We look forward to the BISA Annual Convention every year, and we always appreciate being part of a great event. We were particularly pleased to be able to contribute our insights to this year’s conference through many concurrent sessions and the peer group breakout sessions. And we were humbled by the Association’s recognition of our experience and technological achievements.

It was a jam-packed conference. Here is Kehrer Bielan’s take on what was learned and shared.

Firms are still feeling the pressure to recruit an adequate number of advisors, and to retain their best talent. Peter’s concurrent session on best practices in advisor compensation post-DoL created a lot of buzz, particularly his take on the shortcomings of the recruitment packages being used to onboard advisors in most firms today. Far too many advisors bail after their recruitment package expires. Firms need to do a better job of preparing new advisors to be successful in the role in the long run if they are going to overcome this hump. (You can read more in Peter’s whitepaper on the topic, Ending Catch and Release: A New Era Recruiting Plan to Reel in Advisorshere.)

Hal may have arrived, but now what? From Michael Sha’s keynote address to the concurrent sessions that followed, digital advice continues to be a hot topic for our industry. But as firms move to develop and deploy digital advice solutions, questions remain: How will digital advice integrate (or not integrate) with human advice? What basis should firms use to decide which clients are serviced by traditional advisors, and which are sent to the digital platform? And, should firms view digital advice as a profit center, or as a means of client acquisition that is likely to remain a loss leader? (Check out our research and study groups that are attempting to answer these questions.)

Better tracking = better data = better performance. We heard this issue come up in multiple concurrent sessions. The data that’s needed to answer the most pressing questions facing bank brokerage firms today require serious resources to track, collect, and analyze. For example, despite the fact that financial planning is becoming more and more central to the business, very few firms can accurately track their advisors’ financial planning activity, and even fewer can account for the quality of the plans their advisors are delivering. But the firms that make the extra investment in tracking reap the rewards. Just ask the panelists that served alongside Peter and Tim during the concurrent sessions.

Here’s to looking forward to BISA 2019. See you in Hollywood!