MX, Regions Bank, Informative Research, MX
MX, Emprise Bank, BECU
Today's session, closing the Financial Advice Gap. Your moderator for today, who you've seen on stage earlier today is Shayli Lones, and she is the VP of marketing at MX. So welcome, Shayli. Welcome panelists.
Thanks so much, Jess. Oh, you guys, what a day. How has the conference been?
Great. Great. Busy. Busy. How many cups of coffee have you guys had? Three. I am on five, but who's counting? Um, so I'm super excited about this topic today. Um, we, anytime you talk about financial wellness, I think it really speaks to a lot of us. Um, coming to MX Our mission is to empower the world to be financially strong. And it's actually why I came to this company. I wanted to work somewhere that had a mission that resonated with me.
Any of us can work in tech, but can you really work somewhere that makes a difference in people's lives? So I'm really excited about the panel we have today. We're gonna have a great conversation. We're gonna do a Q&A at the end, so collect some questions and then get ready to be really interactive. I want this to be casual, it's interactive. So, um, let's get, go ahead and get started.
We're gonna do a quick round of introductions and we'll go ahead and start down here.
Perfect. So, hi everyone. My name is Whitney Queen. I'm the president and co-founder of Mentoro. We are a money mentorship company, so we provide financial education through learning, application and connection. Um, we do so to businesses and third parties as well as directly to the consumer. So super thrilled to be here today.
And I'm Sam Ragsdale, um, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Wealth Management at Franklin Templeton. Um, we're a global asset manager, but my group specifically is responsible for distribution of Franklin Templeton's FinTech Solutions, um, across the Americas. So our goal is really to help distribute, um, technology that helps people get financial advice.
Hi everybody. I'm Susanna Chesney, and I work for Truist Bank. And I am head of product for Truist Momentum, which is Truist Workplace Financial Wellness program that we provide to companies to give to their employees as an employee benefit. So our program inspires, educates and equips employees to get into a better place financially.
Hi everyone. I'm Jo Briggs. I am all the way from the UK. I work for MoneyHub, which is in open banking, open data analytics company. Um, and, and yeah, we have a whole host of, um, financial wellbeing tools and apps, to really help customers become better off.
Thanks guys. So financial wellness can mean a lot of things. For first question, I wanna go down the line, and if you can kind of help define what does financial wellness mean at your organization, your institution, and what is your part in kind of driving that for your customers? We'll go ahead and start down here. Sure.
So, um, for us, we believe that financial wellness is a matter of health, not wealth. That it's a, um, process, not a singular event. And so for that reason, we place a large emphasis on empowering our members to learn as much as they can, absorb as much as they can, and then apply that to their daily lives.
And I think to answer the second question as it relates to kind of what are we're doing in this space, um, we actually believe in being more agnostic and unbiased. So even though we were born from the wealth management world, um, we spun out quite a few years ago so that we could, uh, have a more, unbiased and agnostic focus and approach to the way that we work with individuals. So for that reason, it means that we don't offer products. We focus purely on the learning elements, if that makes sense.
I'm not sure if that directly answered that question, but that was perfect.
So at Franklin Templeton, um, financial wellness, you know, to us is really empowering investors to achieve better outcomes. And so we have invested in fintechs, we've got incubators to help support fintechs that are really driving this mission. And then we've developed our own internal processes and systems to really help do that. And, and one of those is a goals-based investment framework that helps deliver through an API a very personalized and relevant and actionable investment advice plan for investors, regardless of how much money they have.
Yeah, so at Truist we're a purpose-driven company, and our purpose is to inspire and build better lives in communities and financial wellbeing. And financial wellness is absolutely critical to that. And we feel like the best way to get in front of individuals and help them become more financially literate and well, um, is through the employer a trusted source, someone who can actually provide a benefit that's gonna get them to a place that is better for them. And it's also better for the company. Um, financially. Well employees, um, have reduced turnover reduced absenteeism. They have greater loyalty, they have greater productivity, which, uh, also affects the company's bottom line.
Yeah. And at MoneyHub, very, very similar answers actually to what you guys have already given. But we would al always class financial wellness almost as a feeling, how does a customer feel about their financial situation? And if we can help to improve that feeling and make the financial wellness that they have better, then that is how we measure really what we do. Um, and it's we, we call it potential. Um, so it's, it's giving those people potential to save, for example. Um, so by, by customers and clients being able to see money coming in and then money coming out and where those transactions are going and where money is wasted a lot of the time, that it can then be put into savings or ices or pensions and that financial wellbeing and that feeling gets better.
Thank you. So today during the keynotes, we heard a lot of themes. Jim talked about the human experience, he talked about actionable intelligence. And then on stage with Nandita, we talked about providing a personalized experience. Omar got up there talking about AI. All of these things can come together to provide better financial tools, but it kind of depends on how you're building those. So the next question, whoever wants to jump in first is how do you think about designing products or solutions to your customer base? Making sure that they are personalized to that user?
Um, maybe I'll go. Um, so, you know, I'll, I'll talk a little bit about our, our goals optimization engine. So we did a lot of academic research on goals-based wealth management. Um, and we then kind of put that to work with our data science teams, to really understand what that means
and what that means to an investor. And what we really kinda came up with it's shifting the risk paradigm, right? It's changing how an investor looks at risk, um, to be. So, you know, what if I don't meet my goal? What if I can't send my kid to college? What if I can't buy a home? You know, it changes risk.
And so what we've really tried to do is build a solution that takes in that kind of emotional component what's really important to an investor, and then delivers back to them very actionable advice with a personalization, you know, a a personalized portfolio, um, that they can then follow and, and, you know, really achieve those goals.
I love that. And can kind of build some, because ours is similar. I think emotional intelligence plays such a key role in understanding your users and understanding how to build your product from there. And I'll be careful the terms that I use, 'cause my two tech guys are sitting right here and will probably give me the tea to see if I, uh, misspeak too much. But, um, I do think a key component in personalizing that experience and and determining what tools and features your users are going after is curation and following the curation, looking at the data as it comes in, really analyzing that.
You know, we talked in our prep session some about super users and, and not super users. And super users as we know are like gold, right? They're like our heroes because they're the ones in there tinkering it around, around and trying to break it. They're the ones willing to use the net promoter scores, fill out the surveys, speak with our product guys. But I think sometimes we get a lot of that information in the silent users and the ones that are not as active because they're telling us what they don't like, not so much what they do like. And so, um, I think it's the emotional side, making sure we have that empathy, that we continue to think about the user and, and what it is that they want, not what we want them to want. And then kind of listening to the quiet users as well.
I would say my program is predominantly, um, education base. So it's financial education curriculum, but I think a key component is, well, you can't build wealth if you don't save, and you can't save if you're living paycheck to paycheck. So I think part of our job is to help people become more intentional about how they spend and how they save. And we do that by really focusing kind of on the why and on people's values and what is important to you. And if I asked any of you like, you know, what is important to you? What are your values? Pick one.
Mine is to have a farm. Oh, with llamas.
There you go. That's a great one. Um, but yeah, that exactly farm with llamas. Some people say family or health or faith, but if you get much more specific, you've asked someone to say, okay, write down your values, your top 30 values, you've got to get a lot more granular. And that's, if you do that, if you top write down your top 30 values, you've basically just created your first workable budget. And so I think part of the key is to make sure people are spending on money on things that actually matter to them, and stop spending money on things that aren't important.
I love that. And so earlier we had lunch with Tammy Lally, she was the last keynote that we had today. And she was talking about how a lot of parents now are putting their children through these courses around financial wellness. And one of the things that she noticed is like, nobody ever asked these kids what's important to them and what they want to go and do. She's like, we skip over that question. Nobody's asking that to our youth. nd I thought that really ties in right there. Do you know what's important?
Right. Yeah, yeah, totally agree. And I'm gonna, the guys have covered that really well, but, so I'm gonna answer in a slightly different way. And, and we work a lot with large enterprise firms and, and what we do, we work with those firms to, to come up with solutions and, and use cases. And one of them that is, is a really cool use case actually is, is we work with Vodafone,
we're introducing a social tariff. Um, and it was, to be eligible for this tariff, you had to be on some sort of benefit, um, really cool star if it's 10 pounds a month, so around about $10. Um, and they get unlimited calls, texts, and data as well.
Um, and, and Vodafone's issue was, how do we validate, how do we verify that this customer is on a benefit in a really user-friendly way? Um, their initial answer was that they were going to have to ask them to send in bank statements and do a manual check and then verify it that way. Um,, so we really work on solving problems and, and making open data work for that.
So what we do there is we have a one-time access to their bank account, we find that benefit payment, and then we literally go back to form with a yes or a no or approve or decline. Um, the account is then opened immediately and that customer has instant access. So it's a really frictionless journey that the customer goes through. Um, and, and that's what we really use our tool set to do is to, and it's those customers that really need it to, if they're on a benefit, they really need that product. Um, and it's making it super easy for them to access all of those services.
Thank you. So I love conferences like this because it gets you thinking bigger about what comes next. What should we be thinking about as we are building new products and services for our customers or users, our clients. And so what I wanna do next is dive into financial wellness. It's changed over the past couple years. Um, it's changed over the past decade. Uh, there's all this new technology that's out there. So if we had to think forward, what are some of the ways that you think we can leverage technology in the future to really help bring this together, make it more personalized for users?
Shall I jump in first on this one? Um, yeah. I think from our end, and certainly in the UK perspective, Open Data is becoming a lot more accessible too. So it's not just Open Banking now or Open Finance. It is actually increasingly open data. Um, so within our app, we pull in all of the transaction data, um, put from their bank accounts, but we also pull in all of their assets. So their, any of their pensions and investments and all of that type of good stuff along with all of their liabilities for want of a better word. So, loans, credit cards, mortgages.
But what we also do, um, which again, is where the open data part comes in, is we also bring in their property valuation. Um, so, so we partner with um, a company called Zoopla in the UK, which will pull in their house valuation price. We will also do that for vehicles too. So we'll pull in their vehicle valuation. And what that then does is, it gives a true net worth picture, um, of that customer.
Um, and, and from there you can, you can really start using the tools within the app to budget and, um, to save more, to, to increase your pensions to, to put more aside. So it's really just showing it's giving customers control, which is key. Um, and, and being able to see transactions coming in and going out. And we categorize it too, so everything gets put into its own little category. And, and if people are overspending on, um, a takeaway on a Friday night, then, and that that's becoming more and more, we can, we can just send a little nudge and send, you know, in the last two months you have spent this much, you could have put that in your pension. So it's using data in, in that way to really, um, enhance customers' financial wellbeing.
If Anybody sees how much I spend at Starbucks every month, they would be saying the same thing.
Yeah, I'll go next. Um, in my world, the next big thing, around financial wellness I believe is employer-sponsored emergency savings. Mm-hmm. And for, for those who don't know that what that is, um, so corporate America has done a great job at helping people save for retirement. The entire 401k industry was built on that, but it's been somewhat at the detriment to helping people save for emergencies. So if you can't, if you don't have money to cover that, you know, a thousand dollars, $2,000 expense, um, you're gonna turn to less than optimal means of getting that, whether it's credit cards, borrowing from family payday loans, and it's just a vicious cycle.
So these are folks who are not going to be able to save for retirement 'cause they can't even cover that initial, uh, emergency that that is inevitably gonna come up. So employer sponsored emergency savings is really just having companies similar to a 401k, enable their employees to establish an emergency savings account directly from their paycheck. They would be able to contribute or match that up until a point where they have that fully funded and then it would actually, they could begin saving for retirement.
So, the Secure Act 2.0, I don't know if you're familiar with it really just came out, gosh, less than a year ago. Um, but really actually established employer sponsored emergency savings as a type of account. Um, and I think that's gonna be kind of the thing that everybody's gonna be talking about the next, next year or so.
Maybe I'll go next. Um, so I, this is probably not a shock, but I think, you know, a really great user experience, that delivers something personalized. I think we've all been very, very spoiled. Um, and we expect personalization, right? Um, you log into Netflix, you get suggested for you, you log into your Amazon account, you get a suggested for you. And so being able to tie that personalization to actionable financial advice, I think is really what we need to, to kind of where we need to go and how we need to connect with users in a digital way.
Sam kind of stole mine, so I'll get a little spin and just say that I don't really know. I think we have a lot of really great programs. Um, but I don't know that any one organization has really nailed it on how they're providing financial wellness or else we wouldn't be having conversations about how to increase engagement. We'd have everybody addicted to financial wellness by now.
So I would hope that we're seeing that increased user experience and, and really seeing people buy into the concept and not, and that's even at the organization level. It's not just HR saying, check the box, we've got it. It's them really taking that parental role and it's the user really adopting it. And similar to what we heard this morning, um, and not shocking to you guys, I think that the human element is going to play a bigger part. Obviously we're seeing data and AI and all of these things start to really become integrated into our field. Um, but like we were told this morning, that's only gonna stretch us so far. And so I think, and hope that we'll see more of that human element coming back into the world of finance and technology.
Thanks guys. So I work in marketing. Um, the most common question that I get asked, what is the ROI, how do we justify the spend? And when it comes to financial wellness, a lot of times it's like, isn't that just a good thing? Like, isn't that what we should be doing? We should be helping our customers or users become financially strong, but at the end of the day, we're all a business and we need to make money. And so what I wanna do is dig into how you guys think about ROI when it comes to financial wellness.
I'll start 'cause I'm gonna have the non-answer, at Truist, we don't measure ROI for my program. Um, and that is, like I said, purpose driven company, inspire and build better lives in communities. We offer our program at cost, so there's no profit to Truist. And we promise that we will never promote Truist products and services to the employees of the companies.
Um, that said, we do also believe that by giving companies this gift to get their employees in a better place financially, that company is going to have a, is going to be more loyal to Truist and have a higher propensity to wanna do business with Truist. So we're not measuring it. Um, there's some anecdotal things that, that we, we've been able to measure that loyalty is there. Um, but for the most part, we don't measure ROI. So now I'll just be quiet you guys.
No, I, so I love that. And, Oh, go ahead.
Oh, I was just gonna say, I'll jump in because I sit in a similar boat. I actually hate this question, no offense, but I despise this question and I'm very straightforward. My team will tell you I'm very straightforward about that with our clients because it's kind of like asking what's the ROI on going to the gym? I don't know, it's probably different per person in here. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to gain muscle? There's so many different metrics that you can look at.
So I think it's incumbent upon us as leaders in the industry to set the tone for what that looks like. And that starts with asking the question, whether it's the organizational partner or the individual themselves, what is your goal? Instead of just assuming that it's kind of like the conversation you had earlier we're just assuming that children know what financial wellness is and what their goals are. No, we have to ask them those questions. We have to be those leaders for them.
Thank you. I wanna dive in on yours too. So I know a lot of us, like when we get asked that question, if you're launching a new product, what's the ROI? Um, if you guys don't measure it, was that something that the organization just believed at the beginning or is it something that you went and positioned for?
It was something we believed from the beginning. We, felt that when we were building this program, if we went in and had it be perceived as a Trojan horse to sell checking accounts and bank products, it was gonna fail. Um, and it was really, our goal was not that client, an individual consumer client acquisition, it was the deepening and strengthening of the corporate relationship between Truist and the company. Um, so that was, it was kind of a fundamental tenant that we all kind of agreed on right from the get go.
And then internally, when, how are you perceived when you say, I don't wanna measure that, like, we should just be doing this.
How does that resonate across the organization?
You know, I think it's different. I think that just naturally in business, we all, we, we always wanna have a rhyme or reason. And I think instead of the rhyme or reason being bottom line centric, it has to be altruistic. And so if you maintain that purpose driven mentality and you stay focused on those goals, it's a little bit easier to digest and kind of not only rally the people in your team to stay focused on that, but also the organizations that you support.
I'll add one more quick thing. As, as a bank, a highly regulated org, industry, um, it does sit well with regulators as well that you're doing this thing that is helping and giving back, um, to the community.
Thank you. How about you, Jo?
Yeah, no, we don't measure it either, actually. We do However, look at I guess outcomes. So, has something improved before they started using our product? So has their levels of debt decreased? Has their savings increased? So has their resilience changed? Um, and, and there is a problem, I guess to measuring it too. And I guess that is attribution. It's how can we be a hundred percent sure that the change in their financial wellbeing has actually come purely from using our app? Could they also have had, um, debt management advice elsewhere? Could they have sought financial, um, advice elsewhere? So it's just a really hard thing to measure and outcome. But we certainly do look at before and after outcomes.
Yeah, and I like all of these answers and I think it's very similar with Franklin. Um, you know, we're our solutions. We deploy those out through our partners and through our client institutions, and we use those solutions to drive deeper relationships. And each one of those relationships is different. And what is the ROI on, you know, each one of those relationships? Is it more efficiency? Is it, you know, increased traction with a specific demographic? You know, we look at each, you know, engagement differently.
Question for the group. How many of you out there measure the ROI on financial wellness? All right, we're all the same. I love it. Where are you guys when they're all coming to me asking me to prove this? Well, I'm just gonna point to this room. Um, awesome.
All right. So I wanna go into this last question and then we'll go into Q&A. Um, if you guys had one piece of advice that you could give to the people in this room on how you go and launch a financial wellness strategy or how you go and improve the financial wellness strategy within your organization, what would that be? I'll let you think about it for a second.
I'll jump in. Um, you know, just off the cuff, the first thing that comes to my mind is, listen, for my position and where I am, it's critical that I listen to the members of my team. I listen to my clients, I listen to my users. And I don't think that there's anything that I could do in general if I
wasn't being open-minded to the feedback, the criticism, the ideas, the thoughts, because I, I certainly don't know it all.
Um, so I think that that would be the advice that I would have for you guys and what you are trying to do. And certainly if you were looking to launch a financial wellness program within your organization or to your clients, um, listen to what they have to say because that's how you're gonna be able to uncover those goals. That's how you're gonna be able to, if you had to find an ROI find it, and all the things that we've been discussing today,
I'll jump in next. Um, and, and I would go with empower. Actually. I think it's really important to empower your customers, and to give them the control. So it's, it's up to them whether we have access to the data, they should be able to switch that access on and off whenever they want to. Um, so empowering control would be the, the considerations for me.
I'll, I'll add on to that I think in addition to control is giving people choices. Um, and we tried very hard to appeal to various different preferences and learning styles when we built our program. Um, we partner with MX for people who really want to dig in and, and have aggregation and that all that, all that data, and really want that. We also have some really basic spreadsheets in Excel that people use. We also have a workbook that, um, for those who wanna sit down at their kitchen table and write it down with pen and paper. Um, so I know we're that we're at a place where we're talking all FinTech and all Digital, but there are a lot of people who just still have preferences to do things different ways and listening to those preferences and trying to find solutions for 'em.
And I would say, you know, think outside the box and, and try working with, you know, fintechs, try working with different partners. There's a lot of great ideas out there. There's a lot of great solutions out there. And being willing to try new things, um, is really a cool thing. And, and you can really drive change and better outcomes by doing that.
I love that. I actually wanna dig into a little bit, partnering with fintechs and other institutions. How do you guys think about that today when it comes to financial wellness? Are you partnering, are you building?
Yeah, I think it's really important actually. Um, and there's lots of different types of partnership too that can really enhance a product offering. And, um, it can be a collaborative partnership. It can be, reseller, um, it, it can be all it they can look all different ways, but I think as long as it benefits the end user, then partnership should absolutely be the way to go.
And certainly from a MoneyHub perspective, we don't want to be able to do everything, but we want to be able to provide the right service to the end client. And we partner with MX from a, um, referral perspective. So, which is quite a new relationship for us. And it's going really well, Brent. I hope you'll agree. Um, so, so that is basically any of our clients that we have in the UK or Europe who want to expand into North America, we would refer across to MX and, and vice versa, we're talking to Franklin about using some of your tools too. So I think as long as the key has got to be, it's gotta be right for the consumer, and if it is and it adds value, then absolutely partnership should be the way to go.
I agree. For our program, we've partnered pretty much exclusively to develop new tools. Um, MX was our first big partner, um, worked with a company called Savvy Money for credit score, um, monitoring and daily credit score daily, credit report. And we've partnered with another company to translate it into Spanish. Um, we're working with another company that's doing employer sponsored emergency savings, all things that would've been a Truist way more difficult, were behemoths to try to develop in-house. Um, usually partners can move, move a lot more quickly and a lot more cheaply. Um, and it's just a lot easier to get things done that way.
Yeah, It's getting that message across sometimes, isn't it? Especially the big institutions. They seem to think that actually building themselves is easier. It ain't. Yeah. And we're, we're doing the same. I mean, we've built some things internally, we've partnered, um, in places, you know, we are working with fintechs around the world. Um, you know, we're working with, um, MX here, we're working with, you know, a company called Tron, um, you know, to, to deliver an SDK, um, you know, and, and we do this because, you know, there's really great ideas out there and, and really awesome companies that we can work with and we can leverage our strengths and, and other partners can leverage theirs and, you know, we can deliver a great solution.
Yep. I agree.
At Mentoro, we have a saying that there's no pride in authorship, um, which essentially is just saying what all of these lovely people have said, which is, you don't always have the best idea. And there's nothing wrong with partnering with people who have a better idea han you. And just to add, um, on the buy versus build, I think another way to look at that sometimes is what's the, what's the opportunity that you might be losing because you're so stubborn that you have to build it yourself. You know, if you could have more quickly partnered with someone and then moved on to something even better from there, that, that's just another way to kind of look at it, um, more so than the bottom line perspective, I guess, too.
Awesome. All right, let's open it up to some questions and get a discussion going. Do we have a mic? Oh, we do have a mic runner. Thanks Jess. We have swag now. I know. All right, here we go. We got our first question in the back.
Great. This is a great conversation. Thank you for putting it together. Whitney, you talked about how no one's really nailed this and the how you thought, how the human element will be part of that. Um, the question is, not just to Whitney, but like, how do you foresee the human element kind of coming into this in a way that will really make a difference?
Here I go. Yeah, I'll, I'll go first. I think it will be a, almost a hybrid model, and it will be, and I think there's lots. It's about personalization too. And, um, customers interact and, and they're at different parts of their and different stages of their financial journey. Um, there was some research done back in the UK and they were kind of categorized into personas. Some people are lost, some people are drivers and all, all of that good stuff, but it's interacting with people at how they want to be interacted with. So as long as you can personalize that and interact with somebody with how they want to engage with you, and you're right, you've gotta have that human element too.
Um, and a lot of people will want to do their research themselves, but then actually speak to somebody to move forward. Um, some people are the other way around that they want to, um, speak to somebody and they'll actually go off and do it themselves. And again, it just comes down and where we can get as much data in, we can personalize and, um, but hybrid, hybrid is definitely the way to go, but it's understanding the users, um, and what they want.
I would agree wholeheartedly. Thank you for asking the question. Um, this is my bread and butter, the tech side, they'll tell you, not so much. So I think the key here is like, like she said, um, it's how you use the data. There's a lot being discussed right now, I think in the industry of, um, how can we automate things with data? Mm-hmm. But that's actively taking the human out of it. And I think you're eventually gonna see where people, um, start to distrust and, um, it feels automated and the process feels automated. So I think, bringing that emotion that we started the conversation out with, it's bringing that emotion back into it.
I think to answer your question, the ways in which that's going to happen, I think it's, um, curating the process. So what data can we take and how can we empower, in our case the mentor to have specific conversations with people and how can we inform the people on the other end the right questions to be asking Yeah. The right conversations to be having.
Because if you don't know what you don't know, how do you know to ask the question, right? Sounds kind of silly, but in reality, I think it's how are we gonna use that information? Um, for us, we've got a lot of really cool things coming down the pike that I can't, I'm not really at liberty to say, but I'll say that. Um, it's, it's all about the ways in which we're, uh, connecting with one another. How are we building out this community of people that are like-minded and wanting to talk about finance in a less taboo way? And then, uh, empowering that process with data.
And maybe I'll just add on to that. I mean, we're doing something very similar, right? We're taking data that we get, from inputs directly from a user, and then we're, building a financial advice plan around that and then giving that out to the advisor to have a better, more actionable and smarter conversation with their client. Um, so I think that hybrid model really makes a lot of sense.
Mm-hmm. I'll just add one last thing. Um, 'cause you guys have said it all already, but at Truist, our, our, I guess our, our mantra is T3, which is technology plus touch equals trust. Um, so taking that technology and, and, and adding that touch that human element, you will build trust in the long term.
Mm-hmm. I wanna confront, before my question, I'm just gonna thank you for the gym analogy so I can rebuke the people that keep throwing that ROI question at me. It's very sure thing. It just makes it so quick and simple. 'cause it's like the, um, what are you guys seeing or are doing yourselves with more? 'cause you see all these silos, uh, of, of approaches is the holistic advice. You know, we often see the financial planner and the wealth always centers that as the quarterback, but there's all these ancillary professionals. Clients can end up as confused project managers running back and forth.
We've got all this data, but how are we setting that data across to these departments? Even as my, you know, original company I had before I got into FinTech, I've done majestical things as a mortgage advisor, only because I was coordinating way more intelligently than people 15, 20 years. My tenure in the industry that had a lot more knowledge in mortgages, me because I went to the account because I went to the financial advisor. In a way it was very manual, but it was still very different to what a lot of mortgage advisors, at least in Canada were doing. So what are you guys seeing on the or or doing, or thinking about on the, on the holistic advice kind of avenue?
Mm-hmm Yeah. Um, great question and, and I think it's a really important one. Um, so we've, with our, our goals optimization engine, we've taken that to what we call a unified advice platform, uh, which is really trying to look more holistically across a client's needs, wants, wishes, dreams, and what do you really need to do as a financial advisor to support that.
Um, you know, and we've got a client that we're working with a large RIA, that thinks about this exactly the same way and they're, they're pushing us right? They're pushing us to think more holistically with how we deploy these solutions. Um, so I think it's, it's a great question and you know, it's one that's gonna be become more and more relevant as people's financial situations get more complex. Um, and, you know, really kind of trying to develop to that is, is important and that's something that at least we're trying to do.
Um, I think it's about excuse the phraseology, but I think it's about having the right butts in the right seats and making sure that the people that you're working with know that. So, um, a lot of the conversations that we have sometimes with our members, they're just wanting to know the basics of budgeting, but yet they're going to ACFP to have that conversation and they're paying more than they should to have a basic conversation with ACFP.
Now, that's not to say they won't get great information and probably more than they went to the CFPB to get, but, um, I think it's, if you have the right people in the right places and you can effectively communicate that, then you have the right people going down the right paths to get the right information. Does that make sense? Okay.
Uh, it's, this is a really hard one and I think it's one that every single organization really struggles with, uh, especially in the wealth management space. When Truist was kind of first, um, founded when we merged SunTrust and bb&t there, we had this realization that the experience a client would get when they walk into a branch or call the call center or go online, they could be getting different advice, um depending on where they wait, they enter. Um and that was exacerbated by having two different companies.
It was true in both individual companies as well. And then you throw 'em all together, we're like, you know, who knows what we're telling clients? And so we came together and came up with this idea of the truest financial principles, and it was just set of core financial principles that we would distribute across the organization. So no matter where a client came in, if, you know, how much should I have an emergency savings account, everyone was singing from the same song check sheet, you know, what is an optimal credit score? Everybody knows what that information is. Um, so that was one of the first steps we took. We have a long way to go. Um but I think that just getting that basics in place, um, really helped.
Yeah, and there's not a great deal I can add to what the guys have already said actually, but we focus a lot on, um, hyper-personalized experiences. And,I think that is, that is key too. And it's, then it comes back to Whitney's point about having the right people in the right seats or the right butts on seats as, as you said It's a more eloquent way to say it Um, so, so yeah, if, if, if you can really get those personalized experiences right, and then the right butts on the right seats, then we're halfway there.
All right, we have time for one more question. We got ooh, rock, paper, scissors.
Thank you. Hey, um, so my question is, all of this is good. We talked about data a lot, but we, but about the customers who don't know what to what they don't know, like these, the tools that I have today. If I go and look up for something specific, like I'm looking for a loan, then you tell me what kind of loan I can get. But what about people who don't know, like, hey, you're buying this now, you're in 20, you're going for shopping, but by 30 you're going to look for a loan. Okay, so, How do as, uh, but all of these guys have banks, they have some specific connections to financial institutions. How do we guide these customers to look for a look for financial advice at the right time?
That's, I'll, I'll jump in first. It's a good question. And, in the UK there's a lot of new legislation coming out actually about that. And, there's a lot of regulatory change and we call it "consumer duty" in the UK and it's really putting onus on businesses, um, to look after customers right from the start. So not just at onboard onboarding of that customer, but all the way through that, that life cycle of that customer. And they have to prove that they've done that they have to evidence it.
Um, so I dunno whether there's any similar sort of initiatives in the us but um that is really what is gonna drive that. And it's making sure you're, you're looking after that customer and, and as I say, you've got to measure, vulnerability. So, so you've gotta look out for changes, and if you spot vulnerability, you have to action on it. So it could be, I'm trying to think of an example, if they've, um, constantly gone into an overdraft in their bank account for, for example, and the bank should really be stepping in on that. And, and that could be from moving them from an overdraft to a short term loan to actually pay that overdraft off. Um, so consumer duty, as I say, is forcing change in the uk.
Do one more if you guys wanna jump in on that?
I think I would just say that it's, making sure that we have generalized education that follows through follows people through their milestones in life. Because not every financial decision that we make is going to be investment related. Um, and so if you, say you're talking about buying a house and then knowing for the next house that you buy, all of these tips and tricks is kind of like you need to have like your cool uncle hanging out with you to be sure to tell you these things.
And I think, um, at Ventura, that's something that we strive to do is make sure that we have generalized education that kind of follows you through life so that we can kind of be that proverbial cool uncle to let you know, Hey, just so you know, this is coming down the pike. Or just so you know, don't let that trip you up. Because sometimes unless you read the fine print or you have a really stellar, you know, lender or broker or advisor or whatever, you may not know those things.
Thank you guys so much.
Thanks for the questions and a huge thank you to the panelists. Can we get a round of applause for them? So we'll be around all day. Feel free, if you have a question and you didn't get to ask it, please grab one of us. Um, there's networking going on all afternoon. Uh the reason we're here is to network, to get to know each other, to learn something new. So don't hesitate to ask some questions. Meet somebody new tonight. Um, enjoy the concert. Don't miss the keynote this afternoon. If I could give you one piece of advice. don't miss this, uh, fireside chat, you guys, it's gonna be really good. And then we'll all make it down to the concert tonight. Thank you guys so much and we'll see you around.
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