T3 Conference Review from a FinTech CEO’s Perspective


The return of the Technology Tools for Today (T3), a financial technology conference in Denton, TX, was an important event bringing together and creating a financial industry ecosystem of FinTech leaders, advisors, social media gurus and industry executives. Joel Bruckenstein, T3’s organizer, proudly declared at the event that after being physically closed due to the pandemic, this year’s conference had a record number of exhibitors and nearly 1,000 participants, making this the biggest T3 event in the 16 years of the conference’s history.

While there has been very good reporting on the speakers and key themes discussed, we asked Institute Founding member Nathan Stevenson, CEO of ForwardLane – an AI-powered insight automation platform that accelerates the productivity and meaningful engagement between financial advisors and their clients – to provide us with a conference participant review from his perspective as a FinTech CEO.

T3 2022 Conference Impressions

by Nathan Stevenson, CEO, ForwardLane

The recent Technology Tools for Today wealth management conference in Denton, TX was a four day extravaganza of modern “wealth tech.” I was asked to report on the conference from an insider’s lens as a FinTech CEO and share thoughts on key trends and applications we see developing in modern technology for advisors in 2022.

3 Key Trends:

  1. Digitalization is happening fast: From Neesha Hathi, chief digital officer at Schwab, describing how they are building a digital platform foundation for RIAs to Tamarac, MoneyGuidePro and Dani Fava support in EnvestNet’s Intelligent Financial Life ecosystem of solutions to Orion’s Daniel Crosby sharing his innovative behavioral finance-based perspective on digital with the “Protect.Live.Dream” behavioral planning approach to SEI’s extensive digitization of numerous complex processes and FP Alpha’s exciting work in the Estate and Trust Planning space, there is no shortage of digital initiatives.
  2. Hyper personalization is the goal: Personalization is at the core of just about every technology initiative across planning, custody, portfolio management, ESG and certainly client engagement efforts. Personalization really means providing relevant, tailored, on-demand insights, advice and intelligence to clients when they need it most.
  3. Data is the differentiator: Tricia Haskins provided a powerful and passionate presentation on Digital Empowerment, while Sequoia Financial Group CTO, Trevor Chuna, talked about digital and how advisors can leverage data to provide a much-improved, personalized client experience — whether that is delivered through a client portal, mobile application, email or in person. Matt Meinecke at RFG Advisory presented AI as an enabler for the modern RIA. This hybrid engagement model is deeply dependent on a firm’s ability to activate data and analytics to generate insights that are meaningful. 

I also noticed a new openness. I was inspired and excited by the collaborative nature of partnership discussions and an openness to dialogue and co-operation in the ecosystem. In addition to Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres, Gavin Sptizner, Craig Iskovitz and John O’Connell connected the dots for many participants and continued to grow a thriving wealth tech ecosystem. 

More firms are realizing that partnerships can make the circle bigger for everyone and that inter-connectivity provides a smoother, superior digital experience — just like the Apple AppStore and the connected digital experience across the Apple ecosystem. Oleg Tishkevich has embodied this new ideal with his Invent digital wealth integration ecosystem.

If we think towards the confluence of these trends, I wonder what we can expect to see from a real-world use perspective?

A Next Generation Advisor Experience: This is undoubtedly in the making, and it looks amazing:

  • AdvisorEngine CEO Rich Cancro showcased a fast and responsive CRM platform that looks and acts like their svelte minimalist modern design and enables personalization.
  • FP Alpha demonstrated bringing complex estates and wills together with AI/NLP which then creates an easy-to-understand snapshot from dense documents.
  • Evan Rapoport at SmartX showed how their modern trade execution engine is able to execute trades in real-time and offer true best execution to clients.
  • Morningstar users will soon be benefiting from this impressive technology as it will power the Morningstar TAMP platform.
  • Jenny Johnson, CEO of Franklin Templeton talked about digital and their investment in AdvisorEngine as the leading edge of that initiative and went beyond to talk about blockchain and how she is a major proponent of blockchain.

Together with behavioral insights and the ability to provide personalized portfolios at scale, the advisor of the future will be supercharged with a digital cockpit of insights, advice and automation, and this will be shared with clients enabling them to benefit from all the latest and greatest technology, advice, education and capabilities. Leveraging these technologies will provide advisors a much-needed deeper human connection with their clients.

This is an exciting time as AI, digital, blockchain and other key technologies reach wider adoption. The future is bright for the next generation/millennial advisor who will look and feel a lot like Luke Skywalker leading people with digital enablement and empowerment, helping them become their best financial selves. 

The Institute for Innovation Development is an educational and business development catalyst for growth-oriented financial advisors and financial services firms determined to lead their businesses in an operating environment of accelerating business and cultural change. We position our members with the necessary ongoing innovation resources and best practices to drive and facilitate their next-generation growth, differentiation, and unique community engagement strategies. The institute was launched with the support and foresight of our founding sponsors – Ultimus Fund Solutions, NASDAQ, FLX Networks, Pershing, Fidelity, Voya Financial, and Charter Financial Publishing (publisher of Financial Advisor and Private Wealth magazines).

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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