An Interview with Jacqui Henderson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Adviser Intelligence
"Legacy technology systems do not support the consumer experience -they also are lacking in meeting the high bar of today’s compliance regulatory framework. Surely we can do better to efficiently enable advisers to flow seamlessly throughout the advice process..."
What are your business and digital priorities for the next 6 months?
Henderson: Financial advice is an emerging profession deserving of intelligently designed digital automation tools. Get this right and we can make an enduring, positive difference. With that worthy goal in mind, we are putting a heavy focus into the intelligence, quality and scalability of our technology platform so that it best supports advisers in all areas of the advice lifecycle for their clients. We also see great merit in smoothing the transformation process from an industry to a highly regulated, sophisticated profession. We are designing to be at the forefront: with intelligent technology that leads and drives this new space of digital advice automation.
FST Media: What technology or innovation is currently the biggest game changer across financial services?
Henderson: Regtech, ai (artificial intelligence) and the algorithm race.
FST Media: How are you leveraging big data and analytics at Adviser Intelligence?
Henderson: The relatively untouched area of consumer behaviour and machine learning of data is an exciting and tremendously rewarding space to be in, which is why I love what I do!
FST Media: What are the biggest tech challenges the modern planner faces?
Henderson: Without a doubt, legacy technology systems do not support the consumer experience. They also are lacking in meeting the high bar of today’s compliance regulatory framework. Surely we can do better to efficiently enable advisers to flow seamlessly throughout the advice process, and automate their back office. Against this backdrop, we see adviser profit margins on the decline and advisers need technology to assist them to lower their cost of acquisition, cost of advice, cost to service and deliver a much richer, compliant and simplified consumer advice experience.
FST Media: How are cloud networks being dynamically reconfigured to keep up with changing technology?
Henderson: Cloud technology has already proven it can deliver lower IT costs, simplify infrastructure and provide greater flexibility. But the bigger emerging issue is placing the customer experience as the focal point, supported by a lower-cost IT that’s continuously improving. This is vital as we move through the current challenges of regulatory, market, competitive and environmental change.
By the end of 2016, 90 per cent of companies believe customer experience will be their primary basis for competition. Also, 64 per cent of customers place more value on experience than price. Lastly, 89 per cent of customers will leave due to a poor customer experience. It’s a no brainer.
FST Media: What is the ideal innovation ecosystem?
Henderson: This is my ideal innovation ecosystem for financial services is a collaboration of:
Regulatory / Government
Professional Bodies (Financial Advice Standards)
Fintech and R&D providers
Consumers - centre
Industry (Dealers, IFA’s)
FST Media: How can organisations continue to meet customer demand for personalised products?
Henderson: Client engagement focus is fundamental. It’s about genuine empowerment of consumers, using amazing tools, being well educated, and experiences that hit a consistent high water mark of excellence. Simply – it’s about the programs and the remarkable financial advice experience that will compel consumers to want to talk about it to their peers. Consumers will become ‘brand advocates’ and the ‘voice’ of a cause, if you make their personal experience along their lifelong wealth journey both trusted and inspiring, you’ve won.
FST Media: What is the next big thing for Adviser Intelligence and how will you measure its success?
Henderson: Our focus is to encourage the financial services community to see the change that our technology will bring as a positive experience. It will not only make the lives of advisers easier, it will help improve the financial outcomes of all, which is the ultimate measure of our success.
FST Media: What is the key to running a successful team of staff?
Henderson: It would be aligning everyone’s personal goals and purpose with the goals and purpose of the company. When you have staff that give up a large portion of their life to your cause, you want to make sure their personal aspirations are in line with the company’s vision, otherwise you have people that just work to exist, not work from the heart and mind. It’s very important to me to have people who love what they do, for them not to feel like it’s just work, or a means to an end. Good cultural fit is fundamental, alongside intelligence, subject matter expertise, free thinking, communication, respect and kindness.
FST Media: What do you do in your free time?
Henderson: I don’t have a lot of spare time at the moment, most of it is absorbed by my business passions. I have my two gorgeous kids and do a fair amount of hanging out on the beaches, as well as looking after body and mind! Skiing and horse riding are my big passions, so if I can fit either of these throughout the year, it makes me happy!