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Digital Innovation and the Future of Financial Professionals


Paula Nelson
Head of Strategic Growth, Individual Markets
Global Atlantic Financial Company

November 2022

Innovative tech and game-changing digital solutions have had an impact on every industry, and financial services is no different. Technology has been an integral part of our industry for years — a fact that became even more apparent during the pandemic, when virtual meetings between financial professionals and clients became the norm.

But the tools go far beyond making it easier to meet virtually. Wealth advice professionals can serve clients better by incorporating new wealth-tech solutions for an integrated view of investments and insurance products. In doing so, their jobs become streamlined, and clients gain a firmer understanding of how products like life insurance and annuities may complement their portfolios to help them pursue their financial goals.

It's also something that clients expect. A 2021 Edward Jones survey on the digital experience found  an eye-opening 95 percent of investors think it’s important for their financial professional to use the latest technology. We know it’s important — and so do many of our customers.

Necessity Is the Mother of Innovation

As a veteran of the financial services industry, I can see firsthand how impactful recent developments in digital capabilities will be for financial professionals and the lives of their clients. As an example, look no further than what technology can do for financial professionals seeking to incorporate annuities into their practice. Not only do they have access to education and training software, but they also can submit and manage their clients’ annuity holdings through their firm’s brokerage and/or advisory desktop environment.

Holistic wealth advice platforms can incorporate annuities into an overall view of the portfolio, rather than separately as an outside holding. This gives clients a better perspective on the role of an annuity and the benefits it provides. Not only are these resources beneficial to clients, but they also demonstrate the value of insurance products.   

Digital Storefronts

Annuity digital storefronts — another developing arena — are helping to streamline and simplify the sales process by providing financial professionals easy access to a variety of annuity products from multiple carriers in one place. Some also include the ability to run illustrations based on factors such as risk tolerance and performance modeling, helping financial professionals more easily find the right product for the client’s needs.

Building the digital pipelines that provide greater connectivity between insurance companies and distribution organizations, rather than conducting business through carrier-specific experiences, these innovative platforms provide a common, centralized place to do business specific to that firm’s business operating platform(s). This creates a familiar environment for both the financial professional and the client.

These technologies — in early stages of adoption across the industry —have demonstrated how they, and the insurance products they support, can be critical components of the wealth management process.

Greater Opportunity, Greater Outcomes

When financial professionals can show their clients protection and tax-efficient solutions, such as annuities, alongside investment solutions on the same screen, they can drive a holistic and thoughtful dialogue. This ultimately helps them take ownership and control of the various components of the client’s financial well-being.

What does the future hold for integration of technology in financial services? While it’s difficult to predict where we’re headed, you can be sure that more innovations will continue to reshape the industry. Companies will help us further leverage digital capabilities to  make it easier for financial professionals to incorporate insurance and annuity products — and for consumers to grow their understanding of these vital retirement planning tools.

Global Atlantic Financial Group (Global Atlantic) is the marketing name for The Global Atlantic Financial Group LLC and its subsidiaries, including Forethought Life Insurance Company and Accordia Life and Annuity Company. Each subsidiary is responsible for its own financial and contractual obligations. These subsidiaries are not authorized to do business in New York.