Name: David Frisone
Title: SVP, financial advisor revenue
Company: SmartAsset
Web Address: https://smartasset.com/ 

Dave Frisone is the senior vice president of financial advisor revenue at SmartAsset and has more than 25 years of experience managing sales operations. SmartAsset helps consumers make intelligent financial decisions by supplying them with information and execution, while operating SmartAdvisor, a client acquisition platform for financial advisors in the U.S.

What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?
Our mission at SmartAsset is to empower people to make smart financial decisions. To do so, we not only create informative articles about a wide range of personal finance topics, but we also operate SmartAdvisor, the leading digital client acquisition platform for financial advisors. I manage the relationship side of our business, where I oversee our Sales, Account Management and consumer-facing Concierge teams. Our goal is to establish professional and personal relationships with advisors and help them significantly grow their businesses by building bridges between them and valued consumer prospects, the lifeblood of our business.

We want to go beyond just helping our stakeholders; we want to ensure that the matching-making experience is world-class for all parties involved. As an example, I’m excited about the recent launch of Live Connections - an extension of our SmartAdvisor platform - that allows financial advisors to connect directly with prospective clients via a warm phone transfer. The idea for the service, as well as many of the improvements we’ve made, came from feedback we’ve received from advisors and users on the SmartAdvisor platform. 

What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?
Even though there’s constant discussion of the technological improvements in the market, the most important aspect of an advisor’s business is still interpersonal. Technology is certainly changing the way that people communicate; we’ve seen that in the quick adoption of video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the next major innovations in fintech will be those that enhance the human connection rather than try to replace it.

Wealth management will always be a human-to-human relationship. It’s too important not to be. The innovators who understand that and use technology to remove friction and/or enhance the value of the relationship will have the greatest impact.

What has been the biggest success in your firm to date?
Last month, more than 65 million people interacted with our platform. We consider it a success when anyone reads our articles and reviews or engages with our tools and calculators to help make decisions that positively impact their lives. Helping investors and consumers only account for part of our business, though. In 2019 alone, advisors added an estimated $5.2 billion in AUM through the SmartAdvisor platform. That blows me away: we're helping advisors organically grow their business, and advisors are helping consumers navigate personal finance journeys… It's a win-win.

One of the things that I love about working in fintech is that all of our stakeholders push us to improve every day. That’s what led to the recent launch of Live Connections. Consumer expectations are changing. The investors who use our platform not only conduct much of their search for advice online but appreciate and now expect on-demand solutions. While the trust that underpins advisory relationships take time to build, we’re helping to streamline some of the inefficiencies in the advisor-to-consumer introduction process, which makes the experience better for both consumers and advisors. Most importantly, the feedback from stakeholders has been overwhelmingly positive.

How do you feel consumers (or if more relevant for your firm – businesses) are adapting to the facet of fintech that your company operates within?
We now live in a digital age of instant gratification. Consumers expect quick answers to their questions. The wealth management and advisory marketplace is rapidly adapting to this new on-demand economy. SmartAsset has always been a digital-first company and we’ve adapted our tools and products to address this shift. Consumers want access to financial advisors from the comfort of their home, and we’re helping to facilitate this connection.

Changing consumer trends impact advisors. While the majority of consumers start their search for financial products and services online, many financial advisors haven’t adapted their marketing and lead generation activities accordingly. The most critical time for a financial advisor to acquire new investors is when consumers are online, researching for financial advice and prospective advisors.