[All financial services professionals, their vendor partners and their clients were catapulted into a new virtual operating environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This quickly led to the unquestioned realization of the need for rapid learning on how to navigate this new, unprecedented world of volatility, uncertainty, confusion and ambiguity. It caused many to go in search of… insightful and motivating thought leadership.

It was very heartening to see a sizable number of major digital forums and virtual meetings that were quickly conceived of and implemented to start addressing these massive concerns. In the process, these efforts began modeling the leadership and positive actions needed for our rapidly changing age — build stronger strategic partnerships, offer many varied perspectives, and more intently learn together with our audience.  

The Institute continues its new interview series with Virtual Engagement Leaders to examine and learn from their recent virtual event experiences. One such virtual event created by Corey Westphal CEO of MobileAssistant — a #FinTech company that is transforming traditional dictation service technology into an advisor client engagement and business enhancer — evolved into a series of virtual panels with FinTech and advisory firm leaders. Panelists included Adam Holt CEO of Asset-Map, Brian McLaughlin CEO of Redtail Technology, Robert Sofia CEO of Snappy Kraken, Eric Clarke CEO of Orion Advisor Tech, Lori Hardwick Chairman of Riskalyze, and Corey Westphal CEO of Mobile Assistant.

The event was free to financial professional participants and they covered a broad range of important industry topics including: Leading Through Change, Perseverance, Remote Working Principles and Tactics, and Implementing Tech Integrations. The response they received was immediate and drove them to evolve their outreach into three virtual events with over 1,500 advisors registering. This clearly   demonstrated the need and desire for this kind of information, guidance, and outreach of support.

We reached out to Corey Westphal to ask about the mechanics of how he developed and implemented such a well-attended virtual panel series with such a broad cross section of industry leaders. Hopefully, besides all the great advice provided for financial professionals, it also inspires advisors to consider developing their own thought leader panels and position themselves to proactively address the issues and concerns of their clients and their local communities.]

Bill Hortz: What was behind your thinking that motivated you to put together this engagement strategy for your advisor clients and prospects?

Corey Westphal: In March 2020, like most in the financial industry, I found myself in a new quarantined reality with typical engagement channels suspended. With in-person broker dealer events and other fintech conferences cancelled, there was a large-scale elimination of some of our industry’s most important ways to interact and connect with our clients - the financial advisor community. Faced with this new reality, and recognizing that every financial advisor was dealing with a similar type of quarantined environment, I felt it was important to ask the question, “What could I do to connect with the financial advisor community in a positive way?”

My initial thought was not just what I could offer to my clients. Instead, I thought about all the great relationships and strategic partnerships I had built over the years with some of the smartest, most positive people on the planet in the FinTech industry. Working closely with them over time, I had observed firsthand how this specific group of financial technology execs led through change in the past. I had a great feeling that they would be willing to share their knowledge and experience dealing with the current crisis we had all found ourselves working through. 

Hortz: How did you bring in so many FinTech and advisor industry CEOs so quickly?

Westphal: The idea was a simple one: assemble six FinTech leaders to have a candid, non-scripted, open discussion about relevant, real-time topics affecting the advisor community during the unprecedented Covid-19 global pandemic of 2020. My goal was for this group to share principles and tactics that we have implemented within our own organizations that might help others adapt quickly in the sudden remote working environment.

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