Financial advisors can experiment with the latest technology that can keep them connected to their clients at Fidelity’s new Office of the Future, Fidelity announced Wednesday.
The physical Office of the Future is located at the Smithfield, R.I., Fidelity campus, but it is also available online. The concept was developed by Fidelity Institutional and the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology to help advisors make the best use of technology.
The technology demonstrated at the center includes such things as mobile applications, interfacing, cloud computing and video. The offerings at the center will change as technology advances.
The center is designed based on research conducted by Fidelity that shows 77 percent of advisors are making an effort to increase the use of technology in their practices, but 95 percent see challenges in integrating and utilizing it. Financial advisors face mounting pressure to adopt technology to meet investor demand, but they often do not know what is best for their firm or how to integrate new elements, Fidelity says. Thirty-four percent of investors say they would switch advisors if they were not using technology to enhance their services.
“Investors today expect technology woven into everything they do, and that includes financial advice,” says Ed O’Brien, senior vice president and head of platform technology for Fidelity Institutional. “For advisors, using technology is not about abandoning what they do so well, which is providing financial advice. It’s about finding that sweet spot that brings together human touch with technology. With Fidelity’s Office of the Future, we can show advisors how to do that.”
Technology can help advisors supplement face-to-face communication with virtual conversations such as video conferencing. Media tablets are being used with Gen X and Y clients to view portfolios and create a more meaningful, interactive dialogue. Advisors also are seeing how webinars and webcasts can help them engage with clients, Fidelity says.