FinTech Interview with Jennifer Valdez, President of Americas at intelliflo

FTB News DeskDecember 12, 202317 min

Discover how intelliflo’s technology fills the advice gap and helps people and financial advisors on their financial journeys in the latest interview covered by FinTec Buzz.
Jennifer Valdez President of Americas at Intelliflo

Jennifer Valdez, based in Sacramento, CA, is the President of Americas at Intelliflo, a leading financial technology company. With a Bachelor's in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, she has a wealth of experience from roles at Jemstep, Inc., and SunGard (now part of FIS). Jennifer's diverse skill set includes Product Management, Financial Services, Investments, Product Marketing, and SaaS. Renowned for her strategic vision, she leads Intelliflo with a commitment to excellence, innovation, and collaborative leadership. Jennifer Valdez is a key influencer in the financial technology sector, shaping the industry's direction with valuable insights and a passion for driving results.

Jennifer, can you tell us about your role as the President of Americas at intelliflo?
Over the past several years, I have had the unique opportunity to lead the intelliflo US team through a major business transformation project. In 2021, Invesco brought together five separate software businesses to form intelliflo, a single API-driven platform powering the end-to-end advisory experience. Since then, we’ve integrated out solutions and have seen strong growth in our region as we work to execute on our company’s mission to widen access to financial advice. In my role, I oversee our sales, service, and implementation teams, connecting RIAs and financial advisors with the technology they need to grow and remain relevant.

Can you elaborate on the solutions intelliflo provides for financial advisors?
intelliflo’s technology is comprehensive, representing a broad spectrum of capabilities including client management, digital account opening, reporting, as well as rebalancing and trading capabilities. Our solutions support over 30,000 financial advisors worldwide, representing over three million end-investors, with over $1 trillion serviced across our platforms.

What sets intelliflo apart from other technology providers in the financial advisory industry?
Traditionally, financial advisors have gravitated towards best-of-breed software solutions, namely those that are best in a specific, relatively narrow niche. But many found that those stand-alone tools couldn’t effectively integrate with other parts of their tech stack, leading to inefficiencies and hindering growth. While best of breed is a strategy that can still work, these solutions must be able to seamlessly connect and communicate with the rest of the tech stack.

Intelliflo offers a comprehensive financial advisory platform that spans the complete advisory lifecycle and provides a more unified and centralized ecosystem for both advisors and clients. The open architecture drives new levels of flexibility, efficiencies, and personalization across financial advice, empowering organizations of all sizes with digital tools to better serve modern investors. We use open software architectures to simplify a complex digital landscape and our technology suite is known for being innovative, intuitive and integrated.

Can you share some insights from intelliflo’s recent survey with The Harris Poll regarding Americans’ need for professional financial advice?
Our recent survey with The Harris Poll, published this summer, revealed a greater need for financial advice among all generations. We found that nearly 3 out of 4 Americans (74%) say there are financial topics they need professional financial advice on, but the majority have not sought it.

These numbers are exacerbated when it comes to Millennials and Gen Zs. The main reasons why the younger generations have not sought professional advice are that they are unsure how to get it or feel as if they don’t have enough saved to receive it. The survey clearly highlights the disconnect between needing and obtaining professional advice, and the need to widen accessibility to advice.

How does the survey’s finding that over half of Americans currently have under $100,000 saved for retirement highlight the importance of financial advice and planning?
Yes, the survey also found that over half of Americans (53%) currently have under $100,000 saved for retirement (27%), or no money saved at all (25%). These numbers are magnified when looking at younger generations, with 40% of Gen Zs saying they have no money saved for retirement.

These findings are concerning, especially with an economy that continues to be unpredictable. Establishing retirement savings helps to eliminate stressors later in life, but to do so consumers must start now. That’s why engaging with a professional advisor and carving out the best path for you is critical.

What were the key findings from the survey in terms of the financial topics that Americans feel they need professional advice on?
We conducted another survey with The Harris Poll last year, finding that paying down/off debt, retirement planning and investing/portfolio management are the top three areas in which Americans say they need the most professional help.

What are some of the main challenges that financial advisors face in providing professional advice, and how does intelliflo’s technology help address those challenges?
Advisory firms are challenged with accomplishing more with existing resources. Most advisors are already stretched thin, struggling to effectively serve existing clients with the resources currently available to them, let alone take on new clients. There simply isn’t enough bandwidth in many firms to expand with their existing operating model and technology stack.

This is where modern technology like intelliflo can help. Automating lower-value interactions and processes creates efficiencies and frees the advisor’s time to focus on high-value client conversations and growth. This is commonly known as a hybrid advice strategy – a flexible model in which clients in earlier stages of the financial advice journey are primarily served via digital channels and tools. To effectively implement such a strategy, advisors should move towards a platform approach, which enables a more unified, uninterrupted user journey across both digital and physical touchpoints.

What excites you the most about the potential of intelliflo’s technology to bridge the advice gap and empower financial advisors and individuals in their financial journeys?
The advice gap is here, and it is growing. I am most excited for our mission which is to make financial advice more accessible to all, not just the wealthy, and ultimately improve peoples’ financial health. This has never been more important than in today’s volatile economic environment. The increasing need for advice should not be seen as a challenge, but a significant opportunity for our industry. By choosing the right technology provided by the right partner, eliminating the integration roadblocks of legacy technology, and embracing digital engagement where it makes sense, advisors will save costs and make advice more attainable to those who traditionally have been unable to access it.

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