Welcome to the October 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 Warburg Pincus is investing a whopping $33M into Facet Wealth, a new advisory firm upstart that aims not to build “robo” tools to compete with advisory firms, but a tech-savvy advisor platform to service “smaller” mass affluent clientele that they buy from existing advisory firms who may want to sell a portion of their book of clients to free up space (and/or to generate additional capital) to grow further upmarket. At least, if the clients will actually be willing to convert from an in-person advisor to one of Facet’s virtual CFP professionals, and from an industry-standard AUM fee to Facet’s complexity-based monthly retainer fee instead.
From there, the latest highlights also include a number of interesting advisor technology announcements, including:
- Zoe Financial raises a $2M seed round to create a new lead generation platform for (a subset of highly vetted) advisors to reach more affluent clients;
- SmartAsset reinvents the next generation of BrightScope’s controversial Advisor Pages as it aims to scale up interest in its SmartAdvisor lead generation service;
- Mineral Interactive wins the XYPN FinTech competition as one of three finalists all focused on making the holistic data-gathering and onboarding process for financial planners more efficient;
- ScratchWorks announces “Season 2” of its FinTech accelerator program replete with Shark-Tank-style pitch sessions to its founders (and funders).
Read the analysis about these announcements in this month’s column and a discussion of more trends in advisor technology, including the launch of MoneyGuidePro’s new G5 platform (which goes even deeper into retirement income planning but conspicuously skips out on building its own PFM portal to compete with eMoney Advisor), Personal Capital’s launch of its own tax-savvy retirement income planning tool for its advisors and clients, the rise of student loan repayment planning software tools for advisors, and a look at whether Schwab’s recent launch of new Digital Account Opening tools may signal the beginning of the end of independent digital advice platforms as RIA custodians themselves finally upgrade their technology and expand to encompass more and more digital onboarding capabilities themselves.
And be certain to read to the end, where we have provided an update to our popular new “Financial Advisor FinTech Solutions Map” as well!
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!