Frequently Asked Questions
Our firm views technology as a competitive advantage – why?
Some technologies can provide competitive advantage but wealth management and front office solutions are not one of them. There are multiple flavors of wealth management and many different ways to achieve similar results – the fact is that all wealth managers need access to a consolidated view of their client and access to client management solutions. Firms can build or acquire their own unique flavor but the risks and costs don’t come close to any small advantage they might receive. Ticoon is a low risk, known quantity that focuses 100% on the financial services industry and chances are any small competitive advantage you have today will be gone tomorrow as Ticoon evolves its platform in cooperation with your competition.
Explain benefits of outsourcing to Ticoon rather than building in-house.
The risks and challenges of getting any new solution to market are substantial and the failure rates are very high. Staff turnover, management changes, budget changes and changes in strategic direction continually derail in-house projects. The ongoing costs to not only maintain a solution but to also continuously evolve a solution simply cannot be justified by a single institution.
Should advisors be concerned that their dealer has access to information about clients, after all the client relationships belong to the advisor?
The argument over who owns the client relationship will still be taking place in decades to come. Ticoon’s platform supports multiple users having access to the data and information that they own or require to fulfill their role or obligations. For example, the dealer will have access to all official, on-book data that they are responsible for but may not see off-book or unofficial or personal information regarding other relationships that the advisor has with the client. The same goes for the client (consumer). They may record and track information from multiple institutions and advisors but only the consumer will have access to all of the information, unless they grant access to another user – each institution will see the data they are entitled to and each advisor will see information regarding their relationship with their client.
Why do we need a wealth management or front office solution – our users have access to a great back office and have the flexibility to choose their own desktop tools?
Allowing users to record and track consumer and other information on disparate systems will lead to much greater challenges in the future. Advisors don’t have a tendency to back up systems properly so there is a real danger that critical information could be lost. Ensuring suitability, implementing best practices and creating efficiencies for advisors to operate their business requires an enterprise platform. The technical challenges associated with trying to synchronize or integrate multiple stand alone tools and processes without a platform like Ticoon is not feasible.
Can I leverage my back office to create a data marketplace for all data and information?
While many back office providers will profess to have this capability the risks are high. Regulators have been moving in the opposite direction trying to reduce the role of the back office to deal with on-book data and information only. Back offices are designed as accounting and high volume transaction systems, not sales marketing and workflow applications. Integrating back office systems into multiple third party applications, workflows and business processes is not a core competency of most back office providers.
What is the role of the back office?
Back office processes are vertically focused (securities are processed through a securities back office, life insurance is administered and underwritten through entirely different systems & processes). Trying to combine these into one system will take decades. Back offices need to focus on efficient account open processes, transaction processing and improving processing times and accuracy. Back offices are required for regulatory reporting, commission reporting and accounting. Trying to leverage a back office to support multiple business and product lines is very high risk. Trying to leverage a back office for sales and marketing and client management will never work.
Can we leverage our own corporate database?
Some financial institutions have developed their own internal corporate database that consolidates data and information from multiple source systems. Whenever possible, this information is leveraged by Ticoon, enabling Ticoon to focus its efforts on adding value in other areas of the organization.
How does Ticoon compare to traditional CRM solutions?
Traditional CRM solutions have always been limited because of their inability to manage the vast amounts of data and information required in the financial services industry. Ticoon has spent the last decade focused on consolidating data and information from dozens of back office and third party systems. Ticoon continues to work with its clients and partners to build out financial services specific workflow and financial services specific CRM-like functionality while leveraging the rich data store to automate processes and create efficiencies whenever possible.
Why would a financial institution outsource such a critical component of the business?
Managing multiple data streams, ensuring processing times, monitoring and analyzing data reconciliation reports and dealing with data clean up issues is a massive undertaking. Ticoon has an entire team dedicated to this task and is proactive in addressing data issues.
Ticoon talks a lot about the ongoing Challenges with distribution – explain.
There are several issues to consider:
Cost of Distribution: Margins are thinning and the costs to support distribution are continuously rising. There is continuous pressure on rising commission payouts, compliance costs are on the rise and increasing technology costs seem never ending. For many firms distribution is viewed as a necessary evil. Ticoon’s single infrastructure model means that all distribution businesses can together bear the cost of a single platform and together contribute to the ongoing funding, and thus evolution of the platform. A single dealer may be able to spend tens of thousands or possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars on a wealth management platform while Ticoon continues to spend millions of dollars each year evolving and maintaining the platform.
Compliance: Many dealers rely on large compliance departments to monitor activity across the firm. Most firms are reactive to issues and challenges. Scaling compliance to manage growth is very challenging. Automating compliance is absolutely required to grow and to keep costs down but few firms can afford the infrastructure and technology required to automate these processes.
Aging advisor population: There are two key concerns; 1. How do you transition an advisors book when they decide to retire and 2. How will you distribute financial products and service consumers in the future when there isn’t enough ‘new blood’ entering the industry? Ticoon consolidates all on-book & off-book or unofficial business into a single solution and empowers users with analysis tools. Crystallizing the value of the business or adding junior advisors and support staff may be accommodated through the system. Segmenting clients and applying different business processes and service levels will help offset the current advisor work load. Automating business processes, educating consumers to move to self-serve channels, setting up referral arrangements or moving consumers into corporate accounts are all feasible solutions that may be managed through the Ticoon solution.
Cross-selling and the impact on advisor registration & licensing: There is no question that advisors either specialize in a single niche and become ‘top of the table’ or generalize and become a quarterback for their clients – those advisors stuck in the middle will have a difficult time.