I wrote about LifeSync this past spring and had an engaging conversation on my podcast with Liersch, who has a doctorate in cognitive psychology and whose experience includes stints at JP Morgan Chase, Merrill and Barclays.

He sees a future where customers pick their channel—digital, in-person or some combination—and work fluidly with financial advisors to set goals and create pathways to reach them.

Summit Wealth
Reed Colley rocked the industry when he founded (and coded) the successful Black Diamond performance reporting system, now part of SS&C Advent, 20 years ago. Today, he’s training his energy into the Summit Wealth platform.

Colley spent much time talking with advisors, who shared their profound frustration with the multiple tools they had to juggle. Their “tech stack looks like a tech spread,” he said.

Summit Wealth’s portfolio management system aims to dissolve the boundaries among those tools and let them work in the background so advisors have time to service clients and win new ones.

“The real power” of the Summit platform and client mobile app is to “unlock conversations with clients that (advisors) weren’t having, Colley said on my podcast.

Recognizing the critical factor of tax efficiency, Summit Wealth recently partnered with LifeYield to add multi-account portfolio rebalancing to their platform.

Importantly, Colley said that Summit Wealth is forward-looking, not relying on code written 20 years ago, unifying data, and “humanizing” financial services.

Don’t Look Back: Look Ahead
In my 40-year career, I’ve watched year after year as one “breakthrough” product replaced another. Advisors were incentivized to sell, establish an account and move along. Maybe they created a financial plan first. Maybe—but not usually—they looked at it after the sale.

Consequently, investors own “a jumble of stuff” bought through multiple advisors or acquired from workplace benefits programs. Advisors tend to focus on the assets they manage for a client, not the big picture.

Even for those who want to do better, the lack of interoperability has hamstrung their ability to optimize outcomes through household management focused on costs, risk and taxes.

Measure our response as an industry, and I’m afraid it’s lackluster. But hail the disruptors and innovators like Vestwell, Apex FinTech Solutions, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Summit Wealth.

They give me hope that we’re on the cusp of something big.

Jack Sharry is EVP and chief growth officer of LifeYield and host of the WealthTech on Deck podcast. He is on the board of Next Chapter, a leadership community dedicated to improving retirement outcomes.

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