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Voice Commands, Cybersecurity Take Center Stage at T3

How can broker-dealers make it easier for all their advisers to start offering financial planning? How can large registered investment advisers offer digital onboarding to rival the robo-advisers while still ensuring each adviser is keeping up with cybersecurity demands? Can an OSJ branch office start taking advantage of some of the voice command technology Americans already are using at home, on their phones and in their cars?

These were the top issues facing financial services executives on the first day of the 2018 T3 Enterprise conference, which caters to top decision makers at large firms and adviser networks.

Perhaps the most show-stopping moment was a demonstration from Robert Kirk, founder and CEO of InterGen Data, an artificial intelligence provider for financial services, on the voice command features that his firm is developing with United Planners.

Using an Amazon Echo, Mr. Kirk was able to get personalized information on how much he should be saving for his child's college education based on demographic information such as where he lives, his age and education. He was then able to open a 529 plan, create a recurring deposit from a bank account and finish the paperwork online. All the while, the chatbot offered Mr. Kirk the chance to reach out to his financial adviser in case he wanted human help.

"The more you know about your customer, the faster you're going to be able to help," Mr. Kirk said. "But you've got to do it in a safe way."