By Chris Keller, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

For years, the Internet has been driving the trend towards self-service. Whether it’s how we shop for goods and services, how we interact and communicate with each other, or how we carry out business. Clients and their investments are affected here too. At Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., we recognize that more now than ever, clients want to interact with their advisor on their own terms. Whether this is in the advisor’s office, at the client’s kitchen table or at a local coffee house. Clients expect their advisors to provide them with timely information about the market and their portfolios, as well as equip them with the tools they need to carry out some of their own investment activities.

This is why we’ve embraced the concept of making our advisors, and the Home Office staff who support them mobile. When we add a capability to the workstation, one of the variables we look for is ease of accessibility. With this, regardless of where the advisor may be, the entire workstation is available from a laptop, personal computer or tablet, and the desk phone is available via a smartphone.

Most recently, we’ve put the attention on carrying that philosophy through to the client. Our clients now have the ability to access their portfolios from their iPad or iPhone and later this year, they will see dramatic improvements to their online access, including the integration of performance reporting.

There are real advantages to this approach for the client, helping us continue to put their interests first.