There's an App for That

Posted by Mark Piquette on February 27, 2014

With more than 1 million apps in the Apple App Store and an equally staggering number of applications on the Android market, it’s fair to say that the mobile revolution is upon us, dramatically transforming how we live, work and play.

But for financial advisors, the revolution is still in its infancy for the most part. That is likely to change, as the wealth management industry adjusts “to clients who increasingly expect that they should have anytime, anywhere access to their account information,” according to Financial Planning Magazine.

One of the leaders in the RIA mobile revolution is Trust Company of America (TCA), which has provided advisors on its platform with RIA-branded Apps since December 2011. More than 60 TCA advisors now have custom apps, up from just 25 a year ago, and virtually all new TCA advisors ask for a customized app.

“Advisors realize that being able to access their business applications when away from their desks is not an option; it is a must,” says TCA’s Dave Curry.

In addition to being the first custodian to offer fully-customized mobile Apps, TCA is making it “free and easy” for RIAs to get an App – literally. Unlike other custodians who charge $5,000 up front and $2,000 annually, TCA designs and builds the RIA-branded App – all at no extra charge. TCA also does all the legwork when it comes to getting the App on the shelf at the Apple, Google and Microsoft App stores – not a small feat when you consider that on average, 30% of Apps are rejected on their first submission to the Apple App Store. (That number has likely increased since Apple released its most sophisticated operating system, iOS 7.) Apple in particular is notorious for rejecting applications that don’t meet its strict design criteria, which include requirements for icons and graphics. Fortunately for advisors, TCA also develops the icons and various graphics for each app, so advisors need not worry about meeting the specific guidelines of the different platforms.

The apps are part of TCA’s Liberty platform, the first fully-mobile platform in the industry that is available on desktop/laptop, tablet or smart phone, providing seamless integration across an RIA firm’s technology.

“Liberty was built in partnership with RIAs who asked TCA to capture the capabilities that had developed in the past five years with the revolution in web technology and apply it to the user interface,” said Curry. “The result is that our advisors can now manage all aspects of their business – securely and completely – on any piece of glass.”

TCA’s RIA-branded App is a powerful marketing, branding and business development tool for advisors – “a no-brainer,” Vellum Financial Founder Bryan Sullivan said in a recent FP article. “The app has given our clients more access to us, and we have more access to them.”

“Tech is driving everything and apps are allowing advisors to give their clients the latest technology,” added Jason Wilder, executive vice president of business development and key accounts for King of Prussia, PA.-based CMG. “Advisors and clients can see the latest positions we’re taking and decide whether to take action or not.”

To get your custom app, call 1.800.955.7808.

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