TD Ameritrade Hunting for New Tech to Transform Advisor Market

Fintechs are transforming the way we do everything from banking to paying for purchases. Those technology startups could also have a huge impact on investing and trading as artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and augmented reality become more mainstream. To ensure that it stays on the cutting edge of technology, earlier this week, TD Ameritrade announced its first ever innovation competition focused on fintechs.

Dubbed the Innovation Quest, the contest will award a total of $100,000 to three finalists that create technology solutions for the registered investment advisory (RIA) market. TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (AMTD) is opening the contest up to the RIA community, financial planners, colleges, technology companies and individuals who can create transformative technology.

“We would love to see innovations that might help improve the client experience for RIA customers. We would love to see innovations that help RIAs scale their businesses and become more profitable,” said Jim Dario, managing director of product management at TD Ameritrade Institutional, in an interview. “Cybersecurity is important as well as utilizing data analytics to make better decisions as to how to work with clients.”

[TradeStation is a powerful tool to take your trades to the next level. Read Investopedia’s TradeStation review to explore your options.]

RIAs Willing to Embrace Technology

RIAs aren’t strangers to embracing technology and have expressed a willingness to spend money on it. They are looking for ways to enhance the client experience, and that’s where technology comes in. Take artificial intelligence as one example. With that technology being adopted by the younger generations, Dario said that it’s exciting to see what role AI can play in the RIA market and in attracting the next generation of investors.

The competition kicked off on July 16, with TD Ameritrade accepting submissions until Sept. 15. The field of potential winners will be narrowed down to 10, and a panel of judges will select the three finalists. The finalists will share their ideas with RIAs at the TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC Conference conference in February. The RIAs in attendance will vote on the idea they think will transform the industry the most.

Dario said that the Omaha, Nebraska-based online brokerage has the right to purchase the technology, invest in the winning submissions and/or implement the solution. “We are hoping we get a number of ideas beyond the finalists that we can potentially integrate into our platform,” the executive said. The top three finalists receive $25,000 with the winning idea getting an additional $25,000. The panel of judges will be made up of TD Ameritrade senior executives, RIAs and technology experts in the financial planning industry.

Brokerages Eyeing Advanced Tech

The new fintech contest on the part of TD Ameritrade comes at a time when all of the online brokerages are picking up the pace of innovation either by launching contests or developing it internally in their own labs. For example, in May, Charles Schwab expanded its Digital Accelerator program in Austin and San Francisco in which it will bring together hundreds of existing and new employees that will be focused on developing more digital services aimed at retail investors and advisors. Successful solutions that the teams come up with could be rolled out to The Charles Schwab Corporation’s (SCHW) client base, which includes individual investors, independent advisors and companies that offer retirement plans.

In the same month, Fidelity Labs, the research arm of Fidelity Investments, teamed up with, Inc. (AMZN) to showcase a virtual reality system in which people can talk to financial advisors about their investment portfolios in a virtual world. With the demonstration, investors were able to have a conversation with Cora, a virtual financial planner who can provide stock performance on a specific company and a stock chart that shows up on a wall in Cora’s virtual reality office.

Source: Read Full Article