Advisor Tech Talk (7/21/21)

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By: Gerelyn Terzo 

Wealthtech is flexing its muscle and expansion has been the name of the game. NBA hall of famer Isiah Thomas is looking to capture more of the retirement market pie, while one wealth advisor firm is helping to prepare children for their financial future. Let’s dive in.

  • AdvicePeriod: Los Angeles-based AdvicePeriod CEO Steve Lockshin has announced he is selling the $5.1B RIA to friend and business partner Marty Bicknell of Mariner Wealth Advisors. Lockshin was an original investor and advisor in Quovo and Advizr, and is also the founder of wealthtech Vanilla.
  • Align Wealth Advisors: Laguna Hills, Calif.-based Align Wealth Advisors is paving the way for the next generation to invest. The firm has launched  KidsFUNance.com, a new website dedicated to educating children about finances. The new website comprises videos, games, tests, exercises and apps all meant to help kids earn money, save and invest. Kids could also obtain a membership through which they can manage their own “virtual business” and engage with each other. 
  • Arden Trust Company: Delaware-based Arden Trust Company, which is part of Kestra Holdings, has named Doug Sherry as president, replacing the retiring Michael Roberts. Sherry is a seasoned executive with more than two decades of managerial experience. According to the announcement, he will oversee “fiduciary matters, the stability of platform and services, compliance, integration with Kestra Holdings, management of all branch administration and company growth.” Sherry is an alum of U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase, among other firms. Roberts will stay on Arden’s board. 
  • Basepoint Wealth: Iowa-based Basepoint Wealth has expanded its footprint into Des Moines after scooping up Charter Accounting, PLC in a deal that was completed last month.  Charter Accounting will run as an affiliate under the Basepoint Tax & Accounting, LLC umbrella. Basepoint, a fee-only wealth management company, already has a presence in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Davenport. Basepoint’s Ryan Watermiller will relocate to the Des Moines office. As a result of the deal, Basepoint can deliver “investment management and tax planning advice under one roof.” 
  • ISIAH International: Holding company ISIAH International, which is NBA great Isiah Thomas’ firm, has teamed up with HUB International and Forest Capital Management for an expansion push into the insurance and employee benefits market segments. ISIAH is establishing an insurance arm that combines the best of insurance and retirement plan advisory services. Thomas will be at the helm of the new entity, which will harness his exposure to the sports business world to create new relationships with properties and organizations. 
  • Vanguard: Asset management giant Vanguard has revealed its plans to acquire California-based wealth management shop Just Invest, which specializes in indexes. Vanguard, which oversees $7.9 trillion in AUM, is reportedly drawn to the firm’s tech-based index solution in an attempt to provide “better investment outcomes” as well as to slash fees for customers, the firm’s CEO Tim Buckley told the Financial Times. For its part, Just Invest has a cool billion under management. Vanguard will introduce Just Invest’s index solution to clients on the heels of a test run it has been doing with the startup and a cohort of financial advisors for the past year and a half. 
  • Vestwell: New York-based Vestwell, which is behind an engine for workplace saving and investing, has attracted $70 million to its coffers in a Series C fundraising. The round was co-led by Wells Fargo Strategic Capital and Fin Venture Capital. Other participants in the fundraising include a host of financial institutions and fintech firms. Vastwell plans to direct the proceeds toward growing its team and platform functionality. The firm has an eye toward expanding into other product areas including 529s, HSAs, emergency savings and IRAs.
  • Whitefoord: In a multi-part deal, U.K.-based private equity firm Cairngorm Capital and robo-advisor Munnypot Ltd have joined forces to acquire London-based wealth manager Whitefoord LLP to pave the way for the launch of Verso Wealth Management. Verso will deliver digital-fueled investment advisory and investment management services through Munnypot’s technology platform. Vince Whitefoord will spearhead the new wealth management firm’s management division.