55ip’s integration of people and technology delivers “best of breed” tax optimization and service to their clients. Here’s how.
At 55ip we understand that delivering the industry standard for tax-smart technology relies heavily on the interconnection of three essential pillars – sophisticated technology, experienced people, and differentiated service. Chief Operating Officer Sachin Shah explained the importance of our holistic commitment to enhancing advisor service and investor outcomes.
Q: When people think of 55ip, tax loss harvesting, algorithms and sophisticated computing come to mind. Why is the human element so integral?
Sachin: Of course, we pride ourselves on the sophistication of our ActiveTax Technology and the intuitiveness of our platform. But we firmly believe that optimized service integrated with our technical excellence is what leads to differentiated client service and better investor outcomes.
The 55ip Outcome Function
Q: What are the factors that drive 55ip’s approach?
Sachin: Our tax optimization platform was built by listening intently to advisors, investors, and operations teams. But that listening process should never stop. Our clients and their clients are our greatest asset. Their experience is our experience.
We heard directly from them that the best solutions for their clients came from providers who excel in different areas, but not necessarily every area. So, our service approach had to support open architecture on the provider and custodial sides, as well as the growing use of custom solutions.
Q: How does this service model support those needs?
Sachin: We see three key facets of service excellence.
First, optimize information flows. Whatever the question, whatever the issue, ensure that the right information gets to the right people efficiently. As part of our continued focus on this, in addition to an Advisor Success Team, we also have an Advisor Service Team led by one of our longest tenured employees.
Second, enhance the advisor’s service experience. We’ve all experienced the frustration of a service black hole. When an advisor inputs a service request on our portal, the request is routed in real time to each 55ip team that needs to engage, and a case number is generated instantly. We know who is looking at what facets of each query and the status of each workstream so we can communicate accurate and timely updates.
Third, continual measurement and enhancement. It’s embedded into the platform, into our service commitment and into our culture. When a Formula 1 pit stop lasts 2.4 seconds, the commentators say “Wow, that was fast.” But the team manager is already breaking down that 2.4 seconds to see what can be done to make the next pit stop 2.3. That’s how we look at the service pillar.
Q: Can you provide a recent example?
Sachin: An advisor logged a service request about a missing data feed for a new account. Because of our smart workflow, we were able to quickly rule out internal and advisor issues, identify the custodian as the bottleneck and communicate recommended next steps.
Q: The company’s continuing to grow – people, assets, and platform capabilities. How do you expect growth to impact service? High growth and high touch aren’t always compatible.
Sachin: Data and discipline. Our processes are built to be scalable and workflows measurable. We identify potential bottlenecks and capacity constraints well before there are actual bottlenecks and capacity constraints.
But let’s not forget the qualitative component. Workflow analysis, dashboards and scoring are all important. But it’s imperative that we maintain the relationships with the people that they represent.
Last week an advisor reached out with a very general question. Client assets were in a model-based program and they needed cash on two specific dates, one scheduled and one not. We were asked for our best practice for doing this given current rates on money markets. The client’s Advisor Success Manager helped design a solution to optimize the cash and then implement it in line with the account structure.
This is a deliberate byproduct of effective process. Advisor Success Managers have the capacity and are empowered to focus on advisor success and not just advisor problems.
Q: Any final thoughts?
Sachin: We’re proud of our platform, its sophistication and its ease of use. But we’re a company of people. And all of us are committed to our clients’ success – their ability to deliver differentiated services and better outcomes to their own clients.
The impact of a tax-loss harvesting strategy depends upon a variety of conditions, including the actual gains and losses incurred on holdings and future tax rates. The results shown in these materials are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent actual investment decisions.
The tax-loss harvesting service is available for an additional advisory fee and the results shown represent the net effect of the advisory fees but may not consider the impact of fees charged by others, including transaction costs or other brokerage fees. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice, is not complete and does not contain certain material information about the investment strategy, including additional important disclosures and risk factors associated with such investment and information about fees, trading costs and taxes. Neither the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities administrator has approved or disapproved, passed on, or endorsed, the merits of this document. More information at www.55-ip.com.
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