Advisor Tech Talk (Week of 11/28/23)

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It’s all about the apps. 

Welcome to another week of advisor tech headlines—being the week after a federal holiday, we’re a little slim on the news, but we do have announcements from Lemonade, Savvy and TIFIN to tide you over as you shake off those Thanksgiving turkey hangovers. We hope you and your family had a lovely long weekend. 

What was that about apps? Just to clarify for those you who still have turkey on the brain, we’re talking applications here, not appetizers. Well, last week the results from the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Wealth Management Digital Experience Study were made public, and it found that an app—found on smart phones, tablets and other digital devices—has become a preferred touchpoint for many wealth management clients, particularly those from the millennial generation and Generation Z.  

Clients in this study were more satisfied with their wealth managers’ apps than their website. 

Also noteworthy, J.D. Power ranked the best- and worst-rated digital experiences as described by wealth management clients. In order, Citi, J.P. Morgan and Fidelity ranked as the best in the industry—while Vanguard, Morgan Stanley and LPL Financial ranked worst. 

Among self-directed investors, J.P. Morgan, T. Rowe Price and Robinhood scored best, while MerrillEdge, Fidelty and TD Ameritrade scored worst. 

What does all this mean for wealth management practitioners? It means that even among the largest incumbent companies building comprehensive digital wealth management experiences for their customers, there’s a wide dispersion of outcomes. Clients fed up with poor digital experiences at, say, Vanguard or Morgan Stanley might be primed to receive professional, human advice from an independent advisor… however, if that advisor is offering the sub-par experiences ranked by LPL clients, they may not be able to draw the client away. Self-directed investors fed up with poor experiences at Merrill Edge, Fidelity and TD may also be more open to delegating more of their household’s wealth management to a professional. 

Here are your advisor headlines for the week.


Lemonade 

Lemonade (NYSE: LMND) (the “Company”), the digital insurance company powered by AI and social impact, announced it has named two new members to its Board of Directors, Deb Schwartz and Dr. Samer Haj-Yehia, effective immediately. The newly named Directors will succeed departing Directors Irina Novoselsky and Silvija Martincevic. 

Ms. Schwartz is a seasoned financial leader skilled at enabling companies to innovate, grow and scale. She is currently the Chief Financial Officer of H1, a leading healthcare data technology company whose mission is to connect the world to the right doctors. 

Dr. Haj-Yehia brings extensive executive and board experience at various conglomerates across multiple industries in Israel and the US. Until October 2023, Samer was the Group Executive Chairman of Bank Leumi, Israel’s largest and oldest bank. Under his leadership since 2019, Leumi became the largest and most efficient bank in Israel, grew its income and profitability, and underwent technological transformation and innovation. While in the US, Samer practiced investment management, trading, and fintech innovation at leading financial institutions, including at Fidelity. 

Savvy Advisors 

Savvy Advisors Inc. (“Savvy”), a registered investment advisor (RIA) affiliated with Savvy Wealth Inc., announced John Khoury has joined the firm as a principal wealth manager. Khoury’s arrival at Savvy affords him access to the Savvy Wealth platform, which is replete with proprietary technology that enables advisors to streamline day-to-day workflows, improve efficiency and, ultimately, provide opportunities to enhance client service. 

Based in the Greater Boston area, Khoury spent the last 15 years of his career working as a vice president, senior financial consultant at Charles Schwab. In this capacity, he oversaw more than $1 billion in brokerage assets, with $325 million in advisory assets under management (AUM), for over 350 individuals, institutions, and families. Prior to his role at Schwab, Khoury worked as a senior financial consultant at Fidelity Investments. Throughout the last two decades, Khoury has gained deep experience building customized financial plans for his high-net worth clients, specializing in portfolio analysis and retirement planning. Khoury also graduated from the University of Lincoln-Nebraska in 2021 with a master’s in financial planning. 

Solace

Solace, an enabler of event-driven architecture for real-time enterprises, announced that Finalto, a financial services firm, is replacing its legacy messaging infrastructure with Solace PubSub+ Platform in order to stay ahead of the curve in an environment with ever-increasing market data volume, providing efficient, low latency pricing and trading to its clients. 

As a broker, Finalto will accept trades from clients and submit them to liquidity providers. To offer competitive pricing for its customers, Finalto required a trading platform that could support higher throughput and lower latency which their current system was unable to deliver. 

To support this shift, Finalto is deploying a combination of Solace PubSub+ Event Broker appliances and software in financial centers around the world, including London, Copenhagen, New York and Singapore. The company is linking these event brokers to build an event mesh that will efficiently stream information across their enterprise in real-time – from the low latency distribution of market data that informs trades, to the guaranteed delivery of pre- and post-trade data between front-, middle- and back-office systems across lines of business and geographies. 

TIFIN 

TIFIN’s president, Jack Swift, has left the company, according to recent reports. He had also been serving as TIFIN’s chief revenue officer. 

According to Swift’s LinkedIn profile, he has taken a role at search platform Vantage Discovery. 

The move has one of the more prominent wealthtech artificial intelligence companies seeking new leadership amid the holiday season.