Welcome to the August 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 a look at Morgan Stanley’s rapid pace of reinvention as a tech-savvy wirehouse since hiring away Schwab’s Naureen Hassan to become the firm’s Chief Digital Officer in early 2016. Since then, the company seems to be rapidly overcoming the traditional “Not Invented Here” mentality of wirehouses, forging partnerships with a number of outside providers, even as they build a fascinating vision of a robust tech-augmented human advisor platform, where the software continuously monitors and analyzes the situation for all clients and nudges the advisor with “Next Best Action” ideas that the advisor can take to the client (queued up with pre-written communication templates that the advisor can easily modify and adapt to individual client circumstances).
From there, the latest highlights also include a slew of companies announcing new “platform” initiatives, including:
- FinFolio launches Wealthlab.io, a standalone REST API back-end platform for account openings, trading and rebalancing, and data feeds, that should provide an expedited foundation for new robo startups (or even large advisory firms that want their own custom-created wealth management solution).
- FinMason launches a new FinTech accelerator program, allowing startups to build on their FinRiver data analytics to create and rapidly deploy solutions to advisors (or consumers).
- Pershing continues to try to expand its open API platform to compete with TD Ameritrade’s VEO open architecture (and provide new advisor FinTech startups an alternative to building for “just” TD Ameritrade alone).
- Apex Clearing strikes yet another deal with a “robo” middleware solution to help it gain distribution to the independent RIA marketplace and compete against the likes of Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Pershing Advisor Solutions.
You can view analysis of these announcements and more trends in advisor technology in this month’s column, including “robo”-401(k) provider Vestwell partnering with Fiserv, Advisor Software launching a new “Behavioral IQ” solution that aims to go beyond just risk tolerance and risk capacity, RobustWealth partners with Roofstock to allow advisors and their clients to invest directly into rental real estate and have the results aggregated with the rest of the portfolio, Morningstar acquiring a 40% stake in Sustainalytics as it doubles down on its commitment to its Morningstar Sustainability Globes, AdvisorHub launches a platform called “AssetLink” to re-define how advisors engage with wholesalers, and more!
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!