Welcome to the April issue of the latest news in Financial Advisor #FinTech – 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 and wealth management!
This month’s edition kicks off with the announcement that Schwab has fully rolled out its “Un-Robo” Schwab Intelligent Advisory solution, pairing investment technology with human CFP certificants providing personal financial planning advice in time to capture market share opportunities with the looming applicability date of the DoL fiduciary rule… ironically pivoting away from its pure Schwab Intelligent Portfolios robo solution, just as Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, and T. Rowe Price have all announced the launch of their own pure robo-advisors, and raising the question of whether the others will ultimately follow suit by un-robo’ing their robo-advisors into tech-augmented human solutions as well. And, in the meantime, pure “robo” advice itself may also be undergoing a pivot, as a major new pilot program between IBM Watson and H&R Block aims to shift “robo” solutions from investments to tax preparation and tax planning instead.
From there, the latest highlights also include:
- A slew of advisor FinTech platforms shutting down, including NerdWallet (ending its Ask An Advisor service), AdviceIQ (acquired by FMeX), WealthMinder (acquired by AdvisorEngine), and PrairieSmarts (acquired by Covisum).
- Trizic aims to reboot its robo-advisor-for-advisors platform with a $3.3M VC round, and its first major enterprise deal (with John Hancock)
- Blooom raises $9M of capital for its B2C “robo” solution in the 401(k) channel, one of the few bright spots of robo tools that are still growing
- Oranj rolls out a major new release of its client portal solution
- PocketRisk rolls out its 2.0 version of risk tolerance solution, expanding into a two-dimensional risk tolerance assessment process
You can view analysis of these announcements and more trends in advisor technology in this month’s column, including whether advisors have missed the boat on PFM (Personal Financial Management) solutions that are now being adopted and rolled out directly by banks instead, how Quovo is trying to position itself as the glue that holds together the future of account aggregation with a new Authentication API, and the latest in estate planning software solutions such as Wishlife, another tool that aims not to facilitate estate tax planning strategies, but the transition of the estate itself and the stories, wishes, and guidance that the decedent wishes to leave behind to his/her heirs.
I hope you’re continuing to find this new column on financial advisor technology to be helpful! Please share your comments at the end and let me know what you think!
*And for #AdvisorTech companies who want to submit their tech announcements for consideration in future issues, please submit to TechNews@kitces.com!