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Below is the February edition of the Fintech Report Card, a monthly piece by Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein originally published in WealthManagement.com.
What happened: RightCapital announced the launch of RightPay, which allows advisors who are using the financial planning system in an integrated way to bill and collect hourly, one-time or retainer fees within the RightCapital client portal.
Why it matters: While still relying on AUM relationships as their primary way to engage with clients, many financial advisors are beginning to add different models, such as one-time planning engagements, or a subscription approach. RightCapital joins the advisor payments fray with its new entry into the marketplace.
What happened: RIA in a Box announced a new open API for its MyRIACompliance system to allow simplified access to data for its technology partners and clients.
Why it matters: Compliance is a function largely driven by data, and the ability for firms to tie together their systems using open APIs for smoother supervision and review processes will be key to building the next-generation firm with automated workflows. Congrats to RIA in a Box on taking this important step.
What happened: Andrew Altfest, president of a $1 billion RIA firm, launched new advisor technology at the T3 Advisor Conference this year. The new software promises to use AI to analyze a client’s existing situation and offer tailored recommendations.
Why it matters: It was only a couple of years ago that I was on record saying “in our industry, AI has really only been deployed in press releases.” That has now started to change, and it’s exciting to see some of the innovation arriving—from Redtail’s AI-driven client insights, to Vise AI’s client-personalized portfolios, and now this announcement from FP Alpha. Will this be a differentiator for a “wealth management platform?” Time will tell.
What happened: Twenty Over Ten has released Lead Pilot, a new marketing automation platform built for financial advisory firms to manage email campaigns and social media and build website landing pages.
Why it matters: Advisory growth doesn’t rely solely on client referrals in the same way it used to, and advisors need to be able to adapt to how consumers research and find information today. Twenty Over Ten, known primarily as a website company for advisors, has expanded into marketing automation, and it’s exciting to see how it can make lead generation easier for advisors. (Disclosure: Lead Pilot has an integration with Riskalyze. Also, I sit on the board for Snappy Kraken, whose product has some overlaps with Lead Pilot.)
What happened: Amid continuing questions about its merger with TD Ameritrade, Schwab Advisor Services EVP Bernie Clark said that the firm is looking to create technology that takes the best from TD Ameritrade and Schwab to create a modern platform for its advisors.
Why it matters: Amid an ongoing antitrust challenge, the regulatory machinery working on approving the Schwab and TD Ameritrade merger lumbers on. Advisors are understandably worried about what will happen to Veo One, which is the bedrock of many advisor technology vendors’ plans to reach advisors and build a business. Schwab has made it a big part of its PR strategy to reiterate that it loves small advisors, and the technology it ultimately uses will be “best in class.” The upheaval for advisors may not be as large for TD advisors as once expected, since repapering won’t be necessary—but how will the technology shift? The picture may not get clearer until 2021.
What happened: Cisco released information about security vulnerabilities to its devices and Cisco Discovery Protocol network discovery tool, which could allow remote takeover of its devices connected to the network.
Why it matters: A Cisco vulnerability underscores the harsh truth about cybersecurity for advisors: No matter how tight your processes for personnel and data handling within your firm, there is always the chance a vendor or partner you use can have its systems compromised. Any firm with Cisco telephones on its desks or videoconferencing systems in its conference rooms could be affected by this vulnerability. Constant vigilance and solid vendor monitoring are the only answers.
What happened: The subsidiary broker/dealers under Atria Wealth Solutions now have access to compliant text messaging for their advisors.
Why it matters: It’s way past time for more advisors to catch up to modern times and communicate with clients the way they want to communicate. Redtail took the lead with its Redtail Speak product, and MyRepChat now provides a similar service (disclosure: both are integrated with Riskalyze). It’s great to see Atria rolling out this capability for its advisors.
What happened: CurioInvest and MERJ Exchange have partnered to tokenize collectible cars. The intent is to open up investments in luxury assets to a wider pool of investors.
Why it matters: Somehow I doubt many advisors are going to make a portfolio allocation to collectible cars, but it’s not completely out of the question for those advisors serving the ultra-high-net worth segment where clients drive the demand. I can definitely see how using crypto technology to tokenize these unique assets could be an interesting way to better reflect their value in platforms like Riskalyze, Orion, Black Diamond and others in the future.
Aaron Klein is CEO at Riskalyze.
Editors note: The views expressed in this column are Aaron Klein’s, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Wealthmanagement.com.
For more great content, visit WealthManagement.com.
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