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“Take advantage of what technology can do for you.” With Tyler Gallagher & Matthew Bogart

Finding a way to improve financial literacy across the world is critically important. Referring back to my response on who would benefit from hiring a financial advisor, it could be argued that more people don’t take advantage of the insights of an advisor simply because they don’t know that they should. In a world where […]

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Finding a way to improve financial literacy across the world is critically important. Referring back to my response on who would benefit from hiring a financial advisor, it could be argued that more people don’t take advantage of the insights of an advisor simply because they don’t know that they should. In a world where credit and debt, for example, are easily accessible, people must understand the burden these facilities place on them and the potential consequences to their mental health and wellbeing, as well as the potential impacts on their quality of life. Teaching children about finances is often left to parents, rather than the education system, and this may not be optimal in all circumstances.


As part of our series about what one should look for when hiring a financial planner or adviser, I had the pleasure of interviewing Matthew Bogart.

Matthew Bogart is the Vice President of Marketing at NexJ Systems and is responsible for directing corporate, product, and content marketing, as well as marketing operations. NexJ Systems develops Intelligent Customer Management products for the financial services industry to help revolutionize their business. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), its products help users in more than 60 countries reach customers that will benefit from the Company’s deep expertise across financial services verticals, strategic investment in innovation, and commitment to their success. Prior to NexJ, Matthew was responsible for Marketing at Viigo (acquired by BlackBerry), Bioscrypt (acquired by L1 Identity Solutions), Triple G (acquired by GE) and Janna Systems (acquired by Siebel Systems).


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Early in life, I had three primary passions. First, sports. I was a decent athlete and achieved relative success, though not good enough to be a professional. Second, computers. I was not into computer programming, but rather using computers for efficiency and playing the odd video game. Third, media. As a young man, I aspired to be the anchor on a nightly news program or a sports broadcaster. It was my passion for the media that led me to marketing, and my affinity for computers that steered me towards technology. My excitement about these two fields is what put me directly on my career path.

Can you share a story about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting in the industry? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?

Plenty of mistakes were certainly made along the way. Unfortunately, perhaps because it occurred so long ago, I’m struggling to come up with one that is humorous. My experiences can be summarized by the Chinese proverb, “you never are so easily mistaken as when you think you know the way.” Many of my mistakes were the result of thinking I knew more than I did. I quickly learned that it’s important to trust in the experience of colleagues and mentors who can provide perspectives that you just don’t have when you are younger.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help wealth managers?

We have some really innovative efficiency and engagement tools we are working on that will help advisors better manage their business. We have the benefit of having developed innovative technology with wealth managers such as RBC, UBC and Wells Fargo, and we are taking those experiences and coming to market with a digital assistant that provides advisors with data-driven suggestions to encourage the Next Best Action to empower them to improve client outcomes. We’re also developing a second digital assistant that allows advisors to engage meaningfully with clients by personalizing content and delivering a superior, value-added customer experience between financial interactions.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lesson that others can learn from that?

I would have to say that the tipping point for me was a team success that happened very early in my career. In the ‘dot com’ era, I was part of a team that executed a highly valued exit by a Canadian software company, which we sold at 82x revenue. As we rose to lofty heights, I learned the need for constant, transparent communication with all stakeholders. Transparency in your ongoing activities is paramount to building trust and delivering success.

What three pieces of advice would you give to financial advisors and those working in the wealth management industry to thrive and avoid burnout? Can you give a story or example?

  1. Take advantage of what technology can do for you. I understand this would seem to be a biased opinion, however, if I didn’t truly believe it, I wouldn’t be doing what I do for a living. I understand the amount of time that is spent on administrative tasks, many of which can now be automated. Furthermore, many paper-based manual processes remain prevalent today, even though there are software solutions that can minimize them. I appreciate the desire to demonstrate to a client that they are more than an account. However, utilizing current technology can greatly help with this and provide heightened insight about how to help your clients achieve their personal financial goals.
  2. Being a financial advisor is already stressful enough, but in especially high stress times or unpredictable events that can lead to global panic and a worldwide recession, it’s important to have systems in place that can support a sudden high influx of new customers and inquiries. Not only does integrating an intelligent CRM system help alleviate many administrative burdens that can be extremely time consuming, it also gives you more time back to spend on personalized service, and helps make thoughtful recommendations that can strengthen new and existing client relationships.
  3. My third piece of advice to thrive and avoid burnout is to take care of yourself. As cliché as it sounds, including a consistent way to de-stress amidst your busy schedule is the key to avoiding burnout. This looks different for everyone — personally, I enjoy playing darts and I participate in a league. This allows me to divert my focus from the activities of the day — work or otherwise — and is a welcome break to talk and think about things that are interesting to me recreationally. I’m a firm believer that taking care of your own well-being ensures you have the capacity to bring your best to the table at work, including the ability to do the most meaningful work for your clients.

Ok. Thank you for all of that. Let’s now move to the core focus of our interview. As someone who knows and understands the wealth management industry, can you share what consumers should be looking for in financial advisors? Can you share 5 tips? Can you give an example or story for each?

1. Is your financial advisor going to be there for you?

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about the financial services industry is the high turnover rate of advisors. As a customer, the last thing you want is to be bounced from advisor to advisor while being treated like “just another” customer. Yet, one of the top reasons financial advisors continuously cite for leaving their company is the excessive administrative burden — tasks such as manual client onboarding, arduous efforts required to pull together account reviews or even logging notes on client conversations. Tasks like these, that advisors face at their firms, leave them without enough time to cultivate meaningful relationships with their clients. As such, it’s important to look for a firm that has an effective solution, such as a well-integrated intelligent CRM system. Dealing with the burden of administrative tasks in a fast and efficient manner is crucial to giving a financial advisor enough time to build vital and long-lasting relationships. If you find yourself in a situation where your financial advisor has left your firm, don’t panic — assess the situation before deciding what next steps you want to take. At the end of the day, remember that it’s ultimately your money and your decision.

2. How does your advisor prioritize customer service?

We live in the “experience age” where the customer experience is one of the most important parts of any client-advisor relationship. Traditionally, advisors have had to maintain independent data and back-end systems to access client information which can be time-consuming and ineffective. However, financial advisors that use an integrated CRM system are more able and empowered to deliver personalized service to their clients without so much as a second thought. With everything centralized on one, easy-to-access platform, advisors that utilize these advanced systems can understand and safeguard their client’s best interests, make recommendations that resonate with their customers, and have the time to effectively deepen the client-advisor relationship. After all, there’s no replacement for human-to-human connection and strong relationships can only be built with time.

3. Is your advisor up-to-date on modern technologies?

Nowadays, consumers can easily have access to the same information about the products and services they want from the firms they do business with. Working with a company that chooses not to innovate and leverage modern technologies, as such, will negatively impact your customer experience due to challenges that technology could have foreseen and managed, but that we as people simply cannot keep up with. According to a study by Nucoro, the majority of financial advisors still do not yet utilize technological advances like AI-powered CRM systems that would allow them to integrate important day-to-day aspects of life and work. Imagine, for example, the many customer touchpoints you would miss out on without a presence on social media. It’s estimated that at least 3.5 billion people worldwide use at least one social media platform. Social media is such an integral part of so many people’s day-to-day lives, but without proper CRM integration, financial advisors are missing out on huge opportunities to connect with their customers and address concerns as they come up. It’s a vital way to stay involved in the narrative of their own brand, too.

4. How will you, as the customer, be protected in a crisis?

The financial services industry has been rocked in the past decade as much by scandal and turbulent markets as it has by the resulting culture of control, transparency requirements, and demand for high-level accountability. Industry executives face mounting pressure to comply with a heightened regulatory environment, and firms without these systems already in place will be forced to scramble as regulatory reform continues to heighten. So, before you give your business to just any financial advisor, make sure to ask them what systems they have in place to protect their clients and to manage any scandals or crises that could potentially end up compromising you and your assets. A trustworthy advisor won’t shy away from this topic, but instead, will take the time to build a deep rapport with you and educate you on the systems they have in place in the event of a crisis.

5. What sets your financial advisor apart from any other advisor or firm? Why should you choose them?

At the end of the day, financial advisors need some sort of CRM system to effectively service their clients. But, the difference maker is those firms and advisors that employ an intelligent CRM system that is specifically built to address challenges that have historically prevented advisors from providing consistent, high-quality customer service. These include advisor churn, excessive administrative tasks, and the challenges of regulatory compliance among other things. A firm that uses an intelligent CRM system is one that can guarantee a client-focused business that puts customers first by better understanding your needs, motivators and interests, and by proactively engaging with you to build a trustworthy relationship.

Can you explain who would most benefit from hiring a financial advisor and why? Can you give an example?

Having access to the insights of a financial advisor is something that everyone should benefit from. Regardless of the stage of life a person is at or the financial means they enjoy, planning to achieve goals or simply managing the day-to-day is highly beneficial for all of us. For me personally, the value of an advisor extends beyond their ability to construct a portfolio and diversify assets. Understanding my personal circumstances and advising on both the big things, like buying a home, and the routine things, like how much I should be saving for retirement, is a big part of what makes my advisor much more than just a stockbroker.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

This question is particularly meaningful to me, as I am incredibly grateful to the people that have inspired and guided me. I have the very good fortune of being able to say there is no single influence, but many people who have helped me advance my career. There is one experience, however, that perhaps had the greatest impact on me. Very early in my career I participated in an initial public offering. This involved having high intensity meetings with a multitude of firms in boardrooms and towers across many North American cities. The adrenaline of these events and the excitement of the financial services industry engulfed me. From that time, I have never distanced myself too far from the industry.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Finding a way to improve financial literacy across the world is critically important. Referring back to my response on who would benefit from hiring a financial advisor, it could be argued that more people don’t take advantage of the insights of an advisor simply because they don’t know that they should. In a world where credit and debt, for example, are easily accessible, people must understand the burden these facilities place on them and the potential consequences to their mental health and wellbeing, as well as the potential impacts on their quality of life. Teaching children about finances is often left to parents, rather than the education system, and this may not be optimal in all circumstances.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://ca.linkedin.com/company/nexj-systems

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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