AppCrown: Innovate. Integrate. Automate.

Ted Tsung, CEO, AppCrownTed Tsung, CEO There is a wide consensus among members of the investment universe that in order to yield high returns from a wealth management portfolio, there should be unparalleled transparency of the cash flow. Ted Tsung, CEO at AppCrown concurs with the fact; he says that the investment is in good hands if the registered investment advisor (RIA) or the associated firm is fully capable of collecting and curating the information from all the meetings held between the client and the advisory party to provide a concise and singular view of the diverse data that includes financial planning and investment management. However, it is daunting for advisors to iterate the data-gathering process and keep it up to date, given the fluctuating nature of a client’s financial status. AppCrown is one of the few organizations that has taken a special interest in helping organizations overcome this specific hurdle by integrating operations and workflows, and bringing aboard custodians of the company into a CRM platform—Salesforce. com. By stitching a communication channel between investors and the advisory unit which responds to the unique data requirements of the involved parties, AppCrown institutionalizes efficient working practices and resilient operational methodologies. Conceived by their seasoned and competent consultants, AppCrown’s processes enable its clients to achieve superior business growth and a boosted enterprise value.

Started in 2006, AppCrown was founded in the backdrop of the massive technological changes that the financial landscape was going through. “We started this business in 2006, well before Schwab Openview or the idea of Salesforce for RIAs existed in the market,” mentions Tsung. “ was a new player back then, and I realized the potential it had to cover the entire software needs of an organization without requiring any infrastructure present at the organizational environment. Eventually, the industry caught up and here we are today, still the pure plays, but substantially larger.” Today, the firm is a premier partner in the wealth management space integrating over 12 major vendors and catering the ability to integrate multi-custodian feeds and deliver decision-making tools that drive the independent advisors’ business. AppCrown performs fundamental data management through the back office with core spotlight on helping clients to create a well-structured process. “Rather than the traditional way of ‘Consult, Customize, and Build,’ our industry applications are ‘Turnkey, Ready-Made, and Tailored’ to address the key needs of firms seeking a more connected and integrated technology to combine CRM with the back office,” informs Tsung.

Our main objective is to help customers in achieving superior integration with their existing technology to enable them to save one hour a day of working time

Connecting the Dots of Financial Wealth Management

AppCrown focuses on the customization of Salesforce for financial advisors and broker-dealers, integrating financial data and third-party applications within Salesforce, and developing fully integrated workflow suites to streamline their client’s business process. As broker-dealers continue to face an increasing series of challenges, including thinner margins, higher payouts, and external regulatory pressures, AppCrown establishes leaner and efficient internal processes, which ultimately enable its clients in their quest to attract higher producers. The firm’s platform allows broker-dealers to offer their reps access to assist advisors in managing and growing their business in an efficient manner.

"Our approach to integration is backed by a powerful symbiosis of technology and an in-depth understanding of how to run and grow an investment management firm"

The platform exhibits a unique ability to automate workflows for the Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) and integrate firm-specific processes in a vertical manner through a single, intuitive, and web-based portal. Besides, AppCrown’s technology integrates with all-clearing, custodian, portfolio accounting, document storage, and form-generation solutions. “Our main objective is to help customers in achieving superior integration with their existing technology to enable them to save one hour a day of working time,” says Tsung. “The core value of our technology rests in the ability to deliver all existing applications seamlessly on a holistic platform.” AppCrown thus delivers transformational solutions that redefine the approach in which financial institutions manage client profiles and risks as well as measure asset exposure and firm liability across all the accounts by implementing state-of-the-art automated CRM systems.

Delivering Unimpeded Investment Visibility

The company’s solution suite empowers wealth managers to overcome the limitations in their wealth management and advisory services. As Tsung elucidates, the Financial Integration as a Service (FIAAS) offered by AppCrown, connects to the back office systems of all major custodians such as Fidelity, Pershing, and DST to update their clients’ Salesforce depository daily with inputs. AppCrown’s Wealth Plus solution is a single sign-on platform that serves as an overlay for Salesforce to manage client profiles and relationships. Besides, it also allows them to automate timelines to connect with their clients.

Wealth Plus also offers third-party application integration to provide a comprehensive suite of client tools.

AppCrown provides a robotic monitoring platform, RoboMonitor, which collects the clients’ investment profile and all the back office data and automatically syncs it with Morningstar. Their RoboMonitor helps investment advisory firms to comply with the Department of Labor Fiduciary Compliance systematically and ensures that risk monitoring is in place and that the client’s ‘best interests’ are followed. “We help advisory firms systematically comply with the recent regulatory requirements legislated by the Department of Labor,” says Tsung. What makes AppCrown RoboMonitor unique is the way in which it integrates all client accounts with front-, middle-, and back-office systems to make sure that all risks are monitored, regardless of the level of assets under management (AUM). AppCrown ensures that they have the most relevant business intelligence available to deliver unimpeded investment visibility and financial performance.

In an instance, one of their principal clients, Annex Wealth Management, was looking at improving their process models to unify the silos in their workflow. By implementing the Wealth Plus suite in addition to their premium services program, AppCrown created a solution that led to better visibility and helped the client stay updated with the latest technology and do away with archaic spreadsheets.

Implementing Effective Operational Methodologies

For an organization that caters technology integration and practice management solutions to empower broker-dealers, independent RIAs, and money managers, what really steers AppCrown ahead of the competition? “We encourage clients to follow a well-knit and structured client onboarding process,” answers Tsung. “Our approach to integration is backed by a powerful symbiosis of technology and an in-depth understanding of how to run and grow an investment management firm.” Beginning from the prospect engagement process, AppCrown assists its clients in performing the required engagement that a typical fee-based advisor would perform, which includes—as Tsung states—collecting the clients’ profile, setting up a new account, and carrying out the follow-up.

The implementation of the firm’s resilient and effective operational methodologies has been the key to their client’s success, as Tsung recalls, “There are many examples where our client has been hugely benefited by following the underlined process, the latest being a customer who observed a 20 percent growth in the last one year.” AppCrown’s operational methodologies and working practices have been specifically designed to achieve business efficiency for their clients through the automation of repetitive tasks, the elimination of redundancies, and the reduction of errors.

The firm is currently focused on delivering a foundational wealth management service that will reach out to all potential advisories and investors. For the future, the company is working on the next-generation solution that will enable advisors to provide greater support to more investor households by delivering enhanced services.

- Justin Smith
    November 15, 2017