Individuals rate retail advisors as the second most preferred source for products, services or solutions related to financial wellness
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today new enhancements that the company’s retail wealth management firm, Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (VFA) is making to both its financial professional and client-facing platforms. As part of VFA’s commitment to helping improve outcomes through purposeful innovation, the new, simplified platforms will include: digital account opening, allocation modeling, document sharing capabilities and the opportunity for enhanced client communication. As the latest additions to the firm’s expanding suite of technology resources, the new platform will help provide greater holistic planning support for Voya’s financial professionals and their clients.
The enhancements to VFA’s platform come at time when working with a financial professional is becoming increasingly important to individuals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to new research from Voya Financial, a strong number of Americans feel nervous (61%) or unsure (63%) about their personal finances as a result of the current economic environment.1 And, in light of COVID-19, a majority (86%) of those currently in the workforce are open to obtaining products, services or solutions related to their financial wellness, with financial professionals rated as the second most preferred source next to banks2 — underscoring the value that comes with the perspective of meeting directly with an individual when it comes to financial advice.
Role Of Advisor Is Paramount
“In today’s world, it’s clear that the role of the financial professional is paramount to helping individuals be able to achieve their future financial goals,” said Tom Halloran, president of Voya Financial Advisors. “Providing our network with resources to better serve their clients is important to us and investing in the technologies to enable a seamless experience can only help our financial professionals to run their businesses more effectively. As a result, they are able better support their clients in finding the right path to success.”
Specifically, VFA’s new advances will provide financial professionals with a holistic view of a client’s full financial profile, including information from outside assets and accounts such as a workplace retirement plan. Additionally, the new interface will provide a seamless, user-friendly and fully digital experience that allows financial professionals to operate their business more effectively through the following benefits:
- Digital Account Opening: New account opening features allow both clients and their financial professionals to open accounts within minutes.
- Robust Allocation Modeling: Asset allocation modeling capabilities provide a holistic view into a client’s profiles while offering the ability to manage and oversee the full scope of financial assets, including financial information from all members of the household.
- Ease of Document Sharing: Easy-upload document sharing capabilities allow both clients and financial professionals to upload documents and information with the click of a button, with functionality available online and through the mobile app feature.
- Greater Client Communication: Email, chat, text and voice memo capabilities provide the ability for financial professionals to reach their clients easily and more frequently. Some additional features also offer the ability to remain in constant contact by assigning “tasks” to clients for important reminders (e.g., “prepping for tax review” in advance of a client meeting or discussion).
The Importance of the Human Element
New industry research from Cerulli has also underscored the importance of the human element in delivering communications from financial professionals. According to a recent poll of retail investors regarding the types of communications they would want to receive in the event of a recession, more than half (51%) of individuals cited receiving market updates and tips via email, while a significant amount indicated a preference to receive communications via text (35%) and social media (24%).3 These data points highlight the importance of flexible, multi-channel modes of communication, while recognizing that preferences of individuals will go a long way in promoting trust and building relationships.
“Being able to communicate with clients where and how they want to be reached is pivotal to the success of strengthening relationships,” added Halloran. “By offering new, cutting-edge solutions online, through mobile and elsewhere, we are able to help meet the needs of individuals in today’s ever-growing and ever-changing digital world.”
These latest efforts build upon a series of recent technology enhancements and value-added services that VFA has been rolling out to its network and their clients. These include the launch of Voya Digital Adviser™, the firm’s digital advice experience, videoconferencing, chat and webinar capabilities, and most recently the introduction of mobile check deposit for both advisors and clients, which has seen more than 13,000 deposits since its launch in March 2019.
Voya Financial Advisors is focused on helping advance the financial wellness and retirement security needs of all Americans. The firm is committed to providing a broad range of value-added services to its network of approximately 1,600 financial professionals so that they can grow their business and support the holistic financial planning needs of their clients. For more information, visit voyafa.com.
1., 2. Voya Financial survey conducted through Ipsos on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,005 adults aged 18+ in the U.S. conducted Sept. 24-25, 2020 (including 561 currently employed Americans). Financial professional shown to respondents as “financial advisor (retail).”
3. Cerulli Associates, “Advice in Adversity: Communication and technology go hand in hand,” (June 2020).