Five Reasons Why Broker-Dealers and RIAs Must Tackle the Data Silo Challenge Now

Data silos continue to be an omnipresent challenge, resulting from years’ worth of broker-dealers, RIAs and other firms acquiring more department-focused software to run their operations. The more software used by different teams throughout the firm, the more disparate data emerged, making it difficult to find, aggregate and access the right, normalized data when and where it is needed. Receiving data from different sources on a regular basis also exacerbates to the problem.

Regulations continue to evolve, and a greater extent of core business processes, workflows and operations are driven by data. Firms lacking transparency into their own core business data increases operational, compliance and audit risk. Capital markets and advisory firms must also be able to respond faster to investor needs in today’s volatile markets, while remote workforces require workflows and processes to be efficient, paperless and secure.

Here are five reasons why broker-dealers and RIAs must overcome the data silos challenge without delay, and the advantages of technology platforms that successfully combine data and functionality onto one cloud-based operations environment.

1. Data Aggregation = Confidence

A comprehensive data aggregation capability gives firms the confidence that they can meet regulatory and audit requirements accurately and on time, while supporting advisors and service delivery. Driven by the data demands of managing advisor compliance and commission requirements, bringing together data and functionality onto one platform is needed to manage the process, from advisor and client onboarding, to meeting all compliance checkpoints, supervision, and commission payouts.

2. Reduced Compliance & Audit Risk

A firm’s ability to meet regulatory requirements is directly related to the data challenge of transparency and accessibility. Firms must be confident that they even have the necessary data, and that they can access the right data to meet various mandates and respond to audit requests. Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) is underscoring the urgent need for firms to be able to access aggregate views of normalized data to identify trends and high-risk behavior, make recommendations to customers, and measure the effectiveness of their compliance programs.

3. Advisor Efficiency & Supervision

Firms must be able to manage their agents, advisors and support staff from the prospective advisor stage all the way through to onboarding and beyond. Advisors working remotely should be able to add or update state licenses and registrations, insurance licenses, carrier appointments and recurring fees, as well as track their continuing education along with initial, annual and ongoing questionnaires and attestations.

4. Client Lifecycle Management

Firms must also be able to manage client relationships from the moment they become a prospect, to each and every client meeting, related task, activity and event. Paperless onboarding and workflows complete with new account forms, client agreements, transactions, processing fees and commissions is a must in remote work environments. Aggregated and normalized data drives the process of managing the life of the client relationship from tracking appointments and delivery of Form CRS, to 17a3 Notices and 36-Month Letters, as well as suitability documentation during transaction reviews to comply with Reg BI.

5. Smart Data Insights

Having the right data not only drives greater efficiency across remote workforces and multiple workflows, it can also make firms smarter. Discovering and viewing the details of high-risk trends and behaviors within a firm – before they become bigger and more costly problems – are crucial for controlling risk. With aggregated data, firms can analyze, detect and present key business activity trends, enabling trade surveillance and supervision. 

Data that Drives Efficiency

Home office staff and remote advisors of broker-dealer and RIA firms must be able to access data when they need it for a wide variety of purposes. Cloud-based systems that provide aggregated and normalized data in one place, while adjusting quickly to evolving regulations and keeping advisors connected, are becoming more crucial to firms’ ability to control the risk and cost of non-compliance as well as advisor and client attrition.

Arcus Partners and Sycamore Company Help Meet FINRA Document Storage Requirements

Arcus Partners and Sycamore Company Help Broker-Dealers and RIAs
Meet FINRA Document Storage Requirements While Creating Path to Smart Contracts

• Sycamore and Arcus Partners’ Finity360 leverage the power of Salesforce and AWS to modernize firms’ back-office and document management processes
• Finity360 integration with the Sycamore platform provides industry-compliant document storage, improved client experiences, and path to blockchain

December 4, 2019 – New York, NY – Arcus Partners and Sycamore Company are revolutionizing the way independent broker-dealers and registered investment advisors (RIAs) capture, store and manage documents and serve customers by integrating its Finity360TM Docs blockchain-enabled digital document management solution with Sycamore Company’s back- office platform for managing advisors, compensation, compliance, client relationships and business analytics. Both solutions are natively built on the cloud-based Salesforce platform, giving firms the ability to share user entitlements in one system, with integrated hosting on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Paper documents cost independent broker-dealers and RIAs hundreds or even thousands of dollars each week in paper, time, storage and, audits. In addition, paper-based and related legacy processes make customer onboarding and service delivery inefficient, which can lead to poor experiences, reputation damage and lost business.

Part of the company’s Finity360 digital data solutions for financial services, Finity360 Docs provides a secure, central online repository of a firm’s legacy agreements, regulatory, legal and other documents – fully compliant with current FINRA and SEC electronic record retention requirements – and blockchain smart contracts. Replacing the Notes and Attachments capabilities of the Sycamore platform, Finity360 Docs’ machine learning capabilities make documents instantly accessible within Sycamore while helping firms improve operational workflows and integration with downstream systems.

Michael Overdorf, president of Sycamore, said: “Broker-dealers and RIAs should no longer feel they need to accept outdated, inefficient and disparate back-office technology. Sycamore and Arcus Partners share a similar goal to help industry players transform their business operations by upgrading their systems. Providing regulatory-compliant document storage through Finity360 Docs on the Sycamore platform gives firms peace of mind for meeting FINRA and SEC storage requirements, and once and for all, further modernizes their processes, onboarding and client experiences.”

Paul Stringer, chief operating officer at Arcus Partners, said: “Legacy technology environments are limiting firms’ ability to participate in modern ecosystems designed to drive faster time to revenue and stronger competitive advantage. Because our Finity360 solutions are blockchain- enabled, we future-proof firms’ technology investments while creating a simple path from legacy environments to new technologies such as smart contracts.”

About Sycamore

The Sycamore Company is dedicated to providing a best-practice solutions philosophy to the financial services industry. We are committed to the current web technology environment using cloud computing to offer broker-dealers and RIAs on-demand, modern and integrated software applications that revolutionize back-office processes every firm must manage such as compensation, advisors, compliance and client information as well as analyze important trends and behaviors across the firm.

For more information, visit https://sycamorecompany.com/.

About Arcus Partners

Arcus Partners helps financial services companies – including financial advisors, broker-dealers and FCMs – gain instant access and greater value from their mission-critical data which is often locked up in back-office or CRM platforms. The company’s cloud-based data management solutions, system integration and Salesforce.com automation services help firms increase operational efficiencies by maximizing the functionality and utilization of their CRM and back- office systems. With more than 30 years of experience in capital markets, securities back-office operations, data aggregation and system integration, Arcus Partners’ Finity360 data management solutions provide financial institutions with a highly agile, scalable and customizable way of gaining maximum business value from their data, systems, documents and operations workflows.

For more information, visit https://www.arcuspartners.com/.

Trademark information: Finity360 is a trademark of Arcus, Inc. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

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