Women in Fintech: Pathways to Positive Change with Jennifer Valdez of intelliflo

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Supporting more than 30,000 advisors, representing more than three million end-investors, and servicing more than $1 trillion in assets across its platforms, intelliflo has delivered SaaS-based solutions for the financial advisory industry since its founding in 2004.

Headquartered in the U.K. and recognized as one of the leading technology platforms for financial advisors in the country, intelliflo announced earlier this year that it had successfully integrated five advisory solution businesses – Jemstep, Portfolio Pathway, RedBlack, i4C, and intelliflo U.K. – under the Intelliflo brand. The move to consolidate its advisory services was designed to enable the company to better compete with rivals like Finovate alum Envestment.

We chatted with Jennifer Valdez, intelliflo’s President of the Americas, to discuss the company’s rebrand and how the wave of digital transformation has impacted the financial advisory space. We also talked about the role of women in financial services and the importance of changing mindsets as a key step on the path toward positive change.

What was the driving force behind intelliflo’s recent rebrand?

Jennifer Valdez: Earlier this year, Invesco brought together its five separate software businesses to form the new intelliflo, a single, API-driven platform to run the end-to-end advisory experience. intelliflo’s technology is comprehensive, representing a broad spectrum of capabilities including financial planning, practice management, digital account opening, reporting, as well as trading and rebalancing capabilities. The open architecture drives new levels of flexibility, efficiencies, and personalization across financial advice, empowering organizations of all sizes with digital tools to better serve modern investors and widen access to financial advice. intelliflo supports over 30,000 financial advisors worldwide, representing more than three million end-investors and over $1 trillion in assets serviced on the platform. 

What tips do you have for clients beginning to embark on digital transformation projects?

Valdez: Before starting any major digital or business transformation project, it’s critical to pause and really think through the pain points you’re trying to solve. This includes listening to your internal team members, advisors, and clients. Technology simply for technology’s sake won’t be effective or productive; you must be solving a true business problem that will move the needle and better position your organization for meaningful change and success. Once that direction is clearly defined, then it’s time to engage your technology partner(s) to ensure you are fully maximizing technology to support your future vision.

Why is it so important for women to have a seat at the table? What steps can individual organizations and the industry as a whole take to ensure greater representation?

Valdez: Representation matters, and in order for organizations to accurately and comprehensively represent all audiences, these groups must have a voice (and vote) when making decisions. This doesn’t mean just women, but all traditionally underrepresented groups such as people of color and those in LGBTQ+ community. 

As a collective industry, we can all choose to do more to raise awareness against bias and stand up for equality, giving everyone an opportunity to thrive. Challenging current mindsets is the pathway to driving positive change.

How have the last 18 months changed the industry?

Valdez: The past year and a half have significantly impacted the financial advice space. Financial advisors are not regularly sitting across the desk from their clients, which challenges them to determine how to continue to meet investors’ needs and help improve their overall financial health. At the same time, investors are increasingly wanting tailored advice, so financial advice professionals are being challenged to deliver a high level of service in a new digital way.

While this has been difficult, it’s also created an opportunity for the industry to embrace modern technology in new ways, digitizing workflows and back-office capabilities to help increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Streamlining the advisory experience in this way is not only beneficial for the financial advice professionals, but also the end investors – it enables quicker, more transparent communication and collaboration all around, while also driving greater personalization.

Can you share a recent professional accomplishment and/or a goal you hope to accomplish?

Valdez: Being asked to lead the Americas for intelliflo has been a significant personal milestone. I’ve always recognized the importance of financial advice and have been passionate about helping investors strengthen their financial wellness. In my role, I get to lead an amazing team that executes on our company’s mission to widen access to financial advice.

At intelliflo, we firmly believe that financial advice should be accessible to all, not just the wealthy. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing the digital technology necessary to make this a reality, helping advisors improve the financial lives of their investors. I’m excited for what’s to come.

How do you see the advisory experience evolving this year and next? What role does technology play?

Valdez: Looking toward the end of this year and into next, I expect more financial services firms to embrace a hybrid advice model, a strategic, flexible mix of digital and human advice. Such an approach enables advisory firms to meet investors whenever and wherever they want to be met, while also allowing these firms to deliver products and services more efficiently and effectively.

Another significant benefit of a hybrid advice model is the ability to close notable product gaps. Many firms have clearly defined offerings for those who want full advice and for those who are primarily self-directed, but more choice should be made available to those investors that fall somewhere in between. With a hybrid strategy, financial services firms can cost effectively provide products and services that meet the needs of every investor on the continuum – and in their engagement models and delivery channels of choice.

Technology is key to making the shift to a hybrid model successful. More firms will forgo bespoke software solutions in favor of a single platform that can support the end-to-end advisory experience, allowing them to boost efficiencies. Leveraging open architecture and sophisticated APIs will be critical in helping to optimize margins, reduce costs, and enable greater personalization across the advisory experience.


Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

https://finovate.com/women-in-fintech-pathways-to-positive-change-with-jennifer-valdez-of-intelliflo/