Welcome to the August 2021 issue of the Latest News in Financial #AdvisorTech – where we look at the big news, announcements, and underlying trends and developments that are emerging in the world of technology solutions for financial advisors!
This month's edition kicks off with the big news that Vanguard has apparently decided that direct indexing is the future, making its first-ever external acquisition of direct indexing platform JustInvest after an initial pilot program with RIAs quickly brought in more than $1B of AUM. Of course, the reality is that if Vanguard is going to put its full scale of resources behind JustInvest and distribute the direct indexing offering to its $3T of assets with financial intermediaries, then it may cause direct indexing to become the future, even if it wasn’t going to be already. Yet on the other hand, with Vanguard deciding to break the mold and acquire externally in an apparent move to quickly “catch up”, it appears that even Vanguard sees both momentum in direct indexing… and an apparent threat to its own core business of index mutual funds and ETFs that it wishes to head off at the pass?
From there, the latest highlights also feature a number of other interesting advisor technology announcements, including:
- Vestwell raises $70M of capital as their 401(k) technology platform for advisors gains momentum
- SIMON Markets raises $100M of capital to fund their rapidly growing marketplace of risk-hedged investment solutions for advisors
- Harness Wealth raises $15M to fund a new advisor lead generation service focused specifically on consumers with significant equity compensation
- Orion launches a new “3-Dimensional” risk tolerance assessment tool that aims to cover tolerance, capacity, and a client’s ability to keep their composure (or not) when markets turn volatile
- Morningstar launches its own new Risk Score ecosystem to help translate ‘abstract’ risk tolerance scores into concrete portfolios that advisors can implement
Read the analysis of these announcements in this month's column, and a discussion of more trends in advisor technology, including:
- RIA In A Box launches a new social media archiving platform to complement its growing suite of compliance tools
- The T3 Advisor Technology conference launches a new “WealthTech DevCon” in partnership with INVENT.us to expand the AdvisorTech dev community
- Fidelity launches a new “Sherlock” data tool for cryptocurrency, but it’s not clear if advisors will trade it
- Carson Wealth gets a ‘tech multiple’ for its RIA business by building its own client portal as large advisory firms increasingly look to add their own layer of proprietary technology value
And be certain to read to the end, where we have provided an update to our popular “Financial AdvisorTech Solutions Map” as well!
*And for #AdvisorTech companies who want to submit their tech announcements for consideration in future issues, please submit to TechNews@kitces.com!