Advisor Tech Talk (Week of 5/13/24)

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There’s nothing like a little confirmation to restore your pride, and among this week’s advisor tech headlines is a survey cementing our belief that the debate over digital assets’ place in the advisor toolkit has been settled. 

Of course, just last week we declared ourselves “humbled” by the surprising growth of Altruist into an RIA custody powerhouse. Our swagger is back, however, thanks to a survey from the DACFP showing that in March of this year, more than one-third of advisors planned to recommend crypto to their clients within the next six months, up from 21% in December 2023. 

Recommended allocations to crypto are also rising, according to the survey. The DACFP argues that the advent of the U.S.-domiciled spot bitcoin ETF is having an impact on advisors. 

In much the same way, after a little more than a year, generative AI is winning over the wealth management industry, with more tech companies—and advisors and firms—embracing it. Technologists are building new generative AI solutions and financial services firms are finding new ways to implement the tech. 

All of this leaves me wondering what the average wealth management firm is thinking about their technology stack right now. I remember that, as little as five years ago, there was a lot of urgency being expressed on the part of wealth tech executives and industry watchdogs alike aournd upgrading the advisor technology stack due to data and integration needs. 

Five years ago, these concerns were mainly around creating a better user experience for advisors and clients—more seamless workflows, less swivel-chairing, and a client experience that inspired comfort and confidence. 

Now, that sense of urgency must be exponentially higher because without upgraded hardware, including modern data infrastructure, the most promising applications of generative AI will remain out of reach for financial advisors and wealth managers. Emerging technologies are asking for more from our computers and IT professionals—more computing power, more storage, more connectivity, more security and cleaner data. 

For some firms, wealth management technology stacks that enjoyed radical upgrades as little as five years ago might already be looking pretty old. That’s how far we’ve come since before the pandemic.

Let’s get to your headlines…


Advisor360 

GWN Securities a national independent broker-dealer and RIA, has chosen Advisor360° to deliver its unified multi-custodial Account Opening solution and flexible wealth management platform as the new foundation for its technology stack. The move reinforces the firm’s deep commitment to serving its independent financial advisors’ businesses and delivering an elevated user experience to clients. 

GWN’s financial advisors will benefit from several of Advisor360°’s wealth management technology solutions, including Account Opening, Advisor Experience, Data and Reporting, and Client Portal. Advisors will have a streamlined, unified multi-custodial account opening experience across all investment assets and product types, as well as a fully integrated advisor desktop experience, with a new end-client portal for increased online collaboration with investors, wealth planning tools and access to investment and insurance products. These enhancements further affirm GWN’s commitment to being the firm-of-choice for independent advisors seeking new ways to accelerate growth and serve clients more efficiently. 

Advisor360° helps increase productivity and optimize workflows for advisors with a flexible suite of AI-enabled solutions that work in harmony and integrate directly into existing technology stacks – whether firms opt for one solution at a time or combine several solutions as part of their digital transformation. 

AppCrown 

AppCrown, a privately held technology company based in New York, has announced a Digital Advisor Messaging Service for asset management firms, solving the critical hurdle of reaching more relationships and investment advisors through secured Enterprise CRM platforms such as Salesforce Financial Services Cloud (“FSC”). AppCrown selected Future Advice as the delivery partner to help deliver the Future of Wealth & Asset Management. 

Wealth & Asset management firms face tremendous hurdles to connect with relationships in this ever-evolving digital era. In the face of AI-led promises and CRM implementation hurdles, wealth & asset management firms must go beyond client portals and asset management website tracking technologies, such as cookies, and beyond manual email-based outreach strategies. For these reasons, AppCrown’s Digital Advisor Messaging Service was launched in Q4’2023, enabling independent RIAs and institutional asset management firms to expand relationship capacity by nearly 200% over three months. Zero Touch unlocks AUM growth capacity. 

By using AppCrown’s Digital Advisor Messaging Service, wealth & asset management firms can securely extend Salesforce Financial Services Cloud beyond lead management capabilities into a pro-active lead/client feedback engine. AppCrown selected Future Advice to deliver the Future of Asset Management. Future Advice is a leading market research firm that works with asset management firms to restructure their digital strategy through a hybrid “Asset One” framework. 

Broadridge Financial Solutions 

Broadridge Financial Solutions announced that it will acquire Kyndryl’s Securities Industry Services (SIS) wealth and capital markets technology platform. SIS solutions include clearing and settlement, account record keeping, tax and regulatory reporting, and integrated order management activities for Canadian financial services firms. Kyndryl intends to partner with Broadridge Canada by providing managed services and capabilities to SIS.  

The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Broadridge’s financial results and is expected to close in the coming months subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. RBC Capital Markets acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Broadridge on this transaction. 

Broadridge Financial Solutions 

LTX, a subsidiary of Broadridge Financial Solutions, announced its integration with MultiLynq, a provider of electronic fixed income trading connectivity and integration solutions, to accelerate connectivity to the LTX platform. Solutions like MultiLynq assist dealers and other market participants in more quickly onboarding to LTX, joining the 35+ dealers and 90+ asset managers already on the AI-powered corporate bond trading platform. 

Through MultiLynq, dealers can more easily integrate LTX into their existing infrastructure, avoiding the need to deploy their own resources by leveraging MultiLynq’s high-performance API and team of industry experts. The integration will offer an alternative to direct connection, facilitating a swift and flexible implementation process and resulting in time- and cost-savings. Users can now effortlessly integrate with LTX while retaining their preferred front-end interfaces and communicating with downstream systems, ensuring seamless workflows. 

CAIS 

CAIS announced that Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager with over $1 trillion in assets under management, has expanded CAIS Marketplace offerings with Blackstone’s alternative investment strategies. 

Selected Blackstone strategies, which have undergone third-party due diligence by Mercer, will be made available to CAIS’ network of RIAs, independent broker dealers, and RIA aggregators that oversee more than $4T in assets. Blackstone, like all alternative asset managers on the platform, will benefit from a custom analytics dashboard designed to optimize their platform engagement, pipeline management, and sales efforts. Asset managers on the platform also receive access to an online education offering (CAIS IQ), digital marketing support, and integrations with leading custodians, reporting providers, and fund administrators. 

CapIntel 

CapIntel a Business-to-Business financial technology company, announced an agreement  with BMO Private Wealth to leverage CapIntel’s intuitive platform and tools to help support BMO Private Wealth Investment Advisors (BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.) and Investment Counsellors (BMO Private Investment Counsel Inc.) create compelling proposals, pitchbooks, and reports for clients. CapIntel’s industry-leading technology produces visually appealing and compelling materials in a streamlined, digestible, client-friendly manner that are designed to increase client engagement and strengthen financial advisor-investor relationships. 

The CapIntel platform provides a centralized hub for managing client portfolios, conducting market research, and generating personalized recommendations, eliminating the need for manual data gathering and analysis. This provides investment professionals with more capacity to focus on strategic decision-making and client interactions and increases productivity for professionals in serving clients more effectively. 

Envestnet 

Envestnet, a leading provider of integrated technology, intelligent data, and wealth solutions, and Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, announced a partnership to deliver a connected and seamless financial planning experience for Envestnet customers using Salesforce’s Financial Services Cloud (FSC).      

The goal of the partnership is to deliver a more unified platform experience for wealth advisors and to help solve key pain points including, operating across multiple systems and applications as well as the lack of data parity between CRM and financial planning platforms. With Envestnet’s award-winning1 financial planning capabilities—MoneyGuide—this collaboration will give advisors using Salesforce FSC access to a seamless financial planning experience – from within their CRM platform. 

Envestnet and Salesforce will be working closely together to preview the combined capabilities at Envestnet’s upcoming annual conference Elevate. 

Future Capital 

Future Capital, a tech-enabled registered investment advisor (RIA), and Money Concepts, a privately owned broker dealer, announced their strategic partnership. This collaboration will bolster Money Concepts’ services, enhancing its solutions that encourage better retirement outcomes. Future Capital enables advisors to seamlessly manage their existing wealth management clients’ held-away 401(k) assets, with or without a relationship with the plan sponsor or plan provider. 

Known for its forward-thinking and collaborative ethos, Money Concepts is dedicated to nurturing growth-oriented, beneficial relationships with its advisors. This collaboration underscores the firm’s commitment to providing versatility and effectiveness, empowering advisors to deliver thorough, compliant, and efficient services to their clients. 

The partnership highlights the shared vision of both companies: leveraging technology to facilitate the growth of advisors and provide superior service to clients. Both firms anticipate a long-standing collaboration that will continuously empower advisors, fostering growth and efficiency in the ever-evolving financial landscape. 

Intention.ly 

Intention.ly, the growth engine design consultancy firm transforming the way finserv and fintech companies approach marketing, announced a partnership with Idea Decanter, a company hyper-focused on getting results from video marketing for advisors. Together, through their Trust Builder Toolkit, Intention.ly and Idea Decanter will help financial advisors capitalize on the tremendous growth potential of video marketing and testimonial content while maintaining compliance with the SEC’s new marketing rule. 

On the heels of launching the proprietary advisor branding platform Advisor Brand Builder — co-engineered by finserv brand pioneers Melissa Thomas, partner & Head of Strategy and Kelly Waltrich, co-founder & CEO — Intention.ly continues to drive innovation in financial advisor marketing via the power of technology. 

With the Trust Builder Toolkit, financial advisors will be able to create three testimonial videos in alignment with the SEC’s new marketing rule using Idea Decanter’s remote studio, Idea Kit. This begins with content ideation and custom story formatting, and includes lighting and audio equipment, guided recording sessions, as well as professional post-production. 

iPipeline 

iPipeline, a leading provider of digital solutions for the life insurance and wealth management industries, today announces the appointment of veteran insurance technology product leader, Katie Kahl, to develop and execute product strategies as the company’s first Chief Product Officer. Kahl takes the reins of iPipeline’s growing product management team and will be tasked with bolstering its core product capabilities and executing on its commitment to spearhead strategic digital innovation in the life insurance, annuities, and wealth management industries. 

Over the course of her 15-year career in technology, Kahl has provided visionary leadership to product development teams, evolved platform capabilities, and executed leading-edge product strategies that support both ambitious corporate goals and evolving market needs. Before joining iPipeline, Kahl spent eight years at insurtech, Applied Systems, where she led the digital transformation of its flagship product suite, successfully scaling its platform. Previously, Kahl spent five years at global software-as-a-service provider Ceridian (now Dayforce), where she managed product lifecycle activities and the Profit & Loss of its Health and Welfare offering. 

Taking charge of a North American team of 30 product experts, Kahl will focus on strengthening iPipeline’s commitment to strategic digital innovation and accelerating speed to market for new products that address the operational needs of insurance carriers, brokerage general agencies (BGA), broker-dealers, wealth managers, and registered investment advisors. 

Just Build It 

Just Build It (JBI), a company focused on designing, building and renovating companies to be best in class, announced the strategic acquisition of advanced AI platform Cody AI into JBI’s marketing and sales product division, JBI Studios, forming new product offering ‘AI Suite’. The acquisition and formation of ‘AI Suite’ establishes JBI as a trailblazer in sophisticated data warehousing and enterprise AI for financial services. 

In addition, JBI also unveiled complementary partnerships with global marketing and communication agencies Cognito and Metia for distribution. This series of strategic moves marks JBI’s first public announcement since its inception, signaling a major move to bring AI technology into the deep vertical of the financial sector. 

JBI’s acquisition of Cody AI into JBI Studios positions them at the forefront of markets eager for innovation, with the adoption and integration of AI leading crucial conversations worldwide. Cody AI’s platform will leverage JBI’s decades of data warehousing and data modeling expertise. JBI’s founders are well known for the creation of fintech giant InvestCloud, a cloud-based data warehousing platform with over $6 trillion of assets. 

OneVest 

OneVest, a wealth management technology company, announced the addition of several key sales executives to its rapidly expanding team. These strategic hires underscore OneVest’s commitment to driving growth and expanding its market presence across North America. 

Lori Brisbois, an industry veteran with over two decades of experience in financial technology sales, joins OneVest as Vice President of Sales. Previously, Lori held various positions at InvestCloud, culminating in her role as SVP, Head of Sales, Midmarket. In her new role, Lori will spearhead U.S. sales efforts, leveraging her extensive expertise to accelerate OneVest’s expansion initiatives. 

Harold Reimer also joins OneVest as Director of Sales, based out of Toronto. With deep expertise in financial services sales, Harold previously served as Senior Sales Director at FNZ Group. In his new role, Harold will focus on expanding OneVest’s footprint in the Canadian market. 

Red Hat 

Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, announced that Ortec Finance, a global provider of technology and solutions for risk and return management, has built a cloud-native platform for solutions delivery using Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift. Using managed OpenShift has enabled Ortec Finance to continue growing its business while at the same time enhancing operational consistency and efficiency to improve product quality. 

Ortec Finance provides software solutions to pension funds, insurance companies, asset managers and wealth management companies, helping over 600 customers across more than 20 countries balance risk-and-return tradeoffs and improve investment decision-making. In service of its mission to continuously optimize how it serves its clients, Ortec Finance embarked on a technology transformation to cloud-native applications. 

Ortec Finance collaborated with HCS Company to build the Ortec Finance Cloud Application (ORCA) Platform, choosing Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading hybrid cloud application platform powered by Kubernetes, as its foundation. While piloting the first product, it became clear that Ortec Finance needed a complete, fully managed platform, which led it to implement Azure Red Hat OpenShift. Running on Azure Red Hat OpenShift gave Ortec Finance’s solution engineers and customers the ability to more efficiently deploy software, oversee access and authorization and manage applications across multiple Kubernetes clusters. Azure Red Hat OpenShift provides Ortec Finance with a comprehensive application platform offering a wider choice of integrated and pre-validated tools for developers. 

Saifr 

Saifr, a compliance solutions provider that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help financial services firms mitigate regulatory risks, announced expanded AI capabilities that help firms develop compliant, marketing-optimized content more efficiently. 

Saifr’s new, AI-enabled compliance analytics can now detect comparison, ranking, and rating claims; performance claims made about investment options; testimonials; and references to tax-free or tax-exempt income. Additionally, expanded AI models for marketing optimization can determine grade-level readability. 

These features join Saifr’s existing suite of marketing compliance capabilities that flag promissory, misleading, exaggerated, unwarranted, or not fair and balanced text; detect non-compliant images; explain the risk of flagged content; suggest more compliant alternate phrasing; and recommend disclosures. Saifr offers multiple ways to access its AI: SaifrReview (a collaborative enterprise workflow solution), SaifrScan (software add-ins), and APIs. 

Sandbox Banking 

Sandbox Banking has joined forces with Creatio. This partnership marks a significant milestone in Sandbox Banking’s journey as it aligns with Creatio, a global vendor of a no-code platform to automate workflows and CRM with a maximum degree of freedom, and a Visionary in the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms. Together, Sandbox Banking and Creatio are poised to revolutionize the banking industry by connecting banking software and systems, data and people with Creatio’s workflow automation and CRM solutions that empower financial institutions to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. 

This partnership brings together Sandbox Banking’s cutting-edge iPaaS solution for banks and credit unions with Creation’s powerful no-code platform for CRM, enabling financial institutions to streamline operations, enhance customer and member experiences, and accelerate digital transformation efforts. 

Creatio’s no-code platform enables organizations to automate workflows and CRM with a maximum degree of freedom.. With over 700 partners globally, a local presence in 25 countries, and a track record of successful implementations, Creatio has a strong presence in the finserv industry supporting financial institutions in their digital transformation journey. 

SMArtX Advisory Solutions 

SMArtX Advisory Solutions announced it has added 86 strategies offered by 12 leading asset management firms to its rapidly expanding platform. The firm’s cutting-edge platform now offers 1,447 strategies from over 300 distinguished asset management firms. 

Newcomers Allspring Global Investments, Aperio Group, First Trust Investment Solutions, and Natixis Investment Managers are now offering equity, fixed income, and direct indexing solutions. Meanwhile, existing partners Chilton Capital Management, Fidelity Institutional, Franklin Advisers, Principal Global Investors, Sterling Capital Management, Syntax, T. Rowe Price Associates, and Zacks Investment Management added strategies focused on a range of themes including equity, allocation, fixed income, and indexing. 

Wealthfront 

Wealthfront announced a first-of-its-kind Automated Bond Ladder that revolutionizes how investors use US Treasuries to maximize interest on their extra cash. This new addition to Wealthfront’s product suite is a liquid, low-risk way to earn a steady yield, with more tax efficiency than a savings account or CD. 

Because US Treasuries are exempt from state and local income tax, investors can keep up to 13.3% more of their earned interest from the Automated Bond Ladder when compared to a high-yield savings account or CD (depending on state of residence and tax bracket). This tax efficiency plus the product’s focus on preserving principal makes the Automated Bond Ladder an ideal way to balance out higher risk investments, protect and grow a windfall, or save for large expenses without risking loss of funds. 

A ladder is an intelligent way to invest in low-risk Treasuries, but accessing the strategy previously required considerable manual work, high minimums, or expensive fees. With today’s launch, investors can open an Automated Bond Ladder with just $500, then Wealthfront’s software instantly compares rates across hundreds of state income-tax exempt US Treasury bills and notes to build a ladder that helps investors reduce interest rate risk and lock in rates for six months to six years. The Automated Bond Ladder conveniently handles researching and managing multiple maturity dates, adding more funds in increments as low as $100, and automatically reinvesting proceeds from interest and maturing bonds to keep money growing effortlessly.