September 2015: iPad Apps

This report considers tablet-optimized apps that are either predominantly or exclusively meant for advisors. Tablets equip advisors with timely, easily accessible resources for maintaining their business. Effective apps can drive conversation with clientele, as well as assist financial professionals in sharing product-related information. Apps that provide advisors with sales resources, educational materials, tools, literature or a combination of any were considered. This the first time we have reviewed iPad apps, and did not assign grades due to the wide selection of amenities offered by the apps. We focused on the following criteria:

  • Promotional and login capabilities of the app
  • App focus/content
  • App features

Our analysis sheds light on the importance of using iPad apps to drive business and help financial professionals. We examine a total of 10 apps in our analysis, with six firms offering one app each, and two firms offering two apps. The apps are targeted to advisors as providing a multitude of solutions through commentary or product research. Around 30% of apps offered by asset managers are tools, and 40% of apps are intended for literature reading. The remaining 30% of apps serve a combination of purposes.

Tablet apps can help enhance productivity by helping financial professionals conduct business in a timely manner. Apps help advisors communicate with clients by educating them on products and investing concepts. Our research finds that 60% of iPad apps targeting financial professionals allow users to save and build digital briefcases of content, and 50% of apps include email integration that lets advisors forward content to associates, prospects and clients. Around 20% of apps allow advisors to create custom reports from tool results that can be easily forwarded to clients.

For advisors looking to read relevant commentary or market insights, 50% of the firms in our analysis offered literature apps that provide advisors with immediate access to a catalogue of research. Around 62% of apps include some level of commentary, which is useful for advisors looking to stay informed.