through its operating subsidiaries, The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; compliance and trade monitoring solutions; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and lending services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com.

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©2014 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). All rights reserved. Member SIPC.

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