Advisor Tech Talk (Week of 12/4/23)

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We’re not just howling into the wind when it comes to next generation technology—the future is now. 

For financial advisors, reading about some of the newest innovations in technology may seem like science fiction—the tasks and uses of still-emerging trends like digital currencies and generative AI may appear far off, perhaps something more for next generation advisors than incumbents focused on developing their businesses and providing excellent service to clients. 

Well, it’s not all science fiction. These trends are here now. A recent Million Dollar Round Table survey found that more than 82% of advisors were already leveraging generative AI for at least one professional purpose—so if your firm isn’t using generative AI now, as you read this, you’re in the minority. The world has moved incredibly fast to embrace this new technology. 

What about cryptocurrencies? Surely with the spectacular collapses and regulatory comeuppances of so many companies in the digital assets space, this trend is going away, right? Wrong. Not only are the prices of many of the largest cryptocurrency tokens up 100% or more for the year, but 55% of the investors surveyed by cryptocurrency financial services provider Unchained report owning bitcoin—and half of the 45% of respondents who did not own bitcoin claimed they would strongly consider buying it in 2024. 

So, apparently, the future is now. To help prepare you for the future, we have some advisor tech headlines, including news from iCapital, Wealth.com and DPL Financial Partners. Please enjoy! 


Arete Wealth 

Arete Wealth, a full-service broker-dealer and RIA with more than 100 offices across the country, has announced its expansion into direct-to-consumer digital wealth services. 

Arete recently signed a technology licensing agreement with FusionIQ, an award-winning leader in the delivery of cloud-based digital wealth management technology solutions. FusionIQ’s technology solution coupled with DriveWealth’s custody and clearing services will launch Arete Investments (AI), a direct-to-consumer digital wealth platform.   

Broadridge 

Global Fintech leader Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) announced that its cloud-based solution, Sentry, has been implemented at global investment firm Carlyle in support of its private credit and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) portfolio management. The Sentry private credit and CLO portfolio management technology will enable Carlyle to more efficiently manage its deal pipeline, trade compliance and loan operations on a single platform, and scale operations as the platform grows. 

Broadridge’s Sentry PM is a scalable web-based solution that provides front-to-back-office functionality to both the private debt and syndicated loan markets to increase overall efficiency, including research and pipeline management, pre- and post-trade compliance, analysis of hypothetical trade scenarios, dynamic waterfall projections, loan administration, and data aggregation across strategies, portfolios and assets. 

CAIS 

CAIS, an alternative investment platform for independent financial advisors, announced that it has expanded its relationship with BNY Mellon’s Pershing (“Pershing”), a provider of clearing, custody and wealth management services, to introduce the CAIS Alts Experience through BNY Mellon’s Pershing. The offering provides advisors who use Pershing’s Alternative Investment Solutions through the NetX360®+ custodial platform access to over 300 alternative investment products via CAIS. These products now come with no custody or transaction fees for new and existing funds held by Pershing clients. 

This evolution in the relationship speaks to CAIS and Pershing’s shared mission to help independent advisors operate more competitively and facilitate access to leading alternative investment strategies that can help strengthen and diversify their clients’ portfolios. 

The CAIS Alts Experience through BNY Mellon’s Pershing builds on CAIS and Pershing’s existing collaboration, which was first announced in 2020, to help streamline and automate advisors’ transaction processes on the CAIS platform. This relationship was expanded in 2022, when CAIS and Pershing unveiled new features, such as automated transactions and the ability to more efficiently browse, research, and allocate to alternative investments. 

DPL Financial Partners 

DPL Financial Partners, a platform for commission-free annuities, announced that it has crossed $2 billion in sales of no-load annuity products. The milestone, spurred by growing adoption among both longtime fee-only advisors and “breakaway” advisors transitioning from brokerage to a fiduciary practice, comes just over one year after the company hit $1 billion in annuity purchases in 2022. 

Ezra Group 

Ezra Group, LLC (Ezra Group), a strategy consulting and research firm that has provided technology and operations advice to the wealth management industry since 2005, announced the launch of a new recognition program for their industry standard Ezra Group WealthTech Integration Score™. The WealthTech Integration Scores support better decision-making for wealth management firms when evaluating new applications and help software vendors better serve their clients with improved integrations. The Ezra Group WealthTech Integration Recognition Program is designed to distinguish and honor software providers that demonstrate superior integration capabilities. The new recognition program gives software providers another way to promote their outstanding integration capabilities, as verified by Ezra Group, a trusted third party in the financial services industry. 

Finimize 

Finimize, the financial content platform, announced that Finimize Automate is now available in AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors that make it easy to find, test, buy, and deploy software that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

With Finimize Automate, financial services organizations can now integrate and white-label bite-sized, educational content via a simple API, with Financial News, Analyst Insights and How-To Guides which are designed to attract, engage, and empower modern investors. 

Retail investors are set to account for 61% of the world’s total Assets Under Management (AUM) by 2030. Organizations can now empower and engage modern investors (set to account for 61% of the world’s total Assets Under Management (AUM)) with the information they need to work towards wealth, with Finimize’s straight-talking financial insights built for the modern investor. 

iCapital 

Pomona Capital, a global private equity firm specializing in secondaries investing, along with Voya Investment Management, the asset management business of Voya Financial, Inc. (“Voya”), announced it has expanded its partnership with iCapital, a global fintech platform driving access and efficiency in alternative investing, with the addition of the Pomona Investment Fund (“PIF” or the “Fund”) to the iCapital Marketplace. 

iCapital Marketplace makes it even easier for investors to access the Fund. PIF, distributed by Voya, is a U.S. registered investment company designed to offer accredited investors a single access point to a broad and diversified portfolio of private equity investments. 

A majority of PIF’s investments are in secondary interests and, like Pomona Capital’s traditional institutional private equity offerings, it is focused on long-term capital appreciation with enhanced liquidity and a lower risk profile. For a copy of the Fund’s prospectus and performance information, visit www.pomonainvestmentfund.com. 

Impact Communications 

Impact Communications (Impact), an award-winning strategic marketing and PR firm that helps independent financial advisory firms and adjacent financial services companies build strong brands and polish their reputations, has reached a new milestone. The firm just realized its 30th anniversary and has embarked on a yearlong celebration to extend its success. 

From the launch of the firm in August 1993, founder and CEO Marie Swift has driven the company’s strategy and standards by Impact’s 3D-framework – Dedicated, Discerning, Driven – and other strategic guiding principles, making it one of the oldest and most respected niche-focused PR and marketing firms exclusively serving independent financial advisors and allied institutions (custodians, IBDs, fintech firms, adjunct consultants, etc.). 

Wealth.com 

Wealth.com, an estate planning platform, today announced the appointment of Jamie Hopkins Esq., LLM, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP® as a strategic advisor. Hopkins’ vision and considerable industry expertise align well with wealth.com’s efforts to propel the industry forward, empowering financial advisors with technology, solutions and legal expertise that enable them to offer more comprehensive, personalized advice.   

Currently serving as Senior Vice President of Private Wealth Management at Bryn Mawr Trust and CEO of Bryn Mawr Capital Management, Hopkins leads with a commitment to delivering comprehensive and personalized financial advice. His dual expertise as a trust and estate attorney and as a financial advisor is a key asset in his current role. This background will also prove invaluable in his work with wealth.com, as part of which he will collaborate closely with the company’s legal and product development teams to drive further innovation. Hopkins’ involvement is set to enhance the platform’s already robust estate planning capabilities, ensuring it is poised to meet the growing and diverse needs of financial advisors and their clients.   

White Glove 

White Glove and TouchFuse, which includes the LeadJig, Prospectix and Acquire Direct businesses, announced today the merger of the two companies, creating  a full-service, omni-channel marketing services company focused exclusively on financial advisors. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. White Glove is backed by Rockbridge Growth Equity (“Rockbridge”), a partnership-oriented middle market private equity firm with a differentiated approach to building and growing companies. 

Greg Bogich, CEO of White Glove, is Chief Executive Officer, and Alexander Hug, TouchFuse CEO, is President and Chief Operating Officer of the combined company, which will continue to go to market under their respective brands for the near future, supported by their existing management teams. 

TouchFuse offers a comprehensive technology platform that allows financial advisors nationwide to manage the full spectrum of their marketing campaigns, from identifying prospects and delivering campaigns, to managing communication and analyzing data.