Monday, May 4, 2015

advisorCONNECT




In August of 2013, co-founders Jimmy Lyons and Jeff Tompkins created advisorCONNECT: a much-needed sales intelligence tool that matches financial advisors and insurance representatives with qualified, compatible prospects.

“Advisors, especially new ones, spend most of their time prospecting for new clients” according to the company’s CEO, Jimmy Lyons.  “What we’ve done with advisorCONNECT is to provide advisors with a virtual marketing assistant to help take the grunt work out of prospecting so that they can spend more time doing what they love.”


Jimmy Lyons, CEO & Co-Founder

To do this, the company looks across dozens of data sources to create a 360-degree view of an individual to help advisors better understand a prospective client’s likely financial planning needs. In using advisorCONNECT, financial advisors are able to decrease the time they spend searching for prospective clients by 90 percent.

“It is truly that the sum is greater than the parts. What we found is that there is a whole universe of public information online, almost like a universal white pages, on each individual; and you can learn a lot more about a person by looking across what is known as a federated identity, Jeff stated. “We see ourselves not only helping financial advisors better understand their clients, but also providing a more cost efficient way to get new customers, and a more scalable way of serving individuals using digital media.”

Jeff Tompkins, CMO & Co-Founder

advisorCONNECT is working with three large enterprise clients who pay a monthly subscription fee based on their number of users; Jimmy and Jeff license their data sets; and the company is currently in talks with three of the top ten broker dealers in New York City. advisorCONNECT is also about to launch an application that will be accessible for individual reps who want to join.

“What has taken advisorCONNECT to the next level is really the tech talent that we have on the team,” Jimmy proudly stated in reference to Lauren Talbot, advisorCONNECT’s chief data officer, and James Johnson, their CTO. “It is a very difficult problem to solve when you are looking across massive data sets on the ever-changing public web. It’s hard to bring it all together, and we have the team now that’s doing it.”

So let’s pretend for a moment that you are a financial advisor and Jimmy and Jeff are both prospective clients. With the help of advisorCONNECT, you would easily learn the following information:

Jimmy graduated from University of Wisconsin Madison in 2008, where he and Jeff guest lectured a class on wealth management this past fall. Jimmy gained ample experience and knowledge about the culture of wealth while working on a yacht and sailing around the world for a year, before becoming a trust and estate planner for BNY Mellon in New York City. From there, Jimmy tried his hand at selling yachts to a global portfolio: “It was all about affinity’s and forming the right relationships,” he said. So to create those relationships, he would research his potential buyers and create profiles for them based on what he found online: his idea for advisorCONNECT was born.

Jeff paid his way through Cornell by building websites out of his dorm room. He won a scholarship to attend Oxford for graduate school, where he began an educational startup for schools in the United Kingdom. Jeff’s resume also includes helping build an online presence for Oxford Analytica; growing business analytics at The Advisory Board; and working in the White House on the first White House website. When Jeff met Jimmy, he was working for a social hiring startup called Choozer: “When I met Jimmy, it was like a match made in heaven. He was someone with a financial services background, understood the culture of wealth, who was also looking to take a stab at starting a company,” Jeff said

Jeff and Jimmy have shared interests in rowing, sailing, and Parma-Jéan: a Jack Russell/beagle mix who often frequents the advisorCONNECT offices.

Jeff and Jimmy joined NGLCCNY three months ago through an organization called StartOut, where Jeff has been actively involved for the past four years: “Its very dynamic, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Jimmy stated.

Jimmy and Jeff say that since advisorCONNECT has become LGBTBE certified, there have been amazing networking and mentoring opportunities: “We are telling our clients and advisors to really get to know their clients, so I think we try and live that same culture in our company as well by being very open and by mentoring active members of the start up community in New York,” Jeff stated. Jeff and Jimmy recently participated in the roundtable with Nationwide Insurance and attended the April M3.


The two are also involved with an organization called High Water Women, a group of wealth and hedge fund managers who bring financial literacy to low-income students in the New York City and Tri-State area.

“There is a much bigger opportunity here than the way the wealth management industry is currently structured. There is a large segment of the population that is underserved, and I think the Internet and digital media can really bring a higher level of service, tools, and resources to that population.” Jeff said. “What we get very excited about is the larger opportunity: to bring financial literacy and financial planning to the average American. Not just those who can pay for high-level financial advice.”

Jeff and Jimmy are extremely proud of being a startup in New York City, and are committed to putting the city on the tech map more than it is today. Jimmy even organized a startup social club of sorts called the “Illumnaughatï.” Members include entrepreneurs, operators, and founders who get together bi-monthly in a relaxed environment, outside of the high stakes situations where they normally find each other: “We feel that we are part of a community that has to look out for each other,” Jimmy said.

To learn more about advisorCONNECT, head to their website: www.advisorconnect.co.

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Written by Ashley Bellman,
Corporate Journalist, Media Communications Committee.

If you'd like to be featured in one of our upcoming communications, please contact me at ashley@nglccny.org

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