Ten Years of Innovation and Collaboration Celebrated at TD Ameritrade Tech LINC

I recently had the pleasure of attending the 10th annual TD Ameritrade Tech LINC, formerly known as the TD Ameritrade Institutional Technology Summit. TD Ameritrade was the first major RIA custodian to actively pursue an aggressive, open strategy with third-party technology vendors. While that may not sound particularly unique today, ten years ago the idea was truly revolutionary.

“Looking back, we celebrate ten years of open architecture and a collaborative community unmatched elsewhere in the RIA business. For ten years we’ve opened our doors to members of our VEO Open Access community to network, collaborate and innovate, to shape the future of RIA technology.” said Joseph Giannone, Senior Strategist, TD Ameritrade Institutional in a prepared statement.

The summit got its start when a number of RIAs indicated to TD Ameritrade that their businesses would benefit from integrated technologies. Advisors also wanted maximum choice and the flexibility to work with their preferred vendors.

Veo Open Access was born out of that first Tech Summit, when TD Ameritrade first told a group of eight leading technology firms that they would build an API and open their platform. Since then, the summit has grown substantially. This year, 56 representatives from 28 technology firms participated at Tech LINC.

Representatives from three of the original Tech Summit firms Chris Gonzales (Redtail), Brad Burgess (Orion) and Mike Boyd (MoneyGuidePro) cutting the 10th Tech LINC birthday cake

Over the years, the Tech LINC group has met to collectively identify and solve top advisor technology challenges. Past developments have included client-level reporting and  household level reporting as well as the VEO Advanced Alerts system, which communicates updates made in one application to all the other integrated tools.

Another milestone was reached in 2015 when TD Ameritrade first introduced the Veo One concept – deeper integrations that enabled advisors to operate all of their integrated technology from one central dashboard using one single sign-on. Over the past two years, TD Ameritrade has improved existing APIs and created new ones to facilitate a more streamlined, digital account-opening process.

Today, Veo One is now integrated with 35 of the industry’s top third-party vendor applications most widely used by advisors, while Veo Open Access supports 175 integrated vendor applications.

TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP FOR THE FUTURE

During this year’s event, TD Ameritrade, in collaboration with the attending third-party firms, discussed the technology roadmap for the future. Here are some of the things TD Ameritrade Institutional plans to deliver to RIAs in the future:

  1. Voice Search – Building a leadership role in Voice search and smart devices like Alexa. Last year, TD Ameritrade rolled out the first Alexa flash briefing for RIAs and now they are looking for ways to do more, such as enabling tech firms to deliver news and content to advisors.
  2. Analytics – Building out the Analytics & Insights tools, leveraging data from both TD Ameritrade’s systems and FA Insight benchmarking research.
  3. A.I. Powered Tools – More “digital services” fueled by A.I. Earlier this year, for example, they announced the addition of Virtual Agent to Veo One and they will seek out other applications, such as enhanced search and reporting. These projects are intended to foster a better self-service experience, reduce manual processing and improve response times.
  4. Chatbot – Leveraging the advances made by TD Ameritrade retail, TD Institutional is exploring ways to let clients use popular messaging and social platforms such as Facebook, Apple Business Pay, WeChat.
  5. Institutional Development Portal – The creation of a platform to support co-operative integration development with third-party vendors (co-creation), leading to more, faster and better integrations with Veo One.
  6. Cybersecurity – TD Ameritrade will continue to pursue stronger cybersecurity through industry collaboration with cleverDome (www.cleverDome.com) and others. Cybersecurity remains a top concern, especially as more advisors build their own technology tools and desire to integrate those tools with TD Ameritrade and/or third party providers.

Tech LINC and its predecessor have played an essential role in TD Ameritrade’s ability to innovate and collaborate over the last decade. Based upon the roadmap going forward, it appears that there is more innovation to come in the future.

Joel Bruckenstein
Joel Bruckenstein
Joel P. Bruckenstein, CFP®, is Publisher of the T3 Tech Hub (formerly the T3 newsletter) and the producer of the Technology Tools for Today (T3) Advisor Conference, the only annual technology conference for independent advisors, as well as the Technology Tools for Today (T3) Enterprise Conference. Bruckenstein is an internationally acclaimed expert on applied technology as it relates to the financial service industry. He is the co-author of three books: Virtual Office Tools for a High Margin Practice, Tools and Techniques of Practice Management, and Technology Tools for Today’s High Margin Practice. Joel’s monthly technology columns appear in Financial Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine. In addition, he compiles the annual technology survey for Financial Planning magazine. Bruckenstein has for more than twenty years advised financial service firms of all sizes on improving their technologies, processes and workflows. For more information about Joel Bruckenstein and the services his firm offers, please visit www.JoelBruckenstein.com

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