Advisor Tech Talk: 9/28/21

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By: Gerelyn Terzo 

Wealthtech firms are wrapping up Q3 by enhancing their mobile apps, expanding with new hires, and even changing broker dealers. Let’s dive in.

  • Betterment: Betterment is making changes to its tailored model portfolio solution that could attract more RIAs to its custody platform. The firm is eliminating an asset minimum requirement that previously hovered at $2.5 million, paving the way for more advisors to customize their own portfolios. Betterment for Advisors GM Jon Mayney said that the change allows the firm to “meet advisors where they are and use the sophisticated technology” the firm has built. Betterment also offers advisors access to its proprietary model portfolios or select outside managers’ models. 
  • Groundfloor: Atlanta-based wealthtech platform Groundfloor, which specializes in real estate, has launched a new app meant to simplify saving as well as investing in alternative assets. The Stairs app, as it’s known, harnesses the top features of saving and investing, giving users the opportunity to generate annualized interest in the range of 4-6%. The Stairs app has been in beta and is now available to the public on iOS and Android mobile devices. Groundfloor co-founder and CEO Brian Dally said the new app is designed to provide users with “the advantages of investing in alternatives with the security of real estate backed loans.” 
  • Mako Fintech: Montreal-based Mako Fintech, which is behind a platform that automates wealth management workflows, has made a trio of senior hires. The expansion is in response to client demand. Wealth management digital transformation expert Sheila Chau joins as VP of Mako’s engineering unit. Most recently, Chau was at Broadridge Financial. Shawn Prodgers was tapped as VP of operations and finance at Mako and was most recently employed by Parkland Corp. Kevin Victor was hired as VP of sales and will be focused on bringing the Mako brand to the forefront of “custom automation solutions in the global wealth management sector.” 
  • Nucoro: UK-based Nucoro’s wealthtech app is now available to buy on Finastra’s FusionFabric.cloud store. The app is designed to help financial firms including wealth managers construct and automate digital investments for clients as well as support digital savings. The platform is fully automated and is designed to bolster customer engagement. Nucoro CEO Lennart Asshoff said the app lets firms “leverage the potential of digital investment offerings” in the process of converting “savers to investors.” 
  • Polaris Advisors: Polaris Advisors is moving to LPL Financial’s RIA, broker-dealer, and custodial platforms. Polaris will be affiliated with LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services (SWS) model. The Polaris advisors, who are joining from Mass Mutual, oversee $675 million across “advisory, brokerage and retirement plan assets.” Polaris’ management team made the leap to LPL to strengthen the client experience. With LPL Strategic Wealth Services, Polaris’ clients will be able to view account data in a single integrated system. In addition, LPL’s digital platform is expected to create greater efficiencies for Polaris’ advisors to devote more time to serving clients.