Advisor Tech Talk (Week of 5/27/24)

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Every time we take a break from talking about the promise of future, we have a chance to discover how the present is catching up to—or falling short of—our expectations. 

For years, when writing about financial services and technology, we’ve been writing about a technologically driven future as if it’s an inevitability. And it is, and not just because technology evolves to solve more problems more efficiently over time. 

The fintech future is also a demographic reality that is unfolding as you read, as a recent “landmark” study from Broadridge suggests. In the latest edition of its U.S. investor study, several historic transfers are noted between asset classes, asset structures and service providers, all linked to generational succession. 

When Broadridge studied of share ownership data from the IRAs and taxable accounts of 10s of millions of investors from 2018 to 2023, it detected a dramatic increase in self-directed investors. 

Nearly one-third of all investors, 31%, allocate assets to discount brokerage platforms—some of these investors, around one-third of them, also maintain advisory relationships. Investors are also increasing their proportion of self-directed, held-away assets, Broadridge says. 

Asset allocations to discount brokerages are now second only to the traditional broker-dealer channel. 

Broadridge goes on to say that high-net-worth investors are putting a higher percentage of their assets in the self-directed channels than mass-market and mass-affluent investors. Self-directed investing is still gaining in popularity among Gen Z, millennial and Gen X investors, according to Broadridge. 

Perhaps driven in part by this movement, allocations to ETF and equity assets overtook mutual fund assets within individual investor portfolios for the first time in 2023, according to Broadridge. Similarly, the count of millennial investors is poised to overtake Gen X investors in the coming years. Also, the share of investors without a college degree reached 51% in 2023. 

These statistics are, in part, symptoms of technology—technology is increasing access to investing opportunities and fintech is giving more people the ability to manage their finances without the need for traditional financial services relationships like banking and wealth management. 

But they’re also harbingers of a future where more investors forge their financial relationships via technology. Technology platforms are becoming the incumbent service providers in the minds of what are becoming the most monied generations alive on the planet. 

Let’s get to some headlines… 


Addepar 

Addepar, a global technology and data company for investment professionals, announced that it has been selected by Corient Private Wealth LLC (“Corient”), a leading U.S. wealth management firm serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients, as its central platform for client portfolio data aggregation and performance reporting.   

Addepar will be the exclusive portfolio data aggregation and performance reporting solution across Corient’s extensive client portfolio of $160+ billion in assets. 

The Addepar platform provides investment professionals with a complete portfolio solution for managing and aggregating data, performing analysis, reporting and communicating with clients in a modern way. Addepar’s APIs and vibrant partner ecosystem ensure that each user firm can tailor every aspect of the solution to fit their needs. Addepar’s platform offers unsurpassed visibility into a traditionally opaque investment ecosystem, delivering a bespoke, cohesive and timely view of investment portfolios of any size. 

Advyzon 

Advyzon Investment Management (AIM), a turnkey asset management program (TAMP) under the umbrella of comprehensive technology platform Advyzon, recently added multiple new asset managers and strategists to their platform, including BlackRock, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Potomac Fund Management, and Invesco Advisers, Inc. 

In addition to BlackRock, Dimensional, Potomac, and Invesco, AIM has also added Washington Crossing Advisors, Brentview Investment Management, Morgan Dempsey Capital Management, and Clark Capital Management to the platform since the beginning of 2024. With these new strategists, AIM currently has over 280 strategies available to financial advisors in their Nucleus Model Marketplace, from 46 asset managers – including Advyzon Investment Management. 

Advyzon Investment Management, which launched in March of 2022, was created to allow financial advisors to be more efficient via a better integrated user experience by providing TAMP services conveniently within Advyzon’s single source code platform. AIM’s managed portfolio solutions and high touch service model allow advisors to achieve operational efficiencies along with comprehensive investment selection and modeling, while empowering them to work on their business, not in it. 

Arcons Technology 

Arcons Technology announced onboarding One Capital Management, a wealth management firm serving clients in the U.S. and Canada, on its trading solution tradePort and billing solution billPort for multicurrency billing of One Capital’s mixed-currency households. 

One Capital Management (OCM) is now well poised to handle its multicurrency billing and trading. Arcons also provided multi-custodian FIX integration with Canada’s National Bank Independent Network (NBIN) and U.S. custodians, including Schwab, Fidelity and Pershing, to help OCM streamline their trading workflow. 

BizEquity 

BizEquity introduced its latest innovation, the CEO Advisor. This groundbreaking tool promises to revolutionize how business owners and operators access valuation insights and expert guidance, empowering them to make informed decisions, drive sustainable growth, and connect with the financial professionals they need. 

For business leaders everywhere, BizEquity’s CEO Advisor provides a streamlined, easy-to-follow valuation process that generates an accurate, real-time business valuation report and includes a comprehensive financial summary and key performance metrics. 

As part of the launch of the new experience, BizEquity looks to strengthen its mind share and go-to-market strategy through being part of American City Business Journals (ACBJ).  ACBJ is the strongest voice across the United States in 45+ markets where private businesses live and thrive.  

Capital Markets Gateway 

Capital Markets Gateway (CMG), a fintech firm modernizing the equity capital markets, announced that the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has joined its global underwriter network as both an investor and a client. CMG continues to expand this industry-led global initiative, with RBC joining existing partners including Bank of America, Barclays, Citi, Fidelity Investments, Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley. 

As a prominent global capital markets participant, RBC has established a long-standing reputation for facilitating a wide range of financial transactions, including initial public offerings (IPOs), private placements, follow-ons, and convertible offerings. By integrating CMG’s book building technology, the bank will streamline the deal-making process, enabling RBC to capitalize on efficiencies, automation, and improved collaboration throughout the investment process. 

The undisclosed funding amount will support the expansion of CMG XC™, the first end-to-end platform which connects ECM industry participants and delivers data and analytics, unrivaled transparency, and workflow efficiencies. CMG XC features real-time collaborative sell-side book building capabilities, enhanced via direct connectivity to a network of more than 120 prominent buy-side investors. 

DriveWealth 

DriveWealth announced the hiring of two new executives: Kyla Murphy, as Chief Product Officer and Lauren Veisz as Head of Operations. In their respective roles, Murphy and Veisz will help to further expand DriveWealth’s footprint in global markets, develop deeper relationships with current and potential partners, and build out the company’s product roadmap. 

Murphy brings two decades of experience as a financial services executive across finance, wealth management, banking, and technology-leading risk management infrastructure, global regulatory implementations and business integrations. She worked at Morgan Stanley for 17 years, holding multiple management roles and most recently served as a Managing Director and Head of Basel Implementation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Yale University and is Series 7, 63 and 99 registered. 

Veisz held various leadership roles across the operations, technology, and finance divisions throughout her more than 20 years at Morgan Stanley, playing a pivotal role in executive regulatory change across the organization. She most recently served as Head of Business Architecture and Change for the Global Finance Division of Morgan Stanley. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance and a minor in Economics from Molloy University. 

FusionIQ 

FusionIQ announced its integration with automated global electronic broker Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR), in Canada. This is a major milestone in FusionIQ’s commitment to giving advisors an easy on-ramp to digital transformation with cutting-edge technology and seamless workflows. 

Through this integration, FusionIQ is now a third-party portfolio management software provider linked with Interactive Brokers Canada, solidifying its position in North America as a premier choice for financial advisors seeking easy-to-implement solutions to enhance client experiences and streamline their operations to scale for profitable organic growth. 

The Interactive Brokers Canada integration will initially unlock a range of benefits for portfolio managers, including access to the Hybrid Digital Advice platform in FIQ Journey. This platform seamlessly connects the front, middle, and back offices in a single digital workflow, offering process automations to enhance practice efficiencies and drive scalable growth for portfolio managers. 

GTN 

GTN, a global fintech redefining investing and trading for all, has been selected by Finansia Syrus Securities Public Company (“Finansia”), one of Thailand’s leading full-service brokerages and wealth management houses, to streamline and enhance its clients’ trading and investment experience. 

Through GTN Trade, GTN’s co-branded global trading platform, Finansia will broaden its coverage to 29 global markets and launch fractional trading opportunities across equities and ETFs. This will allow Thai investors with smaller capital to participate in high-value stocks, US equities, and a broader range of global assets. 

Finansia will offer its clients the ability to invest in previously inaccessible stocks through fractional trading and access to a diverse range of equities and ETFs from markets worldwide. 

Hexure 

Hexure, a provider of sales and regulatory automation solutions for the life and annuity industry, announced the addition of annuity products to its quoting solution. Annuity quoting with side-by-side comparisons within Hexure’s platform makes finding the right product easier and faster, improving advisor productivity and client satisfaction. 

Hexure’s comparative quoting solution allows advisors to quickly compare product rates, fees, as well as a host of product and carrier details. With the expansion to include annuities, advisors can now access and filter annuity products based on product type or features and generate proposals to help clients make informed and confident buying decisions. 

The Hexure quoting solution can be accessed through Hexure’s FireLight platform or embedded into any third-party web application, website, or proprietary sales solution where sales need to happen. 

iCapital  | DLT

iCapital announced the launch of the first fund leveraging iCapital’s new Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The fund is distributed by UBS Wealth Management. This marks an important technological advancement for increasing scale and real-time connectivity across the alternative investments experience. The milestone launch delivers on iCapital’s commitment to technology that creates unmatched operational efficiency and convenience for over 100,000 U.S. financial advisors. 

iCapital’s DLT is designed to simplify and enhance the lifecycle management of alternative investments. It aims to foster a more secure, efficient alternative investment management environment, connecting key financial players and allowing for seamless data sharing and transaction processing. This ledger technology is expected to eliminate 100,000+ activity reconciliations over the average life of a private capital fund2, improving data processing visibility and efficiency, reducing errors, and enhancing overall investment handling. As a result, iCapital’s DLT is expected to not only save clients thousands of hours of manual data reconciliation and version sharing, but also create significant cost savings and productivity gains in addition to reducing the risks associated with manual data entry. 

The first fund is distributed by UBS Wealth Management and administered by Gen II. All lifecycle activities – including subscriptions, capital activities, reporting, and liquidity for the fund – will be orchestrated through iCapital’s DLT, which automates data and document connectivity between firms and minimizes manual data reconciliation. 

iCapital | Commonwealth

Commonwealth Financial Network, a national firm dedicated to providing financial advisors with holistic, integrated business solutions, announced its partnership with iCapital, the global fintech platform driving the world’s alternative investment marketplace for the wealth management industry. The company delivers a white-labeled platform and enables affiliated advisors to efficiently source nontraded alternative investment opportunities for high-net-worth (HNW) client portfolios. 

According to a recent study by Cerulli Associates, the demand for alternative investments is increasing among HNW investors. By scaling its alternative investment offering, Commonwealth gives advisors direct access to high-quality alternative investment funds vetted by the firm’s Alternative Investments team. 

The custom platform is a direct response to feedback from advisors seeking additional solutions to help them more effectively compete for—and win—HNW business. The wide range of exclusive investment options is curated to help Commonwealth affiliates diversify HNW investors’ portfolios with options generally reserved for institutional investors. 

MassMutual 

MassMutual announced that accomplished cyber security executive and Veteran Eric Boateng has been named Head of Enterprise Cyber Security. In this role, Boateng will be responsible for leading the company’s cyber security and cyber risk management strategies and safeguarding MassMutual’s information assets. 

Boateng most recently served as Vice President of Cyber Security, Technology & Resiliency Risk Oversight for American Express. In this role, he developed and implemented the technology risk management program strategy that included cybersecurity and risk management, while providing effective oversight and credible challenge to American Express’s information security and technology activities. Prior to that, Boateng held various information and cyber security roles of increasing responsibility at New York eHealth Collaborative, Roundpoint Mortgage, Georgia Department of Human Services, and Lockheed Martin. 

Prior to his career in the private sector, Boateng served two decades as an officer in the U.S. Navy, where he managed multiple IT initiatives and programs, employing industry information security risk management frameworks and best practices for the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Orion 

Orion announced the appointment of Ron Pruitt as its President of Orion Wealth Management, effective May 20. In this role, Ron will drive strategic initiatives to expand Orion’s wealth management services and enhance its pioneering, investor-centric technology for financial advisors. 

Ron brings over 25 years of experience in wealth management, having served as Senior Vice President of Nasdaq Analytics, comprised of the acquisition of eVestment and Solovis, providing investment analytics and market intelligence to global asset managers, asset owners and institutional investment consultants, and President and CEO of Solovis, a Nasdaq company known for its portfolio management software and services. He also co-founded and served as CIO for Placemark Investments and was a key executive at Envestnet after its acquisition. 

Ron’s commitment to operational excellence was honed at General Electric where he became a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. His academic achievements include a BS in Econometrics from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, Ron served five years as an officer in the U.S. Army, enhancing his leadership capabilities. 

PureFacts Financial Solutions 

Capital Investment Companies, a prominent independent financial services and brokerage firm in the Southeast of the United States, and PureFacts Financial Solutions, a global leader in revenue management, enterprise reporting, and insights solutions for the asset and wealth management sector, announced an agreement where PureFacts will be implementing PureFees, a market leading fee billing solution to complement another offering of PureFacts, PureRewards to scale their business with key benefits related to operational efficiencies and process automation helping Capital Investment Companies to attract, manage and grow revenue while reducing costs. 

PureFacts’ enterprise billing platform is designed to scale, accommodating the diverse needs of different types of wealth and asset management firms. As part of a comprehensive suite of solutions available to financial advisors, PureFacts’ platform provides Capital Investment Companies with the ability to track, measure, and optimize every dollar. 

Savvy Wealth 

Savvy Advisors (herein “Savvy” or “Savvy Advisors” or “the firm”), a registered investment advisor affiliated with Savvy Wealth Inc. (“Savvy Wealth”), announced that four new wealth managers have joined the firm. These advisors now have access to Savvy Wealth’s purpose-built, fully integrated technology platform. Powered by proprietary technology, Savvy’s wealth managers are empowered to increase efficiency, scale revenue faster and spend more time focused on serving their clients. 

Savvy has built a network of experienced financial professionals who offer a wide range of financial planning services including retirement planning, estate planning, tax strategy, alternative investments, direct indexing, net worth tracking, the ability to manage and track held away accounts, and more. All services are personalized and aided by Savvy Wealth’s modern, all-in-one technology that’s designed to provide an efficient client experience. 

Savvy’s newest advisors include Chase Austin, based in the greater Charlotte area; Josh Branham, based in Lexington, Ky.; Louis Green, based in New York; and Scott Eichler, based in Orange County, Calif. Over the last three years, Savvy has been actively recruiting wealth managers to its ranks, and has scaled to over $400 million in assets under management (AUM) nationally. In addition to these new hires, David Gottlieb, Aaron Wiegman, Arynton Hardy, and Dustin Parsons have joined the firm in recent months. Those who are interested in joining Savvy can view the firm’s open roles.