The stakes were high for all par- ties at the recent Technology Tools for Today (T3) Enterprise
Conference, held beachside in Ft.
Lauderdale, Florida. The advisor industry’s technology ecosystem all gathered
to showcase their wares in front of the
big buyers from the larger independent
broker-dealers, banks and national RIAs.
“T3 Enterprise is important in so
many ways, particularly as these large
financial services executives will literally be deciding for the hundreds and
even thousands of advisors they support what technology they will be using
to work with clients and [to] run their
businesses,” said conference host and T3
producer, Joel Bruckenstein.
This theme played out in real time
in the conference finale, a panel moderated by Suzanne Siracuse, a well-known industry consultant. Siracuse
grilled four CTO’s from Dynasty
Financial Partners, Cetera Financial
Group, Ladenburg Thalmann, and
Cambridge Investment Research on
what they were focused on in their
businesses to support the thousands of
For David Ballard, SVP for
Ladenburg Thalmann, his mandate has
been to enhance the client experience,
particularly in terms of the technol-
ogy tools he provides, such as a uni-
fied advisor and client portal. “We’re
working with INVENT.us to bring a
Cloud-native, unified technology envi-
ronment to upgrade and modernize our
technology stack,” Ballard said in his
opening remarks. “We are streamlin-
ing the technology integration process
by outsourcing it to INVENT.us, so for
any vendor they need to go through
that Cloud-native approach, and it has
created tremendous efficiencies and
Similarly, Cambridge Investment
Research CTO and SVP Nick Graham is
on a mission to deploy upgrades across
systems, to ensure consistency of data
and “remove paper from the process”
wherever possible, he noted.
Cetera’s CIO Mike Ragunas focused
on ease of doing business, and addi-
tionally looking at newer, emerging
technologies to help advisors better
work with their clients. Interestingly,
Ragunas comes from a consumer back-
ground and is newer to the wealth
management space. However, he said
that is an advantage as he’s able to into
that background to provide tools to
help advisors better understand how
clients think, such as with the new
facial recognition technology Cetera
has deployed, along with more auto-
mated marketing tools.
From the platform provider perspective, Dynasty’s CTO Eric Castillo is
responding to advisor feedback that they
often learn the best from each other. As
a result, Castillo is providing a chat feature so that advisors can communicate
across the firm’s platforms, as well
Dynasty is adding more tools for business intelligence.
What will be the biggest changes in 2020, Siracuse asked the panel.
Interestingly, the answers had nothing
to do with technology itself, but rather
were related to big industry movements
from policy and pricing changes that
will alter the way advisors will do business and deliver advice.
“By far, the biggest game changer will
be the full effects of the elimination of
commissions for trades,” said Castillo.
By Timothy D. Welsh
Big Tech Flexes New Products at T3
Advisors will find new goodies on their platforms as IBDs and
national RIAs look to expand their offerings.