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It’s time for advice practices to revamp their comms, adviser says

An adviser has highlighted the crucial decision looming for practices wanting to protect their clients and staff.

Speaking at the Adviser Innovation Summit earlier this month, Peita Diamantidis, co-founder of Caboodle Financial Services and host of the Ensombl AdviceTech Podcast, said that advice practices are going to need to rethink the fundamentals of their tech stacks.

“There are these major decisions coming up for advice practices when it comes to technology in the next six to 12 months that we’re not going to be able to avoid,” Ms Diamantidis said.

“This is not an opt-in version, this decision is something we are all going to have to address.”

Namely, Ms Diamantidis has called for a shift away from traditional communication channels, such as email and SMS, cautioning that the line between public and private correspondence is becoming increasingly blurred with confidential client data exposed to undue risk.

“It’s an important message to get because it’s going to feed into this big decision. I’m suggesting we’re all going to have to make it, because email is like operating in a food court,” she said.

Ms Diamantidis explained that anyone can gain access — or potentially target an email address and equated its use to working in a public setting such as a food court.


“Anybody can walk into a food court at any time. If you’re sitting there chatting away, anybody can listen to what you’re saying, and they can do it repeatedly.

“Would we all hold a client meeting in a food court? Not unless we really had to.”

Similar rules apply to text messaging, she said, and conceded that clients are becoming increasingly wary of interacting with unknown numbers following a recent surge in mobile scams.

“Unfortunately, SMS is a disaster too. Who has ever received an SMS they were wary of that feels like a scam? It’s probably most of us, and your clients are the same,” Ms Diamantidis said.

“I don’t know about you, but I found SMS worked really well for that historically, but it won’t going forward. People are going to stop clicking.”

As such, she said that the time is now for practices to look towards platforms that can offer additional security and peace of mind.

“All these ways that we can communicate with clients, we need to find alternatives for. That’s where client portals sit.”

Deeming them a “one-member club” for clients, Ms Diamantidis emphasised the added level of protection gained when adopting a client portal, unlike an email that is publicly accessible.

“It is singularly for that client and for the interaction,” she explained.

“They’re a must have. We’re in the midst of finalising our implementation of one in our practice.”

The next question practice leaders need to ask themselves, she assessed, is how the same protections can be afforded to staff.

“Choose a communication hub for your staff. It’s fundamental to circle around that cyber risk and to change the way we all interact with each other, our staff and even our providers.”

Ultimately, Ms Diamantidis said the transition from traditional modes of communication will become a pressing choice that advisers will need to face in the near future, and urged practices to invest in their tech stacks if they want to protect their clients and employees.

“We need to treat technology as a core asset in our business. I would argue we need to treat it so well it becomes something that sits on our balance sheet … we need to treat it like infrastructure,” she concluded.