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#44 Robyn Clay – Transcript

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Louis van der Merwe
Welcome to another episode of Financial Planners, South Africa. Today I have with me Robyn Clay. Robyn is the director of Link tank and based in Cape Town, South Africa. Robyn, thank you so much for joining me.

Robyn Clay
Thanks for having me, Louis. It’s a great pleasure.

Louis van der Merwe
Robyn, before our call, we got all excited about the future. And, you know, you said that you spent a bit of time abroad looking at how countries were positioning themselves and kind of at the what did you call it the World Expo?

Robyn Clay
Yes, that’s right. It was the World Expo that was held in Dubai this year. It’s held every five years I believe. And it’s began at Crystal Palace, Prince Albert began, it’s in the 19th century. And Crystal Palace was the first exhibition center for the World Expo. And it’s where countries from all over the world come to share their new innovations and new thinking was brilliant.

Louis van der Merwe
I think that’s such a great way to start this episode, because a lot of the work that you and your team do is around bringing financial planning into the future, you know, improving conversation to using more technology and better quality technology. But before we jump into that, give us a little bit of a background of how you got into financial services in the first place.

Robyn Clay
Well, very interesting. I actually studied to join the diplomatic corps, I wanted to travel more than anything else, when I was a university and ended up finishing varsity and then going to the UK. And I’m Louie if you’ve ever traveled but what you’ll find in the UK is South Africans have got an excellent reputation when it comes to temporary agencies and things like that. So you go and sign up at a temp agency. And I ended up getting all of my my contracts at financial services organizations like Chase Manhattan Bank, and Citibank and various others. And, and generally, then what happened is over a period of four years, I just got more and more contracts at Chase Manhattan Bank. So I did a lot of work with them in various sides of the business, I got a good rain, a good view of HR, marketing, law, all of those different units. And so my experience just became a background in financial services. So when I returned to South Africa, four years off, that’s been four years in the UK, I started working in financial services, mostly from a marketing and PR role. But the key the key reason why I’m sitting in the position that I am in now is I joined axis many, many years ago in the marketing and PR role, but found that I was more inclined or more attracted to the technology side of how we can use technology to really support financial advisors to deliver their value proposition to their clients. And as we as things grow, and as things change, technology just helps the evolution flow more quickly. So it just became an area of interest to me. And I think it’s the area that we can use far more usefully to, to, you know, just create change and evolution in financial services. So it supports that. And so that’s why I ended up supporting our five strategic partners with this systems that x is provided to those strategic partners. And obviously, then we were bought by all mutual wealth. And I was involved in all of the systems Change Overs at old mutual wealth. And, yeah, just that’s really where I ended up joining link tank. From the financial services perspective, we’ve got people in our business that are more focused on tech, and people that are more focused on the financial services side. My particular skill is that I don’t understand tech very well at all, it takes me a while to get to grips with it. So I think my superpower is just helping people adopt technology, because it can be scary. And it can be confusing. And you do when you’re doing a day job, it takes a lot of time and energy to try and get around how the technology when I’m going through a period of change really makes my life better and not worse. And I think a lot of financial advisors will tell you that their experience is never a good one. And any kind of take change is extremely uncomfortable. So I like to operate in that kind of space, and just try and get users to make friends with tick, if that makes sense.

Louis van der Merwe
I love how you put that to make friends with taken, you know, the change management process is difficult. I know, especially in our business, when there’s a new tool, people want to run for the hills, because oh, there’s just another thing. And in our industry, we almost have a fixation of trying to find this holy grail, you know, the one tool that will fix everything? Why do you think that is why like do people fixate on having to find just one tool that can do everything?

Robyn Clay
Well, because of the integration aspect and the amount of times that you’ve got to re input clients details, if you’ve got a number of different tools, it does increase the amount of admin that you’ve got to do inside your business, and it does disintegrate your database. So So you tend to I mean, I think my my view on it is you really ideally, you want to have one place where you’re entering your clients details. And once that then speaks to the entire stack. And that of course, is the silver bullet that doesn’t exist is that unicorn out there. And generally, what people do is they tend to sign up for these very large, complex pieces of software for exactly that reason, they want to have one piece of software to do everything that they needed to do. And one piece of software never does anything perfectly, they never does everything perfectly. So they are always compromises that need to need to be made. And they can your piece of software can offer compliance, CRM practice management, planning tools, but it’s always going to fall down in one of those areas. Because it’s not an area of speciality. So I think that’s why I think that the main reason people want one, one thing, and obviously different pieces of tech work in different ways. So you, you get used to working a certain way in one piece, and then you’ve got to use get used to working a different way and another piece, and that could be the reason there’s just this perception, if I have one, one piece of software, I’m going to be accustomed to the way it works for me. And you know, that’s bad, what module of it I’m using

Louis van der Merwe
that most oversimplifying the solutions in our practice and saying, Okay, if we can just have this one piece, one thing that often pops up is how complex independent financial planning practices are, you know, we’re dealing with multiple product providers, you’re dealing with very different service models. What have you seen work out in the industry where people have managed to craft a solution specifically dealing with product providers that have simplified their lives?

Robyn Clay
I think, look, I mean, to be, to be fair, we don’t work with a lot of advisory practices that are working there. They’re coming to us because it’s not working. So so we get exposure to certain practices that are working. And I think in those cases, they are the practices that understand the non tech side first. So they understand what they want to offer their clients. They understand their clients and the different tools that could appeal to those clients. They understand what their business processes are before they even try to use as piece of tech to automate that business process. And they understand the amount of effort it’s going to take to get the tech to work for them and their business requirements, rather than just going. I mean, I think when it’s not working, what we’ve most often seen is people or advisory practices, using a tool trying to adapt their business to me Make the tool work for them, it doesn’t work for them, they get tired of it, and they swap it out and they use something else. And then they’ve got to go through that process over and over and over again. So there, it’s the one of the things we always try and drive with the practices that work with us is get to know your business first and what your business needs first, before you make a decision about what tech to use to, to make that business work better for you.

Louis van der Merwe
So is the technology really just the final tactic, it’s almost like, Hey, this is the strategy that we need to come up first. It’s like dealing with clients, and they say, Oh, just give me the best unit trust or give me the one that’ll fit in here without a financial plan.

Robyn Clay
It’s absolutely there clearly. And I often feel like what the type of consulting that we do with our advisory firms is very similar to what advisors are doing for their clients. So I’m sure you’ll have had a client who told me what’s the best unit trust, there is no best unit trust, right? That there is no best piece of software out there. What you need to find is what works best for you. But before you can do that, you need to understand what you need. So so and what your what your future prospects, what what you want in what you want your business to look like now, but also what you wanted to look like in future. So it’s, it’s that process, that process of understanding that first, before you make that decision about what state what steps is going to work for you and what compromises you’re going to have to make. When you make the decision.

Louis van der Merwe
As you say this, Robyn, my mind drifts to these kinds of filters that we would say, Okay, well, we know we’re not going to deal with these product providers, for instance, and how would you apply that to the technology? What are the criteria that you would say, Okay, we actively excluding these providers, or what are the things that you look for to exclude someone from your proposed pot of solutions?

Robyn Clay
So we don’t, don’t exclude anybody. So and because it’s not our decision. So so all we do for advisor practices is help them unpack what the business requirements are, and what is the priority. So So what we’ve tried to do up until now, before we started to develop our system selection process on an algorithm, what we’ve tried to do is go, let’s sit with you and help you understand your business processes and your requirements first. And then what’s most important to you, because there are a lot of decisions you’re going to need to make about what you prepare to compromise on and what you prepared to not compromise on and what the most important thing is that techniques to do for you in your business. So the first thing to do is try and understand that. And then and then try and make a shortlist so, so get an RFI or get an idea of what the myriad of tools are, that are out there and try and match them on an academic objective point of view to what the business requirements are of that particular advisor firm. Rather than just making a decision to exclude based on the fact that we’ve heard, I mean, we get user feedback on the software. We don’t even exclude software based on on negative user feedback, we’ll still include them. Because for as often as you hear negative user feedback on about about a piece of software, you’ll get you’ll get some advisors that love that software. So we don’t want to be making that decision for a practice we’d rather help them make the decision themselves.

Louis van der Merwe
I guess that’s why there’s a marketplace. You know, there’s different providers that suit different requirements. Can we talk a little bit about the implementation stage the pot that you said that kind of change management process. So now the key individuals or the shareholders have decided we’re going to implement a new product? What is a better way of implementing this, as opposed to just saying, Hey, here’s the new tool, go and use it.

Robyn Clay
So what I, what what we in our experience, what has worked well is if you start to engage all of the stakeholders in your business from the go from the from the get go. So part of our process is when you’re unpacking the business requirements, you’re not just looking at the exco team or the management teams requirements, you’re looking at administrators and operational teams requirements as well. So they’re part of the process. From the beginning, they might not make the final decision about the software that’s implemented, but they’re aware that it’s happening. They know why it’s happening. And they get a sense of it’s happening because our business, we want to do our business, we want to do business more efficiently. And we want everyone else to be happier at work. And you can only be happier at work if you’re using tools that that work for you and don’t make your life more difficult. So just getting people engaged more quickly is important. And, and then taking them on the journey as much as you can. I mean it’s much easier to do it in a smaller practice. We are in the middle of a much bigger implementation at The moment and we are spending a lot of time keeping people we’re trying to keep people engaged and up to speed with, with how the implementation is going throughout the process, whether they choose to engage with the market trying to feed it to them, so that they’re, they’re never surprised at when the time comes for them to start engaging with it, that they, they’re aware that it’s coming throughout the process. Louis will, you’ll be interested in this, what we’ve also started to do is we’ve started to use our money EQ profiling tool to understand what our clients appetite for changes. And what we found very interesting is just like with an advisor, working with a client, to advise them on how to how to, on their financial journey. If I understand what my personality profile is, and I’m working, or training an advisor, or their team and their business, and I’ve got an idea of what their styles are, I’ll know who I’ve got to work harder to, to support. And to, and I’ll know how to communicate with them so that they’re getting the message that that makes sense to them. If, if that makes sense. So we’ve been doing we’ve we’ve been using those tools ourselves in our businesses to try and really get to know the human being behind the Tech because I think that’s a, I mean, what’s always a big bugbear for me, because I struggle with technology myself is so the people that are very excited about technology or interested in technology can’t understand that somebody can’t be and they can’t connect with how scary and how uncomfortable it can feel, to now have to to have your your usual workload as an administrator, for example, and then have to now go and learn a whole new piece of technology. And I think we skip over people because we don’t want to we don’t want to waste time, it just feels like you know, I see it, I see the value, I think it’s wonderful. Everybody will in the end, they weren’t an issue, actively engage with them and and help them see how it makes sense for them. So it’s always coming back to the human, I think was one of the very first articles I’ve talked about is making sure that when you’re working with tech, you’re you’re thinking about the human being who’s got to engage with it before you do anything. Because if you don’t do that, that just, you know, makes people’s lives unhappy. I think,

Louis van der Merwe
Robin, I think you have such a valid point a, you know, incorporating the human. How much of this is the culture of the practice? No. So I’m curious, do you hire people that are more resilient and open to change? Or, you know, is it a function of the culture that’s going on in the business? Tell us a little bit about your experience?

Robyn Clay
That’s a that’s an interesting question familiar, because I’ve never actually thought about it this way, we kind of go in as objective consultants, working with the practice that also really got a culture in place. But it is very, it’s, it’s absolutely true, you know, you’re going to work, you’re going to move into an advisory practice. And you’re going to know whether the stakeholders in that business are going to adopt that technology, very quickly by by knowing what the how the relationships are between the management team and the staff members inside that business. So you’ll know what your challenges will be if there’s if there’s not everyone’s voice is not heard, and decisions have been made in isolation of a lot of people in the business, it’s always going to be harder to implement the technology for so many reasons, other than it’s hard, or it’s, you know, if I haven’t been involved, and I haven’t, you know, haven’t been involved in the decision or don’t understand why. And I’ve been excluded. And, um, you know, I don’t feel like my voice is important enough to be heard, despite the fact that I’m, that I’m doing a lot of work and a practice. And I mean, and that does come down to culture, I guess, you know, we’ve got to try and be I mean, I think the best practices are inclusive practices where everybody realizes the value of their role and they are made to, to feel that

Louis van der Merwe
Ray Dalio has a very interesting approach on this. And, you know, they run an investment management firm where people get to vote, and they vote is waited, given the experience and how specialists that are in that role. So I’m wondering, you know, someone that might have a very strong opinion, or very big voice, in this kind of more inclusive democracy of process. How do you avoid someone that’s really negative and just pushing back against it? Like, how do you unpack that or, or get them on board? I guess,

Robyn Clay
I think to know, I mean, that’s why the DNA tools are quite useful because it can give you insight into those types of personalities before you even have to start having conversations, right? So you try and preempt it, and potentially just work with people in the business to work with that individual in the business because it’s not, it’s harder for you. I mean, maybe sometimes it’d be much easier for you to Due to preempt any negativity, in a different way, but sometimes it’s nice to get your colleagues of that person’s input as well to understand how they respond, and how best to get them to buy in, and how best to bring them over to a more positive way of looking, looking at the change or looking at the implementation.

Louis van der Merwe
So I guess now we’re leaning a little bit more towards coaching and kind of understanding someone tell us how did auditor and money EQ come alive?

Robyn Clay
Essentially, that concept behind Haidar is really when when the think tank founders were working on offering our system selection process to all of our advisors, what we finding is a couple of things. Number one, advisors don’t know what their business requirements are. So they’re making decisions about technology, based on a chat with a friend who’s using a piece of technology, and they love it, or they’ve heard about this new exciting piece of technology. So they’re making the decisions. For those reasons, instead of really understanding what their business needs. They don’t understand, they don’t know what’s available to them. So they’re not sure of how many bits of software do what and what they do. And so when we initiated that project, it was the link tag team going, let’s develop this new business, which is going to take our consulting, service and make it an online business. So you don’t have to speak to a human being every single time, we want to get to know either how to unpack your business requirements or get a view of the landscape, the technology landscape. So the idea behind Hadid is to offer South African financial advisors, that service. So we decided to build that system selection process, which has turned out to be as I say, it will extremely complex to build and to do correctly. And then second of all, to to get to create this view so so if you’ve got an idea of the different bits of technology that are available to you both in South Africa and abroad, then you can at least have a have a view of that and find something, I mean, you might not need to have a full business requirements and packing consulting process going up, as you know, you need a portfolio management tool. So it’s just nice to know, what is available to you in South Africa and how to purchase that. So you create a marketplace. So that’s the initial idea behind the hardware platform. And that’s what we that’s the the solution we want to offer to advisors, the money EQ product was something that came to us before we actually develop the full hybrid, our suite of services. And we got excited about it, because we thought it could just add a whole lot of value to advisors, coaching conversations with their clients. And and we decided to make it available to to advisors in South Africa, just as one of our tools. So the idea with as you’ll see the audit the hardware solution evolve over time is you’re going to see a place that you can come and understand what your business requirements are, it’s going to be a place, you can get a view of the landscape of software providers that are available and that you can even purchase some of them through the site, almost like an Airbnb for software in South Africa. So that’s where money EQ came along. And we’ve started off by making the assessments easily available for advisors. And we think what has worked quite well is that you don’t have to purchase a full license to use that software you can it’s a pay as you go type event and we hoping you know we can we can make it easier for advisors to to access those kinds of tools as and when they need them than having to always have to buy in completely two piece of software and pay for it even when you’re not using it that that was the idea around that as well.

Louis van der Merwe
I have to ask whey did how did that come from?

Robyn Clay
When we always felt like the Hardy dies just it’s a it’s a bird that is disruptive. So that was always what we wanted to do. You know, they always make noise. And they make it at the most inconvenient points in time. And and they’re loud. So So I think I mean, I think our we’ve always linked Hank, the team at LinkedIn have always felt like we are very often that voice that is inconvenient to be heard because we’re always saying the things that sometimes people don’t want to hear. And and so hardy died just suited us and of course it’s a bird and a bird has wings that can fly which is cool. Rather, the fact that it makes a big noise It is disruptive is the very south african we are South African.

Louis van der Merwe
It is so Okay, so you’ve built this kind of product as a service. It’s a platform that you’ll be launching that someone can be guided through to determine what is the software tools that they actually need. How do you monetize something like this? Is it kind of more? Okay, we’ll just get sponsorships. And you’ll be able to advertise your, your different product solutions? Or will there be a paid structure? Or are you still in the process of figuring that out?

Robyn Clay
Well, technically, advisors will pay for the services they buy. So when you want to go through, there’ll be various packages available. So you can, depending on how large your business is, and how much consulting you want to support, whatever the algorithm spits out to you, when it comes to a system selection process, for example, you can buy various packages, the idea is that it will become more available, because it’s less expensive than then the manual process that we currently undergo for clients. So it can be a very expensive time consuming process. So what we’ve tried to do with the algorithm is make it more automated, so that it doesn’t cost as much. So we tried to make it that that consulting or that insight, more available to more advisors, especially the smaller advisor firms,

Louis van der Merwe
I think it’s something that’s very needed. Yeah, they

Robyn Clay
will be and then they will be depending on the type of tool that’s available, there’ll be different packages. So you’ll see money too, will be stolen kit, pay as you go. Some tools, maybe you’ll only ever use there to when you want to, you know, use a calculator for for a particular event that you might want to use it for, and some tools will even be free. So I’m sure as AdMob won’t be TOS CrossRef, I’ll say that the wonderful new estate planning tool, we will hopefully have those kinds of things available for advisors to come in and find on the site more easily. So that’s one place that you can go and find everything, when it comes to the world of your advisory practice and the software that’s available for you to use in it.

Louis van der Merwe
Robyn, which category of software specifically in financial planning is lacking the most? You know, we often have questions around CRM, and I think there’s a ton of great CRMs out there. To me personally, you know, the consolidated reporting is still one that’s that’s lacking the central, you know, kind of portal for clients to login to is lacking, like, what are the areas that you find lacking in specifically in South Africa?

Robyn Clay
Exactly what you’ve just mentioned, I was gonna go number one is that consolidated reporting that unicorn that and that’s mainly because of the way we handle data in this country, because we haven’t, at the moment, a client doesn’t own the own data. So a client can’t access all of their data, they’ve got to go through an advisor and an advisor, we’ve got to go through a product provider. So the entire industry needs to actually shift when it comes to, to data and how data is supplied to clients. So I think in the UK, when we’re looking at things happening around open banking, and and making data more available, and ensuring the product providers are making data more available to their clients more easily, we’ll hopefully shift that because unless that business principle changes, and unless we, as an industry, as a full financial services industry make that understand that the data doesn’t belong to a product provider, the data belongs to the clients, ideally. So that’s not going to change, but 100% that that really prevents any software provider for to be able to offer a consolidated report easily because they’ve got to collect data from different product providers in different formats. So it makes it extremely expensive. And that becomes prohibitive for most financial advisory practices to offer. And then I mean, and then many of the product providers don’t even make all of it available, and you don’t end and very often as an advisor, you don’t even know everything about your client, it’s difficult to to make sure that you’re, you’re on top of everything that that a client is invested in. So there’s that and then that that desperate search for a client portal or something. You know, we’ve been speaking about Robo advice for how many years now? I think when 10 years, surely it must be 10 years, more than 10 years, we’ve been talking about how we’re going to make this available to clients where they can go in and there’s a certain amount of advice they can access for themselves by using certain software tools. We’ve never gotten it right yet. So that’s it’s a big area for disruption to come through. And I mean, it’s it comes down to for us. Also something we working on is having that that one portal that data can flow into and be be stored in one place. So that can be accessed by clients and by advisors more easily and can integrate with other software tools. So So integration, number one, and I think even if we get if we could get the integration challenge met then that can really help us meet the consolidated reporting challenge and the client advisor portal or their client pool Auto challenge because obviously, Louis and I’m sure you you feel as you don’t want your client to see data that’s not accurate, or isn’t clean or doesn’t make sense. So and we can’t do that at the moment yet. We can’t We can’t give a client that full view of their world because you just can’t be sure you’ve got everything there. And also, you know, we haven’t seem to be able to, I mean, there’s so many apps aren’t available for, for consumers to to consume, we haven’t managed to find two, we certainly haven’t defined a portal tool that that we feel consumers would want to use. I mean, you see a lot, but I think as I mean, a lot of the advisors we speak to when it comes to client portals, they get very excited about client portal. But then you’re always also always having the conversation around, but my clients won’t use it. So I’m not going to pay for it because my clients won’t use it. So there’s that perception that’s, that’s out there as well. So So and I guess, until we get clients using client portals, we won’t really know what the best client portal is, because we won’t have that experience yet. So we are sitting with this, and we’ve been sitting with those challenges. Since Yeah, since I’ve been in the industry, they’ve always been there.

Louis van der Merwe
I’m pretty sure the banks faced a similar problem, when they move to internet banking, you have this pushback against Oh, it’s not safe. You know, I can’t do this. And until it becomes commonplace, where everyone does it, and people start getting branches and saying, Okay, well, we’re moving completely digital. And so this evolution is going to be very interesting. I want to debate a little bit, this idea that everything should be integrated. Now, when is integration to match? Or when is the cost of integration to match that you have all your data flowing through? And is the is there maybe a cheaper alternative to just push, like a part of the information that you have for their client into a very specific tool?

Robyn Clay
Yeah, I mean, the cost at the moment is prohibitive. The only way that you can make integration more appetizing is by making a central database available to many small firms and many pieces of software without them having to integrate with each other. So if you if you can, and the only reason I’m talking about this is it’s it’s another solution that we’re working on and hoping to be able to bring to the South African market as well is if you can have a pool where data sits centrally, that advisors then can decide which of the bits of software they want to plug into that pool, and how it should be moving around from one bits of one one piece of software to another. If you can, if you can create something that is really centralized, if that’s making any sense, if that is really centralized, and you can get a number of you know, you could just get a broader audience. And you can get as many software providers to plug into that. And as many product providers to plug into that, or even data aggregation tools to plug into that, then potentially you’ve got a solution that that becomes more flexible. So it enables you so so I mean, I think are traditionally the way we’re integrating at the moment it was regarding that CRM tool is going to integrate with that planning tool. So if I’m going to, if I’m going to do that, it’s going to cost me a lot of money to do and if I want to unplug from that planning tool, then I’ve got it basically up in my my integration with that. So what if you had a solution where you could change your tech stack, as in when a better tool comes along? You can you can plug it in and plug it out, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not going to impact the rest of your tech stack. By doing that. I hope that answered your question. It’s a complicated question.

Louis van der Merwe
So it almost sounds like we’re asking the wrong questions. We said we’re saying how do these tools speak to each other as opposed to? How do we give our end clients the ability to move their data around? And then just plug into that? Is that is that?

Robyn Clay
Yes, it’s about the data. So the data is available. And it doesn’t really matter which tool I’m using, how do I get into the data? How do I plug into that data? So the data is the central point of call not any particular piece of software?

Louis van der Merwe
Is there anything we can do as financial planners or as an industry to move this open? Let’s call it open banking or open planning for clients. Move it further along or move it a little bit faster?

Robyn Clay
I don’t know the answer to that question. I think once we we partnered with a company called the data company, which is based in the UK, and we’ve we’ve kicked off a joint venture with them to try and create the solution. And at the moment, the only way an advisor can help us get the solution available to the market is by I mean obviously we when when we want to collect data, it’s always the the Pfizer requesting it from the product provider. So we will always need to get input from an advisor to to request the data from a product provider or from a software provider. So So we’re the technical people, and you support us in getting the access that you need to get out of that. Yeah, I hope that answers that question. But at the moment, it’s really a, as we build, and as we work with advisors to try and create a solution that’s more inclusive and get as much data into it as possible. We working with our advisors, to work with their product providers to get to get that, that input and get the data flowing into that, that core area.

Louis van der Merwe
I like how you guys are working on so many different projects that might have a short time span or a very long time span. To come up. Let’s talk about the one that’s actively being used around money EQ, and that’s one that has really worked very well for our business. It’s a tool that I use with coaching clients with individual financial planning clients, give us a little bit of the backstory of how you connected Hendrick Crawford in this journey as well. And yeah, love to hear that.

Robyn Clay
Just a backless Oh, that was just very lucky. To me, it comes from years of relationships. Right. So we met Hugh messi a number of years ago. And he introduced us to his thinking about how people make decisions around their money. And his his product, or his solution was just so extremely attractive, it was so much more than just a risk profiling tool and any of that, and so much more of a coaching tool rather than anything else. And, and even individual development personality development tool. So I mean, it just takes the coaching, you know, it takes a coaching conversation to a whole different level with your client. Henrik had. So there’s a number of strategic partnerships that build the high DDoS solution, and one of them is so it’s the link tank team and Jen and Nina and Duncan Passio, who came from astute that he joined us and Hendrick and Duncan had worked together, I think at epsa. And they had had a very good relationship. And Hendricks saw money EQ. And I mean, you just know what He’s liked, what he’s done at the University of the Free State around behavioral finance and coaching, he loved it. So he’s just been a great proponent of money EQ, and he’s been indispensable for us, because we can’t offer the coaching support that advisors need, all we do is offer the tool. So we needed somebody that can at least support our advisors when, when they’re starting to change their conversations with clients. So that’s why we’ve developed that conversation with him, because that’s the work that he does.

Louis van der Merwe
And Robyn, what’s the feedback that you’re getting from advisors that are using this,

Robyn Clay
that they struggle there, it’s just very difficult to first of all, decide which of your clients are going to want to have those kinds of conversations with you. And I think the amount of data that you’re receiving from the process, it can be completely overwhelming. So it’s taking a long time for people to really get to grips with what it can do and when to use it and feel comfortable acting as a coach to your clients. So you’re now so much more than just a financial adviser, you truly are a coach, to their client. And you you’ve got to make that shift in your own relationships with your clients before you can even use a tool like that it’s not a tool that you can use, it’s going to spit out some numbers and tell you what somebody’s appetite to risk in. It’s so much deeper than that. And it probably leads to what I imagine can be some uncomfortable conversations between spouses, or parents and their children, for an advisor, so you’ve got to be ready, ready to have that new conversation. So the the group of financial advisors, I mean, I was really surprised at how many there are of you out there, I didn’t, I didn’t realize that I haven’t been exposed to the types of advisers, like like those within your network that are offering the service to their clients. But the vast majority of advisors aren’t doing it yet. It’s a fairly small group in this country. It’s taking time but it’s coming.

Louis van der Merwe
Would you categorize that as a kind of a personality assessment tool for advisors?

Robyn Clay
Yeah, both for advisors so it can be there for the advisor and and for their clients. So it’s more than it’s more than just that it’s just a it’s a personality assessment tool that focuses very much on financial on money and how you so whether you’ve got biases around how you see money, or the role of players in your relationships in your life. You up so much more than just the risk side of it how you deal with risk or don’t deal with risk, how you actually manage a budget and how you manage how what’s important for your life and your retirement, all of that is incorporated in that assessment tool. And I think, maybe I mean, you’ll know better than me, Louis, I can imagine that it can, it can lead to conversations that look at, at how I need to change my behavior generally, in order to, to, to become wealthier. And then and probably maybe goes beyond even that goes beyond money, I can imagine it does, you know, a lot of the the reports that you can get available to you from doing this personality assessment can help you as advisors, hire advisors that are either different to us that you can have different advisor styles in your business. And then you can have different styles working with different clients. And it can help you coach your own staff members or any new paraplanners that come and still it just gives you all of those insights, I mean, with between 205 100 insights into human being that are available to you just by doing this assessment once. So it’s very broad.

Louis van der Merwe
I was reading through one of the reports today and I finished my transition as training at the end of last year. And it was so clear that one of the tools and Susan Bradley also talks about this was inspired by you mercy around communication. And one pod was showing while the client basically telling you this is the way I want to be communicated move quickly. Show me high level summaries don’t get stuck in the details. Yet. Previously, I would just glance past and like Okay, that’s interesting, instead of changing my behavior. And so you mentioned earlier in the show is that a big part is around change management. How do you guide someone from Okay, I’m ready to look at their assessments to I’m incorporating this with each and every client, like how do you get past that gap?

Robyn Clay
I think that I mean, no Hendrick is probably the best person to answer that question. I think I think it’s getting to understand the assessment and the insights for yourself. He always will say that right. And you and Liana dnn in the state will always give us the answer that that answer to that question. It’s, it’s do it for yourself and your closest friends and family first get comfortable and then start to move to your plans. And I think I mean, what we’re hearing from a lot of advisors, both here and in the states are ones that are really using DNA, a great deal in their practices, and they’re not always using it for every client, they only use it for certain clients who they know are ready and will be responsive to the insights that they’re that they’re working with. So So I think it depends on on your relationship with your clients. It doesn’t have to be every single client. I mean, I’ve recently been chatting to advisors, we’ve got various assessment tools inside their practice, and depending on the type of client they’re working with, they’ll decide which one they feel will work best for that client. So I think it just comes from trial and error and practice.

Louis van der Merwe
I had an interview with George Kinder, who’s the founder and the grandfather of life planning. And his comment was that life planning starts with you starts with you going through creating a life plan and creating and crafting that experience. And I’m hearing the same it’s like do the work on yourself is this also a place where you can just use some of the information without unpacking all of it with your with your clients? If a listener is interested in, you know, seeing how this would work or sign up? What’s the best place for them to start in terms of like, where do they go.

Robyn Clay
So you can go to www dot Hardy dot CRRC Re and you can access the assessment there. When you register on the site, you automatically get a free credit so you can do the assessment for yourself first, Louis, I’m very happy for you to share my details with anybody who’d like to have a chat before they do any of that it is free to register on the Hadid our site. And as I’ve said you get a free credit to do the assessment for yourself first. So you don’t have to spend any money getting to know it. But if you if you want to have a chat first, I’m very always excited to chat to advisors about money EQ. Also on the Heidi dive site, you can get the details for Hendricks so he can you can go through a coaching calls with him before you before you start to engage with clients around the assessment.

Louis van der Merwe
Robyn, I think a big part of what of what made this work is the pricing and we often look at the solutions in dollars like it becomes unaffordable, but somehow you’ve managed to package package it at a at a very young at a brilliant rate for South Africans. So you share a little bit of that info with us and also thank you.

Robyn Clay
Yeah, the idea was that we we feel that the This tool can add a lot of value in advisors, businesses to their clients. And we feel that it really can contribute in a real tangible way to evolution in the business. And so it was more important for us to make it available to as many advisors as we possibly could then then make huge profit out of it. So rightly or wrongly, we’re not sure whether that was the right decision or not. That was our intention

Louis van der Merwe
that is brilliant, similar to how platforms would create users and say, Okay, we’ll figure out monetization in the future. I hope it works really well. And that, you know, a ton of people would find value from that. Yeah,

Robyn Clay
me too. I’m sure they will lift the right thing to do. I think we’re always Why do we always do the right thing and the money will come here

Louis van der Merwe
for ideas? Absolutely. I want to thank you so much for being here today and sharing your passion and your excitement. It’s been wonderful to have a chat to you. Where can people get ahold of you?

Robyn Clay
Louis, and you can email me on Robyn Clay R O B Y N CL A Y at linktech.co.za. And just drop me a mail and I’ll get back to you.

Louis van der Merwe
Brilliant. We’ll add the links below. And thank you so much for being here.

Robyn Clay
Pleasure. Thank you so much, Louis. It was always a lovely chatting to you

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