Welcome to the January 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 big news of the early 2017 rollout of Schwab Intelligent Advisory, a new service that was initially dubbed another “robo” but in reality is a financial advice solution powered by human CFPs who will simply leverage MoneyGuidePro financial planning software and virtual client meetings using telephone, video chat, and email to service clients… but at a “robo” price of just 28bps with a $25,000 minimum. The new Schwab Intelligent Advisory service is likely intended as a play to capture mass affluent consumers as the DoL fiduciary rule impacts and disrupts at least some broker-dealers… but in the process may also pose a serious competitive threat to the independent RIA community, including a large number of advisory firms that currently custody their assets at Schwab!
From there, the latest highlights also include:
- Smarsh acquires MobileGuard to expand their text message compliance archiving services.
- eMoney Advisor launches a new data gathering and client onboarding solution, threatening independent players like PreciseFP.
- Orion Advisor Services launches a fee benchmarking tool to help advisors substantiate their pricing as “reasonable compensation” under DoL fiduciary.
- Finicity raises a $42M Series B to expand their account aggregation capabilities after completing the takeover of the old Intuit Financial Data API.
- Blucora’s Tax Act partners with Legg Mason’s robo-advisor Financial Guard.
- Personal Capital blows through its VC growth targets and earns its remaining Series E ahead of schedule.
- Will digitization of financial advisor business metrics eventually create fully automated tools to provide advisory firm valuations?
You can view analysis of these announcements, and more trends in advisor technology, in this month’s column, including a look at the new national sponsorship arrangement between the FPA and Betterment for Advisors, how XTiva is trying to create a marketplace for enterprise “sales management” solutions for wealth management firms, and the recent rollouts of TD Ameritrade’s new VEO One platform and Envestnet’s new Yodlee app for Tamarac advisors to turn their portfolio accounting client portal into a fully holistic performance financial management dashboard for clients.
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!