Welcome to the May 2018 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 that private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is purchasing Financial Engines for a whopping $3 billion in cash, and intends to pair what many call the “original robo-advisor” together with (also-Hellman-owned) Edelman Financial, in an effort to expand Financial Engines’ services to 401(k) plan participants to include human comprehensive financial planners. Which is notable both that major investors now see the upside of “robo” platforms as expanding them back into human advisors, and also because if it works it could dramatically alter the landscape for 401(k) rollovers by making those assets “advised” by a comprehensive financial planner before they ever become a rollover opportunity in the first place!
From there, the latest highlights also include a number of interesting advisor technology announcements, including:
- Personal Capital pairs up with Alight to distribute its PFM solution into the large firm employee channel as a means of getting financial advice prospects.
- Goldman Sachs buys the Clarity Money PFM solution as a way to cross-sell its Marcus bank products to nearly 1 million Clarity users.
- “Free” robo-advisor WiseBanyan raises $6.6M of venture capital to cross-sell more a-la-carte “premium” services to its existing 32,000 clients.
- Australian Salesforce CRM overlay PractiFI partners with Black Diamond to bring its “business management” advisor CRM solution to the U.S.
- Chalice Wealth Partners launches a new “technology network” that aims to charge advisors $249/month to integrate their technology (overlaid onto Chalice’s B/D-RIA platform).
Read the analysis about these announcements, and a discussion of more trends in advisor technology, in this month’s column, including United Capital’s shift into providing a standalone FinLife Partners option (dubbed FinLife CX) for firms that want to continue using their existing CRM software, the launch of a “RoboWholesaler” that aims not to fully replace human wholesalers but make it easier for financial advisors to control the process by identifying the funds they’re interested in and then contacting the wholesalers they want to talk to, the rollout of a straight-thru insurance application process by Cetera that is integrated directly into MoneyGuidePro financial planning software, a look at whether the new ScratchWorks competition could be a new model for Advisor FinTech startups aiming to raise capital, and the opening of the application period for the third annual XYPN FinTech Competition for advisor fintech startups specifically aiming to support financial advisors serving next generation (i.e., Gen X and Gen Y) clientele.
And be certain to read to the end, where we have provided an update to our popular new “Financial Advisor FinTech Solutions Map”, including a number of new companies and categories!
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!