Advisor Tech Talk: 9/7/21 (Summer Wrap Up)

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By: Gerelyn Terzo 

As we bid adieu to the summer, we can’t forget the bevy of activity that the wealthtech space has experienced. There have been acquisitions, integrations, investments, divestitures, partnerships, cryptocurrency adoption, and more. For each theme, there are multiple headlines to go alongside them, but we’ve narrowed them down to a sampling of where we leave off for the summer and where we will pick up for the fall. 

  • 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.
  • Broadridge Financial: Fintech play Broadridge Financial revealed it will integrate and deliver TIFIN’s Fintech wealth solutions across Positivly, Magnifi, Louise and Totum. As a result, advisors will be able to further personalize and tailor client solutions rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach. 
  • Captrust: Raleigh, N.C.-based RIA Captrust has purchased Greenville, S.C.-based wealth manager Nachman Norwood & Parrott (NNP) Wealth Management. NNP, which focuses on wealthy individuals, qualified plans, endowments and foundations, oversees more than $2.1 billion in AUM.
  • Hightower: Chicago-based wealth management firm Hightower has made a strategic investment in Denver-based wealth management firm Investment Security Group (ISG), which boasts $800 million in AUM. ISG will harness Hightower’s “business acceleration services, infrastructure and middle- and back-office services” to bolster growth. 
  • iCapital Network: Fintech platform iCapital Network recently strengthened its relationship with Ray Dalio’s hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. As a result of an agreement, RIAs and family offices using iCapital’s tech solution will gain access to Bridgewater’s strategies designed for “ultra-high-net-worth clients in the U.S.” 
  • 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. 
  • Orion Portfolio Solutions: Asset manager Janus Henderson Investors is making a group of model strategies accessible to financial advisors via TAMP-powered wealthtech platform Orion Portfolio Solutions. The suite of solutions comprises a trio of “proprietary mutual fund-driven model portfolios and two model-delivered separately managed accounts.” They include Janus Henderson Global Allocation, the Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity ADR Managed Account, and the Janus Henderson Mid Cap Growth Managed Account.  
  • Pascal WealthTech: Toronto-based Pascal WealthTech has made its tech-fueled behavioral finance tool InvestorEQ available as a standalone component for financial advisors. InvestorEQ, which powers Pascal’s integrated digital wealth management platform, harnesses “scientifically validated psychometric modules” to provide greater insight into clients’ investing decisions and motivations, according to the announcement. Pascal chief Howard Atkinson describes it as the intersection of KYC (know your client) and CKY (client know yourself). 
  • 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.”
  • STP Investment Services: West Chester, Penn.-based STP Investment Services, which boasts more than $330 billion in assets under administration, has introduced its BluePrint platform. The new tech offering is “designed to minimize wealth managers’ operational pain points” so they can use their time to focus on the needs of clients. Separately, STP Investment Services is giving some relief to investment managers on the DTCC OASYS platform. The fintech solutions provider is offering investment managers on the soon-to-be-decommissioned tech OASYS the opportunity to migrate to the STP settlements service platform sans any setup or implementation fees.
  • 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. 
  • Wealthfront: Palo Alto, Calif.-based Wealthfront is taking the cryptocurrency plunge. The RIA now offers its clients access to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale Ethereum Trust, two popular institutional products. Wealthfront says it is the maiden service to deliver exposure to crypto for diversified portfolios in conjunction with automated features.