A Sneak Peak at Envestnet’s Upgraded iPad App

This is an overview of Envestnet’s updated iPad app that was demoed at the Tools and Technology Today (T3) Conference that was held from February 11-13, 2013 in Miami, FL.

The presenters were Marion Asnes, Managing Director, Chief Marketing Officer and Blake Wood, Vice President, Product Management.

Wood explained some of the drivers behind the development of Envestnet’s mobile strategy. One driver was the explosion of online technology becoming available to the end investor. Clients now have the ability to self-aggregate their portfolios and run analytics using free websites such as Personal Capital or Mint.com. These and other self-directed tools from custodians like TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are making it easier for investors to manage their own portfolios, he said.Envestnet Advisor Desktop

Another driver was the need to provide a consistent user experience across all platforms, Wood reported. To achieve this, Envestnet re-designed their interfaces using HTML5, so that there would be exactly the same user experience no matter if you were on a desktop PC or an iPad. The only difference being that users on an iPad can swipe to change screens, he noted.

What is HTML5?
The fifth revision of the hypertext markup language (HTML) specification that sits at the core of what makes a web page. HTML5 is a collection of 30 different web technologies that can be used together or separately to enhance a website’s ability to deliver animation, video, audio or other dynamic content to users.
Davis Janowski, a fantastic technology reporter for InvestmentNews, wrote that he likes to think of HTML5 “as a big warehouse full of engine components”.
Why is HTML5 being promoted? Don’t Flash and JavaScript already work? As for Flash, and Silverlight, and other browser plug-ins, well, they are artificial solutions for a natural problem that HTML5 is trying to fix: Placing and managing interactive elements on a web page.

One of the strengths of Envestnet’s platform is their underlying technology, Wood continued, which has facilitated their growth. They leveraged this by re-writing the presentation layer that provides access to their back end systems, he said. image

Their entire end-to-end wealth management system is available on both desktop and mobile channels, Wood emphasized. This includes prospecting, proposals, rebalancing, trading, reporting, and the client portal, he said.

An advantage of the tablet form factor is that it can facilitate investor meetings by enabling side by side presentations, Wood pointed out. The mobile app can be branded using the advisor’s logo and color scheme to enhance client engagement with the firm, he said.

Through the iPad, advisors can access Service Requests – submit request such as Raise Cash, Rebalance, Run Proposal, generates all custodial paperwork and provides workflows to automatically open custodial accounts on your behalf.

The Investment Research section includes information on almost 10,000 products, Wood noted. Envestnet’s research includes SMA’s, ETF’s and mutual funds and can support creation of an advisor’s own model-based portfolio, he said.Envestnet Research

Advisors can run many different investment screens, such as MPT statistics (i.e. Alpha), performance (top 25% on 5-year return), or asset class, and can explore SMA strategy details like manager commentary, he said.

On the Client Side, the app allows an advisor to drill down into multi-registration accounts to view individual family members, demographic data, or view investment groups by IPS or pre-defined goals, Wood explained. They also can run holdings analysis to show reports such as worst performing investments over a certain time period (see screenshot), he said. Envestnet Laggers

On the Manage side, it’s now possible for an advisor to trade and rebalancing their entire book of business from their iPad, Wood noted.

According to Wood, the Envestnet iPad app was in Beta testing for about a year. It was officially launched and made available to all clients on March 15, he said.

As part of their integration of the Tamarac acquisition, the entire end-to-end product, called TamaracXi, is already fully mobile, with all Tamarac functionality available in the app, Wood assured us.

EnvestNet supports interfaces to 80 custodial platforms and through data aggregation from ByAllAccounts they provide another 4,800 connections to other financial institutions, Wood stated.

Wood concluded by recommending that anyone who is interested in more information about Envestnet or their mobile app could attend their advisor conference, which is being held in Chicago from May 1-3, 2013.

UMH – across accounts, multiple registrations and custodians, asset location

Related WM Today Content
NorthWestern Mutual to Roll Out LifeYield iPad App to Advisors
Why Haven’t Advisors Embraced Unified Managed Accounts?
Which Portfolio Rebalancing Software is Right for You?

2 Responses

  1. Craig, look at this screen shot again: https://wmtoday.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/image1.jpg

    Put that on an iPad and try to touch a product name. I bet one out of three touches will open the wrong product.

    The problem is compounded on an iPad Mini.

    HTML5 facilitates multi-device support, but some aspects of keyboard-mouse functionality don’t translate well at all to touch screens.

    I applaud Envestnet for version 1.0, but design will play a significant role in any apps success (e.g. user adoption) going forward.



The Wealth Tech Today blog is published by Craig Iskowitz, founder and CEO of Ezra Group, a boutique consulting firm that caters to banks, broker-dealers, RIA’s, asset managers and the leading vendors in the surrounding #fintech space. He can be reached at craig@ezragroupllc.com