BOSTON – Smart use of technology isn't just about making a practice more productive.

When it comes to technology, advisors need to focus less on increasing efficiency and more on improving communications with clients, a wealth management executive warned advisors at a session on technology at the annual IMCA conference here on Tuesday.

“Searching for technology to increase your efficiency will drive down your efficiency,” said Jamie McIntyre, CEO of Rockville, Md.-based Fortigent, an arm of LPL that provides a platform consulting services focusing on high-net-worth individuals. “Instead, set up a process that provides incremental value to your clients over time." 

Before advisors start investing in a new technology such as Skype or investment portals, McIntyre said, they need to determine what kind of technology would be most helpful for their clients. Tools that allow enhanced communication between the advisor and clients are especially beneficial, he added.

But there are obstacles, McIntyre noted. A big one is that some advisory firms place constraints on what technology platforms advisors can use to improve interactions with clients.  At larger companies, he said, decisions on product purchases are typically made by chief technology officers who “tend to choose safe.”

“The technology apps I would look to are the ones that help you engage more with your clients,” said McIntyre.

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