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Deeper Client Relationships at Scale #5 – Karolina Kuszyk – Transcript

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Deeper Client Relationships at Scale

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, advisors, prosperity, technology, absolutely, firms, people, app, portal, data, day, branded, process, understanding, thought, guess, mentioned, spend, advice, important

SPEAKERS

Karolina Kuszyk, Fraser Jack

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome to the x y advisor podcast, a global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. To get involved, go to x y advisor.com. Or simply download the x y advisor. This series deeper client relationships at scale is brought to you by my prosperity, the all in one client portal and app designed to enhance your practice efficiencies, promote your digital brand and grow your revenue. You can book a demo directly from the website, go to my prosperity.com.au Welcome back to the xy advisor podcast. I’m Fraser Jack and I’m joined by Karolina from my prosperity welcome.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Thanks Fraser and feel free to call me kk is the whole industry knows me as so. Thanks for having me here.

 

Fraser Jack 

No problem at all. Kk there today we’re talking about all things around deeper client relationships at scale. And obviously, that’s a pretty interesting topic. And we go through, you know, the client relationships that people have. But before we go there, let’s talk about you tell us about yourself?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, sure. Well, I’ve been in the tech industry for around 14 years. Prior to working at my prosperity, I worked at nyob, which I think a lot of people have heard of that brand. And my role was a Partner Manager in the field. So I looked after around 100 accounting firms. And the whole purpose was to help them move from desktop accounting software, to the cloud. And obviously, we had a competitor called zero on our heels. So there was a lot of work to be done. But I loved being part of that transition process and seeing a lot of firms change and flourish. So that paved my way into the FinTech world. And when I met Peter McCarthy, I just thought, well, I love this vision about having a personal app on your phone, and advisers being able to have data at their fingertips. This is amazing. So when I met Peter, and anyone that has met Peter McCarthy, he’s just one of those people that make you feel really welcomed. And you know, he’s just got a very bubbly personality. And we hit it off. And I thought, yeah, I’m all in and five years later, I’m still here. And I’m loving it.

 

Fraser Jack 

Goodness me five years. Interesting. Isn’t that I mean, the the technology that’s come in the last sort of 10 years or so has been absolutely incredible, as you mentioned that when you were in my job moving everybody off into the cloud, and then obviously, you know, from there on, it’s been a this amazing growth in what technology can do for people. Yeah, absolutely. Now tell us so you’ve been there for five years. Goodness me that. That’s, that’s a great stint tell us about how the evolution of those last five years have been?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah. So when I joined I was employee number eight. Since then, we’ve tripled in size, we’ve we’ve grown quite incredibly in the market. I think back then we only had about 50 odd clients. Now we have you know, got well over 500. You know, we did a soft launched globally as well. So yeah, it’s been incredible. It’s been great. The quality of people that we’ve hired at my prosperity haven’t really been not only very intelligent and great at what they do, but we’re very much a family. So you know, we’re we’re not a giant company like zero yet, but, but we’ve still got that family feel. And and I love our vision, because at the end of the day, it’s very similar to what financial advisors do. We just want to help, you know, Australians get their financial, you know, fine, personal finances sorted. And that’s what financial advisors want. So the Sydney cheese. Yeah, this

 

Fraser Jack 

is really interesting, having been in technology myself for a long time to see the evolution of how technology startups become sort of more mature companies. And, you know, I always sort of think that the startups can do some such amazing things and nimble and then and then they sort of have that maturity level. And in people sort of, don’t always jump on the startup, try and do that they sort of wait till company’s been around and you sort of think about technology companies being an overnight success in 10 years from when they start up.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Absolutely. 100%. Yeah, and this year will be our 10th year and, you know, we’ve invested a lot of money and hard work. And, you know, I think advisors don’t realize sometimes how much work goes into technology and all the integrations and the pressure that we get. So we are always working very hard in the background and taking on a lot of feedback to provide a good solution.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s interesting when I first started as an advisor thinking about technology, it was all very simple. It was going to be very easy just to do a quick, you know, make make technology. It sounds very simple, but certainly after working in technology for some time, it’s a bit more complicated than that. That tell us about. Okay, so you so you’re there your what’s your role there? Yeah.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, so I’ve grown. So when I first joined my prosperity, I was the territory manager for Vic Tez. And then that grew into the National Business Development role. And in the last six months, I’ve had a promotion to be the head of wealth channel. So because we’re growing quite rapidly, we’ve decided to, I guess, have two unique channels for the company. So we’ve got an accounting channel, and we’ve got a financial planning channel. And I remember Peter asking me, which channel I’d like to sort of drive and I sort of thought, you know, what, I’ve done the accounting in the past, I’ve made some really great relationships, on the advice, or in the advice industry. And so I yeah, it was, it was a no brainer for me. I just said, Yep, I wanna, I want to keep going with the advice side. And I’ve got a lot of great advisors in my network, and I want to keep driving it so that that’s my role, their head of growth for their financial planning side.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And well, you’ve come to the right place, then in that case. So certainly with relationships with the interesting one, isn’t it? There’s sort of a very different the the relationships that accountants have with that then financial planners?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, look, in a way, I guess, when you look at an accounting firm, a lot of the work that they do is very ATR driven, you need to get your besses done, you need to get your tax returns done. I think in terms of advice, and when you look at even a lot of the firms that we have on board, at my prosperity, a lot of their clients are actually pre retirees, because they’re the ones that can actually afford ongoing advice. So I think there is a lot of room for, I guess, making advice, a little bit more, I guess, affordable for for mainstream Australians and getting them to understand the value of advice and those foundations. And, and one thing I really loved about what Conrad said, in obviously, with the the client interviews that were were recorded previously, he mentioned about the foundations of a house, if your foundations aren’t right, then you’re going to have issues with the house. And I love that because that’s the same with with getting your financial advice sorted at a younger age to make sure that you can live a comfortable life and retire early and achieve those goals. So you don’t know what you don’t know. So I think there’s a lot of ways that we can, you know, market the importance of advice into our industry. We’ve just got to figure out ways to do that.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, absolutely. Now, as you mentioned, we’ve sort of made some recordings previously, there’s that this is as part of a series we’ve got some fantastic advisors and advice coaches that have just been on previously, in the first four episodes of this series. And obviously, you mentioned Conrad Conrad was, was fantastic. He’s got a fantastic business over in wha called and inspired money. And he’s just like, I mean, what resonated when I spoke to spoke to him was the fact that he has transitioned his basketball coaching background into the same sort of, you know, motivational coaching for his clients, and accountability, I guess you could like for his quote for his clients. And he’s sort of just used what he knew, in that coaching space to him to really help his clients.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, you don’t know this about me, Fraser. But I was an avid soccer player back in my day. In fact, I got into the Victorian state team, but then my parents sort of said, No, we didn’t move to Australia for you to become a soccer player. So that dream got shattered pretty quickly. But yeah, absolutely. You’ve got a goal, right? You’re working with a team, you’ve got a goal that you want to achieve. And, and, and I love that analogy, that at the end of the sport, at the end of the day sport is quite similar to that coaching, and, you know, money coaching as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, we want to bring this this sort of compensation to in as well, because we recently had sort of, gleaned from folks in here on on the podcast, and we really, we really broke into the concept of, you know, membership Can’t you know, having clients siloed by themselves, and then having memberships of clients or larger scale groups of people and somewhere in between, and when it comes to that scale conversation, sometimes that you know, that membership or having groups of people is a way and I certainly know that And this is sort of something that maybe Andy’s looking at when he when he broadcasts some of his stuff out there actually having groups and communities of clients or prospects coming through?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, absolutely. I think at the end of the day, you’ve got to have a few different streams of how you tie it different different client personas, so to speak. So obviously, you know, there’ll be different types of communities out there that will have their set, I guess, achievements or goals that they’re trying to achieve. And it’s up to the advisor to be able to understand that niche and be able to deliver some sort of solution.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. Now, of course, when we think about the series that we just recorded, and with all the speakers, there’s a few common themes that sort of popped up with all of those, when it comes to thinking about how do we create deeper relationships at scale, some of those things are around, you know, systems and processes, and some of them around the ideas around communication. And, of course, a lot of it was based on the idea of, well, you know, to do all those things, we sort of need, you know, a modern business framework, using technology in a smart way, having staff, you know, embracing the technology that we’re using all these sorts of things. Let’s start with the with the sort of the systems side of it and process around, you know, setting up systems and knowing what you’re going to do. What are your thoughts around sort of what what came out of the first few episodes?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, absolutely. One thing that resonates is when Nicole from King Financial Group explained that over the years, they’ve been acquiring a lot of different practices. And I think, with the exit of a lot of advisors, acquisition hasn’t been higher at the moment. So what she said was that if you don’t have a sound process in place, for acquiring new clients, then you know, you’re gonna very quickly, you know, I guess, run out of control. And that’s the problem that I sometimes face when speaking to businesses, because, you know, advisors are busy. And when they are acquiring more and more clients, if they don’t have the right systems and processes in place, they just like I guess, run themselves to the ground. And it’s really important to almost have that helicopter view step out for a second and say, Well, there are some significant changes that we need to implement, because sometimes it does take about, you know, a good 12 months to implement processes and systems properly into a practice. So it’s not a quick win, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Yeah, it’s interesting when in the acquisition process, because I’m imagining that, when they acquire businesses, one of the first things that they really need is quality data to come in, and then they can then, you know, put a system in place and then work out. And I think as,

 

Fraser Jack 

as Karen would mention, you know, understanding who the clients are understanding the, you know, the targets, understanding, you know, be nailed as to segment all those different clients around to this is, this is that type of person, they have these types of problems, we can help them in this type of way. Tell me about how difficult it’s been to get data, because I know, you know, we’ve sort of talked about we flirted with this idea of open banking is supposed to have been here, and but really, it’s not. But how difficult has it been to get quality data?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, open banking will happen eventually, at the moment, you know, with the likes of yodlee, which is, obviously a third party snapshot of have transactions that can be pulled through into into the portal, that gives a good indication of, you know, bank balances, credit cards, that everything from property to cars, to Super to retail super funds to portfolios. So it gives a good snapshot of assets and liabilities. So that balance sheet, I think advisors are getting more confident in those discussions with their clients. At the end of the day, you know, the easiest way that they explain it to their clients, as they say, look, this is just like Internet Banking, but safer, because it’s a snapshot of your transactions. And in the end, you’ll just have one login into the app, rather than 20 logins that you’ve got to log in to obtain all of that information. So, so they are getting more confident with their conversations around that.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, that’s the end. What about data from some of the other providers? How’s that gone? And which providers in particular, some of the so not just the banks, but, you know, the the other bundanon, you know, like the fund managers in the in the super fund?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So there’s a few ways that, that we can bring portfolios into, into, for example, my prosperity, and that’s one through a, we’ve got a two way integration with x plan. So if firms are using x plan for IPS, we can pull that through into my prosperity, but Likewise, we can actually pull through portfolios as well. There’s two ways there’s one way is through the client side. And one way is actually through the practice portal. So we have had some direct integrations with some platforms such as hub 24, net wealth, premium, etc. So we can pull those in as well. So most of those portfolios are pretty, pretty happy. I think. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer with some of the the bigger institutions, but at the end of the day, yeah, it’s it’s available through the client side or the practice portal.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, this interesting part coming in through the client side, because I guess if you can continue to, to prompt the client to keep adding more data, or information or what they’re doing or how they’re spending and all those sorts of things. I guess the data gets better and better and better over time. Yeah, absolutely. Tell us about, tell us about the different the different people that you work with, because obviously, when we spoke to when we spoke to the four different people that we spoke to, they’re all sort of in different areas, some are doing advice, some were doing sort of coaching, some was doing the compliance, I guess, compliance is a big part of what you do.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, absolutely. At the end of the day, you know, having data at your fingertips, right is quite important, like proper data, constantly updating means that you are more compliant, because you can extract that data and put it into your you know, if you’re using, say, for example, in a next plan, or a midwinter, you can actually extract that information from our portal and add it in there. Same as you know, we’ve got a new feature called rooms, which is quite interesting, because say, for example, if an advisor is sitting, say, with a client, and it turns out that they need an up to date will, they can actually create this room invite the client, in, also the solicitor, it’s like a, it’s like a historical chat room where they can add documents, they can sign off on documents, they can see the latest documents, so it kind of replaces email in a way, but it’s really cool, because then you can extract it as a zip file, and then add it into your back end system. So So I guess, with my prosperity, when you think about us, and a great analogy that one of our partners gave us, they said, Look, I’d never invite my client into the back office, I’d always invite them into the boardroom. So that’s where we sort of see ourselves. We’re sort of like the boardroom, that the that the advisors like to deal with their clients. And and, you know, in the in the background, we’ve got the CRM back office solutions that deal with the compliance side. Yeah, that’s

 

Fraser Jack 

a really interesting install, obviously, not just for state planning, I’m imagining if somebody’s you know, working with other professionals, especially if they’re in say, you know, let’s say they’re doing a self minister, we finally got to deal with the auditor, and they got to deal with the accountant and all those sorts of people, you can sort of set up a room just for that.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Absolutely. Yeah. Any type of professionals. That’s what we’re trying to connect clients with? Well, fantastic. And

 

Fraser Jack 

okay, it wasn’t anything Absolutely. With the accountant. It makes sense as well. Tell me about, tell me about that. The app itself, because a lot of people sort of talked about the app, and they sort of talked about the white labeling of the app.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, that’s right. So so when I so when a lot of advisors join up to my prosperity, they typically join up to a smaller package. And then over time, once they get reached a certain amount of clients, that they’ve on boarded, they’re eligible to get their own custom branded app, we’ve got some advisors that want that straightaway. So you know, they want to join up to it, but we sort of encourage firms to join up slowly get comfortable. Now there’s an element of being set up properly digitalising, the fact finds, making sure that the digital doc signing, right and making sure that the integration with say, x plan or hub 24, or whatever it is, is working properly. And then once they’ve got a clear process plan on onboarding clients, that’s when that’s when we have a look at how many clients they’re incorporating, or introducing my prosperity to and then at that point in time, yeah, thanks. They typically upgrade to their own branded app, but it kind of makes sense when you think about it. A lot of advisors, you know, this is their portal. It’s where just the technology that’s powering it. One One thing to note with my prosperity is that we are in the business to help advisors help their clients you can not get my prosperity just off the street, like a pocket book or anything like that. We’re here purely to amplify the client journey and review process for advisors with their clients. And at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to call app on their phone that consolidates all their personal wealth? I mean, we’ve got apps like Spotify that consolidate our music, but where’s the app they actually consolidates all of our assets, liabilities, cash flow goals. It’s incredible. And I think when it’s used properly, it’s just magnificent.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, let’s, let’s get into this bit of the psychology of this, because when when people get that scenario of, you know, let’s say they’re in a position of, I kind of know where I’m up to, as a consumer, I kind of know where I’m up to, but I’m not focusing on it every day. So I don’t really know what my actual spending is, or my actual, tell me about that first part of the process, when somebody comes in as a client and gets all of their information together in one place, then they get a very clear snapshot of exactly where they are now. Have you have you sort of seen any scenarios where that actually is, is where their client actually goes, right? And now I feel like I’m in a way better position, even though I haven’t done anything, all I’ve done is just consolidate everything.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah. So a lot of advisors, the way that they use my prosperity with their clients is more to say, Hey, this is peace of mind. So that you know that we’ve wired everything up in the one place for you. And not just assets, liabilities, cash flow, but also important documentation, like wills and insurances that you hadn’t thought about. So God forbid, something that happens to you, at least us and your family have access to everything in one place. So it’s more about giving clients peace of mind, they’ve got an app on their phone that they can check at any point in time. But it’s not for them to you know, really sitting there every single day, it’s more about the advice, journey with the advisor and the advisor, hand holding them through that journey. At the end of the day, people need that visibility, especially if they’re trying to achieve goals. You know, how do you know if you’re on track to achieving a goal if you only see your advisor once a year, and that comes back to scaling the business, it’s what are some of the touch points that you have within your firm throughout the year with your clients, I know some people have the newsletters. In my prosperity, for example, you’ve got the automated branded reports that you can automate for clients. So you know, showing them once a quarter that consolidated view of all of their assets and liabilities, and it even shows the little pictures, you know, of their properties and cars and people in visual, right. So it’s just a nice little touch point, you know, to do is I know that Nicole from King financial mentioned that the things that she uses in my prosperity, things like the the doc signing, so they’re they’re, they’re pretty big on the digital doc signing that’s been quite popular in terms of, you know, clients being easily, very easily being able to download a, obviously the app. So first step is to have the app on the phone, they can go in sign a document very easily. They can upload documents, or what I’ve noticed too, is some advisors are actually telling their clients that this is a secure portal, that you can actually drag and drop documents in here. And we can securely put documents in here for you for the to do’s which she uses. So she also mentioned about some of the tasks. So say, for example, if you’re still chasing off a client, say, you know, some documentation, etc, you can actually send them a push notification, and say, Hey, I need these documents by this date. And we’ll keep popping up until they’ve done it. The problem with email is sometimes we’re too busy, or it’s late at night, I know I’ve missed a few emails, where you know, it’s late or you’re about to, you know, hop on a call or or a meeting, and you sort of forget to get back to that email. Whereas when something keeps flashing and popping up at you, you’re more likely to complete that task. So I love how she’s using that. What I’ve noticed, though, is that it’s almost become like a dark horse, because obviously advisors behind the scenes, they still spend a lot of time doing small tasks for for their clients that they don’t say like, say for example, they might be on the phone to an institution, say for half an hour an hour on behalf of that client, but the client doesn’t really know that. So what I’ve noticed is that some advisors are using that to dues for themselves, because you can actually allocate it to yourself, which is pretty cool, because then at review time, they can bring it up and say, hey, these are you know, all the to dues and I think that’s really cool. Obviously, then there’s the they use the cash flow as well. So it’s really important regardless whether you’re a young accumulator, or pre retiree, if you’re wanting to retire in 10 years time, you really need to know where your money’s going. So having, you know, like a pie chart to actually show you, you know, where the majority of your spend is, it can really tend to curve your habits. I mean, I when I joined my prosperity, my partner and I had a investment property in a wash. Sorry, it was our principal property insecurity. So I don’t know if you know, Melbourne quite well, but it’s about five K’s from the city. So not too not too far. And that was our first property. And it was quite interesting because when I got the app, I actually thought to myself Wow, I didn’t realize we’re spending like, you know, over $1,000 on restaurants and dining like we’ve really got to curb that is that it’s kind of like you know, you don’t realize $100 here $100 there, it all adds up and it does and now I’ve always been great at Saving, but I thought we could do so much better. And so through the app, what we ended up doing was we started to pay off double off our mortgage, because we thought Hang on a second, if we save in these areas that are problematic, we can actually start paying off our mortgage. And we did and all our all our friends were in shock that we had five years left on our mortgage, when they all had 25 years on the mortgage. So little things like that, that can really like having that visibility can really change your mindset. And obviously, you deal with a lot of fun money coaches, as well. So the power of having that data and being visible and helping achieve your goals. It’s quite powerful.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. It’s a perfect story around the power of actually focusing on something, the power of having that that data in your hand to be able to see it and go, Okay, so this is what that means, you know, having sort of valuable call outs and to be able to see if you are on track or not on track. I see this provides you your own level of motivation to get up and do that, doesn’t it? It’s not, it’s not about getting the advisor to do it. It’s about the client actually self motivating themselves.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s where a lot of advisors have that power. And when you think about why an advisor went into the role in the first place, it wasn’t to, you know, try and figure out how they can make x plan more efficient is actually about how they can make a better experience for their clients and help them reach their goals. And I love that that’s what Andy was explaining as well. That’s exactly what he said. He said, Sometimes there’s too much focus on the back end, and not enough on the client facing. And that’s sometimes where we’ve got to pinch ourselves and going, Oh, hang on a second. This is what we’ve got to focus on.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, what I love about ed is his drive is about helping, I mean, everyone’s most advisors, I speak to their their drivers for helping clients and modalities. And he’s at the point where he’s like, I’m helping this client, it’s the right thing to do. Right. And, and the rest of the stuff follows along with that, you know, like, he doesn’t sort of start with our, let’s start with all of the technical stuff, he starts with helping and what, you know, I think he’s, he’s in any, he helps everybody, you know, like, it’s not just he, with his one to many approach around the communications, you know, I think, you know, he’s doing a great job of communicating to his tribe of people. Now wanted to meet, I wanted to talk about the setup and training, because you mentioned that a few times, you sort of talked about 10, people that are using the system in a way, in a smart way, where they’ve taken the trouble to set up their to dues and their, you know, their automated reports, etc, etc. That’s a big part of any technology, isn’t it, when you when you take on a piece of technology, that obviously the ability of the technology is one thing, but if you’re not using it properly,

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

100%, I couldn’t agree with that more. And technology can’t replace the human element, either. Instead, it will complement it. So that synergy between advisor and technology that it needs to be like Karen mentioned, you can’t sometimes focus on all three areas, you know, systems, processes and technology, sometimes, you got to highlight one of them and go all in because it’s really the initial setup. Good example is a firm here in Melbourne, Louise Parker from financial lifestyle managers. She was great. Soon as she joined up to my prosperity, she had a clear plan that at review time, she was going to, you know, onboard all of her clients onto my prosperity, and it only took her 12 months, and she got a branded app. And you know what? She’s a one man band. She’s got no, no, you know, she doesn’t have 12 CSM working underneath her. And I thought that was fantastic. Because it just showed that if you’ve got the right conversations and the trust with your clients, it will make the positioning of the technology a lot easier. Because if you’re not using it, or you think your clients might like it, it’s like, it’s like if I went to my accountant, he said, or do you want this app? I’d be like, not really. Whereas if you say to, whereas if you say to them, hey, hang on a second, you know, part of our process is to, this is going to make our review process so much easier moving forward, because I’m going to give you access to all of your data that’s going to be in one place. So at review time moving forward, we’ll be able to go through all of this. So it’s more about the positioning of the technology to make sure. And I think advisors are getting better. I do. I know that a lot of and in particular, there’s the stats that we have with our current clients and my prosperity they use do use again, in particular, we went through the usage stats on Monday. And it actually showed us that we’ve we’ve actually had a spike in usage. So it’s actually been growing. So each month we’ve we’ve looked at the usage stats and they’re growing and we actually had a spike in June which is which is quite interesting. But then Again, a lot of advisors, and this is quite a busy time for them because obviously end of financial year, but it’s quite interesting because the advisors that we do have, are using my prosperity quite well. So I do think it’s getting better. But yeah, it’s like with anything,

 

Fraser Jack 

are you able to share a bit more about those stats is there is there’s like a matter of time that clients spend on the

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

so in terms of, so we typically try and look at more, the advisor stats, the advisor usage, the feedback we get from a lot of our advisors is they say, look, you know, we don’t mind if the client logs in, you know, once a month or once a quarter, this app is really about them having that peace of mind that they’ve got everything wired up in one place, right, and it’s gonna make the review process so much more seamless, because in the end, it’s better for us because it’s more efficient, because it means that we’ve got all the information at our fingertips, we don’t have to constantly chase them. So it really depends, I mean, every clients different you’ll have, if you look at a client base, you’ll have clients, like for example, yourself, you know, you might be really tech savvy and lover and really be keen into looking into the app and all of your updates, etc. But essentially, what we find is it’s more beneficial in terms of the advisor, being able to have all of that information and being able to then help their clients and show their clients very easily and that historical view as well. So over time, they’ll be able to see our you know, your net wealth screen by X percent. And you know, it’s it’s quite powerful from that, from that standpoint.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. So you mentioned the word mindset earlier. So there’s obviously a big GM a big learning curve for an advisor taking on any new technology, and around working out how they’re going to position it, how are they going to use it in their business? How are they going to talk to their clients about it? All those sorts of things? What are you seeing out there with them, advisors that are embracing technology, and they process

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

flourishing, I think, I think those that have really embedded technology into their process, it takes time, it’s not going to happen straight away, you have to be patient. But you know, firms, like for example, Conrad that have been with us for five years, like he said, and I really loved this quote, but he said, either technology will either make you money, or save you money. And I loved when he said that, because he’s actually he’s actually getting both out of the out of the technology now. So I think that in visual in the initial investment of technology and spending the time to make sure that it’s set up properly, it will definitely allow for future growth and that scalability

 

Fraser Jack 

and in mind, you’re right, he’s got the right mindset. Tell me about the mindset around a lot of some time planners, when they’re thinking about taking on technology, it might be scary for them, because they have a they might be thinking in their mind that their clients, they have to adapt their clothes to adapt or change or do something. And it’s gonna be a big change process. But but a lot of clients are already embracing technology in many ways.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Oh, absolutely. It was so funny. I mean, obviously, us being in Melbourne, so you’re sorry, my prosperities Hq is in Melbourne. And we spent a big chunk of last year obviously in lockdown. And it was quite interesting, because I had firms that were sort of hesitant to, to, to, obviously start the process with my prosperity actually come back to me during lockdown, and say, hey, my clients are asking me for zoom links. This is unreal. We need to get an app. They’re asking us if we’ve got an app that they can log into. It was just interesting how COVID really accelerated the adoption of technology. Yes,

 

Fraser Jack 

certainly did. And you’re absolutely right. I don’t think that’s going to change. That’s that’s the new normal. Everyone’s talked about the idea of getting back to normal. I think we’re moving forward to the new normal when it comes to embracing technology. And of course, that also meant that a lot of businesses could have a you could grow their businesses in areas that weren’t geographically close to them.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Absolutely. And there’s a lot of firms out there that have clients that are in regional areas or, you know, interstate. So, you know, I think sometimes you can actually be more efficient if you have five zoom meetings in one day rather than, you know, trying to have three by traveling so So absolutely, I think the even the hybrid model of working from home, most companies have had to adopt that because it’s just the new normal. It shouldn’t be expected to be in the office all the time. I think that’s long, long dead now. And you know, technology has been a big driver of that.

 

Fraser Jack 

So I think what we can see from the you know, the last 12 to 12 months plus is obviously the adoption of technology. can be quite rapid. But it also sort of takes a bit of time to get through to all the B client. You mentioned before the the concept around, you know, over the over a 12 month period, Louise managed to bring the, you know the my prosperity into all of her clients talk to me about that, that time you would expect it if an advisor wanted to implement a new system, or a new technology and the process. We mentioned the concept of going back and setting it all up properly and understanding exactly in the training that’s involved with one understanding exactly how its work and how to get the most out of it. And then that that sort of that 12 month implementation process.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, so. So I guess there’s two factors involved, some of the firms that are starting out that don’t have existing clients, they’re the ones that will do quite well, because it’s just part of their fixed fee process. So they can implement that structure very clearly at the beginning. And then obviously, with clients like Louise, who were, you know, I guess, onboarding existing clients in mind, you or her clients are pre retirees, but the positioning of it at review time and onboarding them, and it’s very quick and easy to onboard someone onto my prosperity, it’s just a matter of adding their assets and liabilities. And over time, you can add more, if you like, into x, it’s quite a feature rich platform. You know, she’s it’s all a game back to how she made her clients feel. And I think the relationship and I think that’s where it comes back to the deeper client relationships because she has quite, very deep relationships with her clients. They’ve got that element of trust. One of my very favorite poets, Maya Angelou, one of my favorite poems is I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. And I think that’s quite important. In any aspect of your life, whether you’re a financial advisor, or a good friend or a nurse. At the end of the day, it’s how you make someone feel so that genuine curiosity, asking substantial questions, how you make a person feel one of my good friends, and you probably know her quite well phrase, that campaign. She obviously presents, yeah, she presents a lot of IFA events. And she’s a mentor to a lot of different firms. And you’ll have to listen to it but she she has presented on snorkeling versus scuba diving. And the whole concept is about those advisors that have that genuine curiosity, asking some substantial questions really dive deeper into what their clients are trying to achieve. And then I think if you can nail that the rest will fall into place.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, absolutely in the data also comes back down if we’re using technology in that space, using the data in a smarter way to be able to then discover those things that we really need to ask deeper questions on. And as she said, People go deep diving into her into a curious realm of, you know, what is what is that thing that happened over there? And what is that? What is it that one thing that we can help that person with and really getting to know, to know those clients almost in a way will know their personal, their financial world almost better than they know it? Now, now talk to me about the the idea because as as we go down this general curiosity around understanding their data and feelings, one of the biggest things that comes out of any software is this personalized, timely and relevant information for call outs how, how does the technology patents provide these sorts of things? How do they work out if it’s personalized, timely and relevant?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Sure. Well, in my experience, with my prosperity, because it’s a branded portal, for example. You know, it’s it’s the clients brand that’s going out. So like I mentioned earlier about the automated reports, having a nice little touch point going out once a quarter, I’ve had feedback from advisors saying that they’ve actually stopped sending newsletters to clients, and not all obviously, some still do. I think it’s still quite important. But I’ve noticed some have stopped because they said, especially some of the advisors that are very time poor, they’ve just said, You know what, this is great, because they don’t really read my generic newsletters. However, when they get an automated report about them, of course, they’re going to click in and read it, because it’s all about the client. So they’ve loved that time saving there, because it’s a nice little touch point once a quarter that their clients are getting at and at the scalable at the end of the day, it just, you know, takes over and in the in the portal and I think that’s quite, I guess, an A unique proposition to client saying, Hey, I don’t have to do this for you. But I think it’s just a nice little gesture of showing you where you’re at at the moment.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, to me, too. Obviously, to me, I sort of call them sort of a progress type approach of understanding where you’re up to now creates a great little bit of motivation, whether it’s an negative or positive motivation for the client to sort of remind them about what their focus, keep them focused on what they wanted to achieve, and give them a little reminder of where they’re up to, so that they can. And the interesting part about this is, if the news is good, it’s good. If the news is bad, it’s still good. It’s still motivational, right? Because the client point of view. So when advisors want to set up my prosperity, talk to me about the process, as long as it has a tank,

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

it’s really easy. It’s on our website, we’ve got a sign up button. So all they do, it’s all online, there’s no contracts that they got to fill out, they just click on sign up, it depends what package they need. So usually, what I do is I help them through that process. It’s more about understanding their practice to then suggesting the right package for them. And so once they’ve chosen that package, they sign up, the signup process is really simple. They just put in their, you know, business name, name, email address, and make sure that they have a copy of their logo. Once they’ve paid for it, they will have instantaneous access into their practice portal where they can start setting up some initial, I guess, display names and start having a little bit of a play around. Then our onboarding team or in our account management team will send through like a welcome pack email. And they’ll also give them a call, make sure that they sent in a onboarding time with them. So usually, that’s a few days later. And what that entails is to actually go through it, make sure that they understand, you know, the configuration process, such as x plan, send through their mini fact finds, in fact, finds and, and, yeah, and once we start to fully configure eight, their practice portal, that’s when they can start slowly introducing the end user accounts to their client base. So it’s doesn’t take long at all, it’s really about how quickly the advisor wants to go. Sometimes we’ve got advisors that are quite eager and want to get things done quite quickly. So happens within a few days. And then we’ve got others that are happy for it to happen, you know, oversight, two weeks. But initially, it’s not that long to get someone set up. It’s really quick and easy. We’ve got a great team, I’ve got an onboarding account management team plus, separately, we’ve got a tech support team. So say, for example, if an advisor is having issues connecting like a data feed into the portal, we’ve got a great tech support team that can help quite quickly. So. So yeah, so we’ve got a really good support mechanism around. Fantastic. And

 

Fraser Jack 

you mentioned the word integration there before to tell me about your integrations.

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yes, that is the key word, isn’t it integrations. So we’ve we’ve done an explained integration. So we’ve got a two way balance sheet integration with x plan, we can also pull across the insurance data across. We’ve also got a very new hot off the press midwinter integration. We’re currently working through a Salesforce integration. I believe we’re in talks with advisor logic, and perhaps work sorted, but everything is based on demand. So the more advisors we have using those back end systems, the more quickly we’ll integrate with them. So. So that’s why hence, a lot of our advisors will majority of our advisors use x plan hence, hence why that was the first integration there. Fantastic.

 

Fraser Jack 

And you mentioned security having a secure portal a couple of times, there’s obviously a massive thing for financial planners. Tell us about what you’re doing in that space?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Yeah, absolutely. So it’s not cheap. We spend about $500,000 on on security every year, so it’s not cheap. We use Amazon Web Services data center, which is up in Sydney. And we have our ISO certification. Sorry for anyone that doesn’t understand that that’s just it means that we’ve got our highest global so not the highest standards only in Australia, but also globally, because we did do a soft launch globally. So that’s quite important. So we take security very seriously, in the 10 years that we’ve been around, we’ve never had any issues around security and obviously we’ve continually paying Amazon Web Services. We’ve got you know, pennants, you know, penetration testers that try and hack into our servers and so sorry, no, we’re we’re very comfortable. We’ve got not only our head of tech Steven jackal, but we’ve also got very new probably, we hired him about two three months ago. I’m head of product now as well. So we’re really excited because we’re right on that CUSP where we’re about to elevate the portals capabilities. So watch this space.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. It’s good. That’s good to hear. The ISO certification is absolutely you know, a great thing to have peace of mind of planners understanding that when you You know, bringing people’s clients data in it needs to be safe and secure. Okay, thank you so much for coming on and chatting to us today. I really appreciate you coming on and then summing up some of the some of the great stuff we heard in this deeper client relationships at scale series. And thank you for representing my prosperity in this series. Is there anything else you wanted to add before we leave?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

No, that’s all I’m thank you so much for having me on this show, and yeah, I can’t wait to to hear all the podcasts again.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And if somebody wants to reach out and get hodie What’s the best way?

 

Karolina Kuszyk 

Absolutely, you can just get on get on to our website. If you click in book a demo, I’ll be able to give you a call and have a bit of a chat with you. Wonderful, thank

 

Fraser Jack 

you kk. Really appreciate it. Thanks.

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