2019 eMoney Summit Day One Recap The Heart of Advice

Day One: Monday, October 14

Day one of the 2019 eMoney Summit kicked off with more than 1,300 financial professionals, eMoney team members, reporters, and sponsors all taking their seats for a jam-packed and exciting schedule of general sessions, keynotes, eMoney breakouts, and networking opportunities. If you were there for day one and want a refresher, or you're at your office having FOMO, check out our recap below...

This year’s theme, “The Heart of Advice” was apparent throughout the day’s sessions and discussions which centered around building an exceptional client experience. As eMoney’s CEO, Ed O’Brien put it, “The Heart of Advice is about defining a client experience that is unique for every client. It’s a broad mandate. It’s not exclusive. It requires depth. It requires flexibility. It challenges us to come out from our comfort zones and to meet someone else where they are, and on their terms.”


During his opening presentation, Ed dove into the findings of eMoney’s most recent study on The Heart of Advice. He explained that the research grew out of our desire to build on the outcomes we learned from last year’s effort around the FlexGen Advisor – a generation of “flexible” advisors who are adapting to a changing industry landscape and running their businesses in the most optimal ways to meet the needs of their clients.

The Heart of Advice research aims to take that concept a step further, expanding to include both advisors and investors. Ed explained that in conducting this research, we aimed to uncover how advisors are combining elements of analytical thinking, relational attitudes toward their clients, and technology-enabled practices (the Head, the Heart, and the Hand, respectively) to deliver “The Heart of Advice.”

He concluded his keynote with some impactful stats from the research, sharing with the audience that in the last five years, those advisors who have combined these three elements in the experiences they deliver have been highly successful. These successful advisors have grown their client base by 20% on average and increased AUM and compensation by more than 25% on average – double that of their peers.

They also understand the importance of leveraging tech as an enabler. This group invested in technology 20% more than their peers. Ed closed out his session by offering up a question for attendees to ponder:

“Over the next few days at Summit, I challenge you to think about what a Heart of Advice experience means for your clients.”

He stressed the need to look beyond the surface to deliver an exceptional experience and to “look into the heart to see rightly…”

Next up, was a presenter who was ready to answer that exact question on behalf of eMoney. Jess Liberi, Head of Product took the stage to present eMoney’s Product Roadmap and shared how we think about serving our clients in a way that delivers value and enables them to drive stronger relationships with their own clients.


To keep the momentum going on The Heart of Advice, Jess shared with attendees how the key tenets of a successful relationship can be used to frame how eMoney thinks about its product vision. She introduced three key themes of the eMoney product vision which also mapped back to the three key areas required for building long-lasting relationships:

  • Listening & Understanding
  • Learning & Acting
  • Surprising & Delighting

Jess took the audience through these three key areas and touched on some of the new and exciting product developments coming to eMoney clients in the coming year – including:

The next generation of the Decision Center experience which, as Jess put it, will make “every report, every chart, and every data table accessible to you, within a single workspace, and with a modern and interactive aesthetic.”

She also touched on:

  • An enhanced Advanced Planning experience through the Decision Center
  • Upcoming enhancements to eMoney’s business development offerings with Advisor Branded Marketing, including automated marketing campaigns that will help advisors generate leads and convert prospects into new clients
  • A planning-led wealth management suite of portfolio solutions, including Performance Measurement, Fee Billing and Proposal Generation capabilities
  • eMoney Access – an API solution available to enterprises that provides access to planning, client fact data, document storage and other features found within the eMoney platform through a developer storefront
  • A personalized and enhanced Client Portal that includes a customizable and guided onboarding experience tailored to clients’ unique needs and financial situations
  • And many other exciting developments

Next up was Mike Durbin, President of Fidelity Institutional, to give the audience a glimpse into the future of the industry.


In his keynote session, Mapping the Future, Mike Durbin carried the Heart of Advice theme through as he delved into what customers value in an advice relationship. He presented the “Advice Value Stack” a pyramid that builds on the various levels of value an advisor can offer investors from “Managing the Money” at the bottom of the pyramid, all the way up to “Fulfillment” at its peak. According to Durbin, “this is the most powerful work you do as advisors.”

Durbin also introduced what he referred to as the growth engines for your business – the focal points advisors need to address in order to get to the top of the pyramid. These he defined as:

  • SQ – or Sustainability Quotient - essentially planning for the enduring health of your business.
  • DQ – or Digital Quotient - the maturity of a business and the use of technology to gain competitive edge.
  • IQ – which Durbin defined as “an advisor’s ability to shift from having an ‘information advantage mindset’ to an information curator and decision driver mindset.” And finally,
  • EQ – or Emotional Quotient – demonstrating empathy and understanding during the moments that matter in your clients’ lives.

Finally, Durbin highlighted 4 key trends facing the advice industry:

  1. The Rise of the Super Platform
  2. Product Rationalization and Personalization
  3. The Changing Role of Capital
  4. And what Durbin called “an Impending Turf War,” as firms move toward broader markets.

With robos and discount brokers going up market and adding a human touch and traditional, ultra-high-net worth players going down market, there will inevitably be more competition among providers, he cautioned.

The net result, according to Durbin, however, will be positive. While this turf war may create some friction, said Durbin, “I believe the more choice, the better, long-term. Investors are going to select their providers based on a range of factors, and ultimately, many different models will win.”

FIRESIDE CHAT with Abby Johnson, Mike Durbin, and Ed O'Brien

The morning’s keynotes concluded with a fireside chat which brought together three notable leaders in the fintech space, Ed O’Brien, CEO of eMoney, Mike Durbin, Head of Fidelity Institutional, and Abby Johnson, chairman and CEO of Fidelity.

The discussion, moderated by Ed O’Brien, provided attendees with an opportunity to hear directly from two of Fidelity’s most prominent leaders on some of the hottest topics facing financial professionals today. Johnson offered her perspective on “the race to zero” and as such, the long-term sustainable advantage for Fidelity. She shared her view that the financial landscape gets more complicated every year, making it more difficult for those who are not financial professionals to navigate. As such, there is always going to be demand for someone to help navigate those elements of financial health and making interpersonal connections with clients.

She also commented on eMoney’s growth post-acquisition (she’s super pleased with the 3X growth) and elaborated on Fidelity and eMoney’s shared commitment to data privacy, control, and security and protection (she believes consumers should be in control of who has access to their data and how it used).

After the morning keynotes, attendees enjoyed lunch in the exhibit hall to refuel, explore some of the providers in the space, and network with their peers.

After a quick lunch, the afternoon kicked off with eMoney breakouts on a variety of topics, including platform training, product feedback, continuing education, marketing tips, and more. It's here that attendees received the many hours of hands-on training that make the Summit what it is.

Following the breakouts, it was time to head back to the main stage for the day's final two sessions.


We're at a pivotal moment in business history, one not seen since the Industrial Revolution: the end of product ownership as we know it. Now we subscribe to services. And not just streaming services like Netflix and Spotify—even industrial firms like Ford and Caterpillar and retailers like Walmart provide subscription services.

So how can your business survive and thrive in the new economy?

“Goodbye ownership, hello usership.”

Tien explained it is time to shift our thinking because usership is about experience, not products. The companies that deliver what consumers want will be focused on outcomes, not ownership; customization, not generalization; constant improvement, not planned obsolescence.

This change in thinking will impact all areas of business, specifically these: innovation, marketing, sales, finance and information technology. And the companies that can break down the structured silos will be able to provide valued consistency to customers – ensuring that regardless of what part of the company they interact with, they will have the same experience.

Megan Murray, eMoney’s CFO, sat down to ask Tien some industry-specific questions. It was through this discussion that Tien pointed out that in recent years, travel agencies are on the upswing and their fastest growing client demographic is Millennials. He attributes this to Millennials’ willingness to pay for and value experience. Advisors should look to craft the experience their client base will value.

Tien wrapped up his discussion with Megan with advice that advisors should start by focusing on their customer, not their products. Inventory your customers and then segment them based on the reason they are coming to you. Then quantify the value you are bringing to them and model your business around that.


Being good at sales of any kind means winning the person - their heart, mind, brain, and most importantly, their subconscious.

Getting people to buy your products, services, ideas, agenda or even just gain their favor means getting another's subconscious on-side.

Dr. Winegard showed you what you need to know to tap into the subconscious at be more effective at everything you do.

Dr. Brynn dove deep into the levels of the mind to share the secret of what motivates consumers to believe, buy-in, and buy from you. And most of these decisions are not made from rational thought, rather these decisions come from the gut. So how can you influence gut decisions? It comes down to hitting the “Belief Button” and the way to activate it is to consider the following.

  1. People are highly self-interested – pitches to your prospects and clients should be very relevant to each individual
  2. The value of authority – people tend to defer to other people’s expertise and wisdom, so leverage that expertise and socialize it
  3. Outcome modeling – help your client by mapping out the pathway for their decision making process from beginning to end
  4. Believe – if you do not believe in the advice you are giving, neither do your clients

Following her presentation, Dr. Brynn graciously answered several questions from the audience and strongly encouraged the audience to spend time talking with your clients, because it is through spending time with people that you can build trust with them.

After amazing keynotes, informative breakouts, and in-depth 1-on-1 training the day ended in the best way possible—with a happy hour!

And that was just day one! Stay tuned for more on day two and three!