CellTrust Blog

Kestra Financial rolling out CellTrust’s client-texting platform to its advisors nationwide

An interview with Kevin Witt, Kestra Financial’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

As advisors are looking to more effectively communicate with their clients, advisor platforms that support them are coming to their aid. Kestra Financial, an industry-leading independent advisor platform, recently announced that they are offering CellTrust’s client-texting platform to all of their advisors.

Wanting to offer their advisors a compliant method in texting clients, and emerging from a culture of prohibition, this implementation has taken some navigation. As compliance is top of mind in looking at new communication platforms, this was a top priority on seeking out a solution. In a recent interview with Kevin Witt, Kestra Financial’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, he stated that:

“We needed a solution that integrates to the existing lexicon and surveillance workflows that we already established for email. Smarsh integration was a major factor in our decision to choose CellTrust… And so, when we looked to add a channel for text messaging, we said wouldn’t it be great if we could integrate it into the same lexical search rules, the same work queue, same review process. And Smarsh was able to facilitate that.”

Since Kestra Financial is an open architecture advisor platform, not all of their advisors need the same features or will use it in the same manner. But there are certain FINRA compliance guidelines that have to be followed.

“CellTrust has several features that we felt reflected the unique needs of the wealth management space. One was that they worked with us to attach a dynamic footer to the messages. And that was very important because for regulatory compliance, each text message needs a disclaimer at the bottom. And depending on the exact business mix of the many hundreds of firms that are affiliated with Kestra Financial, that disclaimer couldn’t be the same. We needed a way for that to be dynamic and manageable by us. CellTrust’s system had the flexibility to handle that and handle it well. Second, you have the option of having your existing landline number integrated as your CellTrust texting number, and that’s powerful for advisors that don’t want to update the phone number on their website or their business cards.”

After a due diligence process that started in early 2018, Kestra Financial has launched a limited rollout to its 2,000 members, with those who expressed a keen interest in this platform being the initial users. As for how they were able to start onboarding this initial userbase of advisors onto the platform, Witt mentioned:

The onboarding process is not difficult: it’s got strong positive word of mouth. We’re ahead of schedule on the adoption.”

Finally, Kestra Financial wanted to make sure this communication change was an easy process for clients:

We were not going to consider an advisor-client messaging solution that required the client to download an app. It had to look like texting. CellTrust’s ability to create a 10-digit virtual phone number and have the message appear to the customer as a regular text was critical. We would have never moved forward without that.”

As Kestra Financial continues to roll this out to their advisor network, CellTrust is looking forward to supporting them in the best way it can!

Learn more about how CellTrust SL2 can get your advisors texting again while adhering to compliant record keeping practices.

Contact for a demo and free trial.