Vision Conference 2019: Another Exciting Year for Broker-Dealers (Recap)
Our Vision conference is a can’t-miss annual meetup for broker-dealers and other players in the wealth management industry, and this was an exciting year for Broker-Dealers. It’s also an opportunity for us to catch up with our clients, and to see how Docupace is transforming the way they digitize operations. This year’s event was no exception.
We kicked off Vision in grand fashion with a welcome reception for our guests and attendees that was sponsored by Ebix. The following morning, our attendees were welcomed by Docupace CEO Mark Tapling. Mark took us through some pretty amazing customer stats — in the last year, our clients processed 6,049,885 total work items using our platform. There were 21,496,743 digital forms processed, and over 2.7 billion electronic objects were placed in compliant storage. Not a bad year!
In all, we heard from more than a dozen speakers from across the wealth management industry and beyond.
Feel like you missed something at the conference? There’s no way we could condense everything we learned and discussed into one blog post, but here are some key speeches and our favorite takeaways from this year’s event:
Tech, singularity, and the future
Our keynote presenter, Bill Bachrach, took us on a journey into the future with his presentation on the Singularity, a hypothesized event where artificial intelligence eclipses human intellectual capacity, thus radically changing civilization. Sounds scary? Bill doesn’t think so. In fact, he argues that we should use this event as an opportunity to question our beliefs and how we interpret the truth.
According to Bill, the financial services industry should start planning for the Singularity now. Because we don’t know how events will unfold, nor do we know how AI growth and development will play out, he advocates for a flexible, variable, and balanced approach. He also recommends finding ways to think differently, rather than fighting back against automation.
Most importantly, Mark says that broker-dealers start having conversations with clients about future prospects now. Planning for outcomes can prevent future miscalculations — for example, human beings may outlive their financial planning thanks to life-extending technologies.
The value of human connections
There’s more to wealth management than profits. Vanderbilt Financial Group’s CEO Steve Distante presented a powerful argument for Impact Investing, an investment strategy that achieves financial return while creating a broader positive social impact.
Impact Investing is more than just a buzzword, it’s an opportunity for the wealth services industry to give back to the community and offer leadership in a positive way. At a key point, Steve shared The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to illustrate the task at hand, and asked the audience “do you want to be an impactful leader? Then have a purpose — passion leads to purpose!”
The value of human connection came up elsewhere at the conference, too. Richard Thoeny, VP of Product Strategy for Docupace, connected the importance of having a product roadmap to a heartwarming story about his 7-year-old self, his neighbor, a bat, a treehouse, and a wrist rocket. This first attempt at roadmapping, he says, also taught him the importance of planning for flexibility.
While walking the audience through our product roadmap, Richard’s message was clear to our attendees: “we need a roadmap and the ability to adjust when things aren’t going to go as planned.” That view has influenced the way he approaches challenges.
In the day to day trenches of running a successful broker-dealer firm, it can be easy to lose focus on what matters.
Josh Sundquist, a motivational speaker and paralympian, took the stage and shared personal stories from his life journey. At the age of 9, Josh was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. He beat the cancer, but lost his left leg in the process. That setback didn’t prevent him from doing what he wanted to in life, like skiing on the Team USA squad and inspiring thousands of people.
He brought that enthusiasm for achieving great things to the Vision stage, where he talked about his One More Thing, One More Time (or “1MT1MT”) philosophy on life.
Part of this ethos is combating disappointment with persistence: “In life, there is no three strikes and you’re out rule. Do you allow yourself to be a person who strikes out or can you take as many strikes as you need to?”
Our take away from his lively and inspiring speech? “Keep swinging!”
Partnering for success
Our customer showcases and breakout sessions are part of what makes Vision a can’t-miss event. We love hearing how Docupace’s software has allowed clients to streamline onboarding, improve compliance, and create a seamless advisor experience.
This year we heard from a number of clients who had great experiences with Docupace. One standout speech came from Randy Epright, EVP and Chief Information Officer with Athene, who touted Docupace’s ability to improve enterprise agility. Docupace’s implementation approach improved Althene’s business architecture, helped manage continuous testing, and more.
Randy attributed his successful relationship with Docupace to our organizational intimacy, empathy, honesty. Randy shared that since going live, he’s had overwhelming positive feedback – even some literal tears of joy!
From evolving trends to new technology, there’s a lot to be excited about in the wealth management industry. Our 2019 Vision event was a great kickoff for the year to come.
Discover the Benefits of a Paperless Office
More and more wealth management firms are migrating to digital operations. We’ve put together everything you need to know about the why and how of going paperless for broker-dealers and RIAs.Learn More!