Advisor Group, the large independent broker-dealer network, unveiled a streamlined digital client onboarding account management platform that will slash the time it takes advisors and clients to transfer accounts by 50 percent.

Executives at the network expressed enthusiasm about the new system, eQuipt. They argue it leapfrogs much of the current IBD technology available at present. The Advisor Group network includes IBDs—Royal Alliance, FSC Securities, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial—and it has about 6,800 reps affiliated with the four firms.

The client portal enables advisors to interface with clients in a secure digital environment through ongoing account monitoring after the client relationship is established. Advisor Group CEO Jamie Price said a major impetus behind the eQuipt interface was to permit advisors and clients to spend more time discussing investments and financial planning issues.

Price added that the eQuipt launch is just the first iteration in a series. Advisor Group also has a former Raytheon executive to spell out opportunities in Big Data.

Matthew Schlueter, executive vice president at Advisor Group, said the end-to-end digital platform permits advisors to onboard complex advisory accounts and small IRAs in the same transaction without separate processes for advisory and brokerage accounts. It also allows advisors to decide and control how much data discovery they want to let clients do themselves. Necessary disclosures such as ADV forms are integrated into the process. But how to harness Big Data is an issue Advisor Group is exploring.

Executives at the IBD also said they have plans to bring artificial intelligence (AI) to their technology platform, though they did not elaborate. Pershing, one of Advisor Group's clearing firms, is using AI to help advisors identify clients who are exhibiting patterns of behavior that frequently are associated with intentions to move their assets to a rival advisor.

The eQuipt platform also enables advisors to integrate funding capabilities through ACAT, non-ACAT and internal fund transfers with account openings.

In a separate development, Advisor Group announced that it is introducing or expanding several marketing programs, according to Susan Theder, chief marketing officer of the network. These include the creation of eight study groups that will meet twice a month for four months with a member of Advisor Group’s advisor marketing team serving as a facilitator. Among the topics likely to be considered are client event ideas, social media growth strategies and other digital media initiatives like video and podcasts.

Those seeking specific marketing recommendations and assessments can also access one-on-one consultations with a member of Advisor Group’s marketing team and work with them on an ongoing basis.

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