Advisor Tech Talk (8/31/21)

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By: Gerelyn Terzo 

Millennials are poised to flock to robo advisors, wealth management platforms are becoming increasingly automated and M&A is afoot in the wealthtech space. 

  • Broadridge Financial Solutions: Nearly all, or 96% of investors who work with a financial advisor are glad they are doing so, according to a new study by Broadridge Financial Solutions. Among survey participants who have not engaged an advisor, more than 40% say they plan to while more than two-thirds of millennial investors, in particular, will take the plunge in the next two years. Millennials are looking for help to reach major financial milestones in life. Close to all the investors polled say they want to reduce stress and gain confidence when it comes to investing. Roughly two-thirds of millennials currently rely on a self-directed brokerage account. More than three-quarters of millennials who plan to invest in the coming years will likely turn to a robo advisor. Nearly all the investors polled are seeking a “digital first experience” across education, trading and reviewing account details. Broadridge’s Andrew Guillette, VP of Distribution Insights, says it’s an opportunity for asset and wealth managers to rely on the latest tech tools and products to support advisors throughout this shift to digital.  
  • GeoWealth: Chicago-based GeoWealth, a turnkey asset management platform, or TAMP, has bolstered its Advisor Service Center. Among the newly added features include updates to the firm’s Model Center and the introduction of “automated account opening for RIAs who custody with Schwab Advisor Services.” GeoWealth’s Advisor Center is part of the firm’s Advisor Portal, and it helps advisors to manage trading functions. According to COO Jack Hannah, GeoWealth has removed “many of the manual tasks that bog down advisors and their teams and now present a platform that eliminates complexities so that they’re free to invest more time serving the needs of clients.” 
  • LifeYield: Boston-based wealthtech firm LifeYield has strengthened its partnership with Franklin Templeton via “upgrading LifeYield’s Social Security+ with Income Layers” with the aim of improving retirement outcomes and adding a quantification component to the “client’s financial benefits.” Franklin Templeton’s Social Security Optimizer already uses LifeYield’s tech, but now it has agreed to add the Income Layers so that clients can “visualize how to enhance their retirement income” with the help of estimates juxtaposed to their needs. Income Layers is meant to spark a more comprehensive discussion around retirement income planning. 
  • Mariner Wealth Advisors: Mariner Wealth Advisors will use Riskalyze’s risk alignment and portfolio analytics platform. More than 300 of Mariner’s financial advisors will gain access to Riskalyze’s platform. Mariner picked Riskalyze as it seeks to “standardize risk assessment workflows across the entire organization and because of its seamless integration with eMoney Advisor.” After a volatile 2020, investors expect more access to their financial advisors, and discussing risk is paramount for “digital forward financial advisors.” 
  • Riskalyze: Software and services investor Hg is scooping up a majority interest in wealth management platform Riskalyze. Riskalyze co-founder Aaron Klein, who is reinvesting most of his holdings into the combined entity, will stay at the helm as chief executive and a member of the board. Hg is looking to help Riskalyze “build and scale a strong wealth management technology business in the United States.”