AI For Financial Advisors Poised to Drum Up More ETF Business

AI For Financial Advisors Poised to Drum Up More ETF Business

Technology is saving sales reps and financial advisors time and money.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barr
Edited by: Ron Day

If a way existed for vendors of financial products, including exchange-traded funds, to ditch cold calls for more business, many undoubtedly would say, “finally!” 

Enter artificial intelligence and data mining, which, according to a new study, are helping sales teams do critical things better—like zeroing in on likely customers, generating sales more quickly, and saving money and time.  

The survey from digital assets consulting firm Blackwater Search & Advisory and fintech community platform FLX Networks has found that cold calls, branch walk-throughs and knocking on doors of financial advisors are giving way to something new. 

Traditional ways of doing business are being replaced by technology that will lead reps to firms eager for their products in the fast-growing ETF industry. These companies are allocating more funds for AI and other digital strategies, and salespeople are also relying more on content publishing through blogs, websites and social media, which promote ETF distribution.  

All of those trends were revealed through the survey’s interviews with CEOs, COOs and CIOs at ETF issuer firms in the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In total, those issuers handle $1.7 trillion in assets under management. 

“There's a lot of value to data mining and targeting your audience,” Robin Giles, CFP and founder of Apex Wealth Management in Katy, Texas, told “As a financial advisor, I don’t like to waste time on sales calls hearing about investments that don’t benefit my clients.” 

She added that when ETF issuers are using more focused methods to find their target audience, it’s a “good thing for everyone.”  

"The role of the salesperson for ETF issuers is critical, but is fast-evolving," said Jillian DelSignore, managing director at FLX, in a press release. She noted that sales this year are less about “endless travel, buying lunch and hawking product sheets" and more about being a consultant who embraces technology, zeroes in on clients’ bottlenecks and helps financial advisors solve problems in their practices. 

Amir Noor, CFP, director of financial planning at the United Financial Planning Group in New York City, said that he meets with a lot of salespeople about ETFs, which he finds time well spent, because he wants to offer his clients the best possible products and not simply default to the Vanguard ETF suite, for example. 


Follow Michelle Lodge on Twitter @lodgemich 

Michelle Lodge is a journalist who is a contributor to many sites: Fortune, Money, Time, Barron’s, Investopedia, and