- Advisor Stream [25:40]
- Apex Clearing [07:20]
- Betterment [08:00]
- Broadridge [25:40]
- Docupace [02:05]
- Envestnet [02:05]
- Fidelity [10:35]
- FMG [16:50]
- Hearsay Social [25:40]
- Hootsuite [20:10]
- HubSpot [18:50]
- Marketo [18:50]
- Morningstar [33:15]
- Plaid [10:00]
- Riskalyze [33:15]
- Orion Advisor Technology [07:20]
- Schwab [10:35]
- SharpSpring [18:50]
- Snappy Kraken [20:15]
- TwentyOverTen [29:00]
- Vestorly [16:50]
- Wealthfront [08:00]
- Docupace Enhances Integration with Envestnet, Strengthening Digital Solution for Managed Accounts
- Orion Partners with Apex to Launch Fast, Fully Digital Account Opening for Independent Advisors
- FMG Acquires Content Marketing Platform Vestorly
- Ezra Group WealthTech Integration Score
- Upcoming Conferences
Craig: Come on in, sit back, relax, and enjoy this episode of the WealthTech Today podcast. I’m your host, Craig Iskowitz, the founder and CEO of Ezra Group consulting. And this podcast features interviews, news and analysis on the trends and best practices around Wealth Management Technology. And this is our August news roundup, where I provide my take on some of the biggest news items in the wealth management space. Now, some of you may have noticed we shifted when we record our news from the beginning to the end of the month, so keep an eye out for our news episodes in the third or fourth week of every month.
Kicking off our news this month our first story, Docupace enhances integration with Envestnet, strengthening digital solution for managed accounts. Now we’re always interested in integration stories at Ezra Group we just launched our Integration Score. So we’re definitely interested in new integrations and this is a big one, considering the size and scope of these two vendor. Docupace and Envestnet have huge market share in both in the enterprise space and the RIA space, Docupace and for document management workflow back office processes and Envestnet for full back to front wealth management platform and their TAMP on their exchanges, all the other software. So big news when these two vendors are collaborating and they’ve been collaborating for many years and working together.
Now this integration according to the firms, is a real time data exchange between the two platforms, and it’s got several back and front office enhancements. They’re looking to streamline their experience as everyone is and everyone should be working to make more of a seamless experience for advisors, clients, and home office staff. Of course, you want to eliminate duplicate data entry. Single Sign On should be the basis for every integration, for the lowest level. I know in our integration school we have single sign on as the very, very lowest level we just get a one out of five for that. So it’s expected for every application. But one thing one nice thing about this new integration is it’s around the proposal process. So Docupace is a sliding into the Envestnet mobile process and enabling Docupace clients to launch new managed accounts proposals inside Envestnet. I don’t know anyone else who can do that yet, so that’s a first.
Envestnet, for those of you who maybe aren’t using Envestnet, their system used to be solely revolving around the proposal you had to create a proposal for every account whether you wanted to or not. Whenever you changed anything about the account, you had to create a new proposal. It was a bit of a pain. They have since changed that, I’m not sure if they’ve actually rolled it out to all their clients yet, but they have changed that where you don’t have to create proposals all the time, but they’re still important for many firms that require proposals.
So being able to create a new managed account proposal through the integration. So from a Docupace screen, you can launch an Envestnet proposal, and we saw a brand new proposal version which we really liked at the most recent Envestnet conference back in May. They really streamlined it, redesigned end to end the proposal tool, integrated a lot of other things that they have bought and partnered with the new proposal at Envestnet includes MoneyGuidePro features, you can see things where they’re gathering data and MoneyGuide would use their gathering goals and other information that can be fed into my guide. So lots of nice stuff there. They can put the launch to Envestnet dashboard from Docupace. It’s just an SSO connection to work on items so you can see your list of proposals that are in draft mode and keep editing them. The important part is of course supervision and compliance requirements through the Docupace workflows and Docupace has very strong compliance and supervisory processes built into their software as well as automatically initiating funding once the Envestnet proposal is moved to IGO status or in good order status. This should improve the digital experience. And I believe they’re gonna plug this into their portal as well on the Envestnet side, from looking at the press release.
Talking to the firms. They really have seen a lot of integrations with their clients and we’ve seen a lot as well with enterprise wealth management firms from very simple to complex. And the complex ones require a lot of effort from the broker dealer or large RIA or the firm in terms of staffing, having the right people technology people involved and doing a lot of effort. And this is one step towards eliminating that making it easier to integrate and connect these different tools together. For example, some larger IBDs still require dozens of pages, maybe 40 or more pages that need to be signed to open an advisory account. I believe this digital process should reduce some of that make it a little easier. Now it’s only the first phase I know that these two companies have a lot more planned. You can open multiple managed accounts they can also allow you to open up annuity accounts and maybe other insurance accounts, which makes sense considering Envestnet’s insurance exchange that they launched a while back and are integrating with their when their MoneyGuidePro acquisition.
So basically, integration has always been hard. We’re really excited to see when vendors are making it easier or building out the back end of these integrations to make it easier for their clients to initiate them that gives a higher score and makes it much easier reduces the effort of manually plugging things in and manually checking off boxes or manually writing code to API’s. So great, great job by Docupace and Envestnet for launching this new digital account opening process.
Now we have two stories both related to Orion Advisor so I’m going to squish them in together. First one is Orion partners with APEX to launch fully digital account opening for independent advisors. This is a new account opening process from Orion for APEX clients. They’ve integrated with APEX’s API suite. All the digital account opening APEX has been known as a digital first custody platform, their API’s are very strong a lot of fintechs use them for account opening and all these digital account openings that have been launched by traditional wealth vendors are really driven by all the robo advisors who have done it first. Back in the day when Wealthfront and Betterment launched they were some of the first to have only digital accounting processes.
For many years, up until at least even now there’s still broker dealers that are requiring paper be passed back and forth for account opening, sometimes dozens of pages to be opened to open an account so the digital account opening that came from robos into the rest of wealth management business is very good for the business in general.
So how does this work? The process works inside of Orion so it’ll be white labeled for each particular advisory firm but running on the Orion platform, on the back end is APEX. So Orion is running the process is self directed or also called self guided, which is a combination of either the advisor sending an email to a client where they click on a link and they can walk the process themselves, r there can be a button on the advisors website that a prospect clicks and it will open up account or maybe on their portal, a new account for existing clients or the advisor can start the process off and then hand it off to the client.
So a lot of options here for this is on digital process. The built in some goals questionnaire about where you want to go with your financial life. They also built a risk tolerance questionnaire that was pretty good created by the famous Dr. Daniel Crosby. It assigns the client to an advisor provided model, many advisors would like that. And then there’s also some simple “What if” visualizations for the client, they can change some values of the interest such as the starting investment, monthly savings, etc and see a projection of their future portfolio value. All looks good, then a hands off to the APEX account screens, the custodial account agreements. All has to be done and then they can funding the account through ACH using Plaid or the traditional ways, such as a check.
Orion has also very nice dashboard built in called Orion Connect where the advisor can see an overview of all of these new accounts, processes. See the ones that are in progress that are just on hold because the client didn’t finish or that they’re missing information or their pending funding or completed. Nice little dashboard very helpful for advisors. So this is going to be very useful for APEX clients who want to use Orion. It’s good all around. We like integrations, we like when firms utilize API’s and build new technology on top of it. Of course, Orion already has digital account opening with the other big custodians including Schwab and Fidelity both of which launched in 2019. But there’s no reason why they shouldn’t extend it to APEX who is an up and coming custodian and pretty much working to catch up to some of these bigger custodians and make their mark in the RIA space.
Next Orion really the story is a Schwab story. So it comes from the wonderful website, fantastic website for news in our industry, RIAbiz, and Brooke Southall. Thanks for the story Brooke. I’m not gonna read the whole title because you know, RIAbiz has really long headlines but Schwab and Orion had a deal that was grandfathered in from TD Ameritrade for advisors to get the FMG acquires content marketing platform Vestorly. So TD Ameritrade launched this back in 2009 with Orion so worked out great for both of these firms. TD brought on more advisors who wanted to use Orion and they couldn’t afford it and Orion got the same they got more clients maybe couldn’t afford the first year then as they got larger they could. And it was very popular.
According to this the the article, at least 1000 of the 7000 RIAs that were on TD before they were sold to Schwab took advantage of this dealas well, 14% of all TDA clients were using this first year free, which is great for everyone so very successful, and it’s a lot of growth or at least helped spur growth of both Orion and TD Ameritrade, we know both US firms pretty well. And it is interesting that the the old deal being terminated kind of came to light because Orion’s announcement that they’re partnering with APEX, that’s how this particular information came out.
Now it’s probably a normal business decision that things can’t run forever. I mean 2009, 2022, that’s 13 years. It’s a long time to have any any sort of deal or promotion running. So no reason why they wouldn’t want to stop it. In the RIAbiz this article they quoted the also famous Joel Bruckenstein, founder of the T3 conference about it probably just ran its course,they just had enough of it and they’re not seeing a lot of value in it, especially now the Schwab owns TD why do they need it? Schwab’s got plenty of business. What Joel said was, “would they have liked to continue to deal with Schwab? I’m sure they would have, it’s critical to them as TD isn’t as critical to them as it was the TD early on? Probably not.” We’re talking about a long time that Orion has had to grow and become successful. And they probably don’t need this deal either. It was just hanging out because no one even thought to change it.
Now, TD Ameritrade also has their own affinity services program with about 100 vendors that they offer discounts if they custody through TD and Orion is still in that group. So there’s still some discount if you use Orion and TD. There was other speculation that maybe Schwab’s partnership with Envestnet was the cause of this deal being cancelled. Probably not. I agree with Joel on this one. That even though Envestnet Schwab do have a special relationship, swap deals, a lot of business to invest in that and Envestnet bought Portfolio Center and all their clients from Schwab. Still, it’s probably not necessarily related. But now these companies can still work together as a reason why they wouldn’t all these different firms are what we call, it’s coopetition, where they sometimes compete, and they have to partner and share clients. So it’s probably not that big a deal, but just like Schwab and Orion have moved on to this special relationship, I’m going to be moving on to next story.
Next story is FMG acquires content marketing platform Vestorly. This story is a great example of how the innovation cycle works in software. It took over a decade for this to play out, but let me try and condense it into just a few minutes of an overview. So Vestorly started out as a digital marketing platform back in 2011, and it was one of the first to focus just on financial advisors. Of course the problem with being first is people don’t understand why you need it. You have to do a lot of explanations and a lot of education, but you have to market to yourself. I got first in contact with Vestorly around 2015 and spoke to them and learned about the product. They claim they use machine learning, natural language processing to learn about the type of content people read and who shares similar data points. I’m always skeptical of these claims, especially when it comes to this type of information because in order to use natural language processing, machine learning you need a tremendous amount of data. So I’m always skeptical that startups and these firms can bring in this much data in order to provide the value that machine learning can provide.
They were tracking, for example, who would like content, who doesn’t like content that they’re sending out so that was a content marketing platform, and they claim they could generate warm leads. Again, which I’m a little dubious of just because someone clicks on a link doesn’t mean they’re a warm lead necessarily, it means they’re a lead of some kind of lead, but it’s not necessarily a warm lead. I know they got some traction back then, I heard some large RIAs were kicking the tires on their platform, not sure how much traction they actually got there. And of course, digital marketing is a really crowded space any kind of marketing automation platforms is really crowded. And we all know the Kitces-Ezra Group AdvisorTech map of course, and on just this map we have 17 products in the digital marketing category. And these are just the apps that are specifically targeting financial advisors was a financial advisory firm could use any platform thwy can use a HubSpot or SharpSpring or Marketo or any of the other generic marketing platforms work just fine. In fact, the marketing platforms are called MarTech and there’s a map just like the Kitces-Ezra Group fintech map, there’s a MarTech map and if you see it I’ll post a link somewhere there’s over 8000 logos so we have 17, there’s actually 1000 marketing tools out there, you have to use a microscope to see the logos. It’s a very crowded space very difficult to get traction which Vestorly found out the hard way, which most startups do find it’s something you have to go through. Just because you build a better mousetrap, people are not going to beat their path to your door if you don’t do everything else as well.
So, one of the co founders, Justin Wisz left in 2018 to become a VC leaving one of the other co founder Ralph Pahlmeyer to take over. And at the time 2018, just four years ago, they announced a pivot, but they’re pivoting from direct sales to RIAs into being more of a software company first, they were licensing their algorithms or the software to other FinTech firms, and also to enterprise providers or enterprise wealth management firms that want to build software into a bigger platform. Their first deal came out with Hootsuite around 2018 which was a big news for them. I also heard that they worked out a deal with Fidelity eMoney to serve some some planning oriented content into the portal to track what clients are clicking on. But I’m not sure what the how much revenue they got from those deals. That’s another hard thing. It’s hard to pivot from selling directly to one client segment, going to another client segment. And this is something we work on with a lot of FinTech firms, about half the clients at Ezra Group are fintechs, we’ve never worked with Vestorly, never provide them any services. But we’ve worked with firms like them who are trying to do the same thing, pivoting from RIA to enterprise. It’s very difficult, there’s a lot of changes and I know in the article I read with RIAbiz about this they are basically getting rid of all their RIA salespeople then hiring enterprise salespeople, well, they got to start all over again. Those enterprise deals often take 6, 12, 18 months to close, because there’s just a lot of hoops to jump through. There’s a lot more people involved, but also you need an enterprise product.
You can’t take an RIA product and just sell it to the enterprise. Sometimes you can’t but where you can sell it to the individual advisors at an enterprise, you could go to an IBD and get an individual advisory firms that affiliate with the IBD and sell them your RIA product, that’s different. I’m talking about selling it to the enterprise, going to the broker dealer home offices, saying here is a product that you can use provide to your advisors. You need approval processes, workflows, roles and access rights. You need a lot and of course the new dashboards like we talked about earlier in the Orion story, you need dashboards for compliance and dashboards for admins to see what’s going on. So there’s a lot of things that need to be done to sell an enterprise to build your software to be ready to sell to the enterprise.
And then there are firms like FMG and Snappy Kraken who have built out enterprise versions of the software and they have detailed approval processes or workflows that go to different people in the organization. And you can follow those workflows to see if content has been approved, and it’s in the Content Library or emails and social posts are updated and approved. That all has to be done and built, or you need a dashboard that shows the status of your different compliance issues, status with different content. Even though these firms have them of course, there’s always glitches, there’s always opportunities to improve, but I don’t think Vestorly even built out a lot of the stuff or didn’t go to that quick enough or robust enough to get enough deals.
Now of course the new CEO Ralph Pahlmeyer had a strong belief that he could pivot the company, but back in 2018 other people weren’t so sure, and the RIAbiz article, great article from RIAbiz in 2018, about Vestorly getting a new CEO, quoted my good friend and partner Michael Kitces, founder of the XY Planning Network and publisher of the popular Nerds Eye View blog about Vestorly. Now they quoted Ron Pahlmeyer, saying we’ve invested over six years in R&D and collected billions of data points about what people are reading in financial services and our clients want to read. Now they want to further expand the data by integrating with others, that’s his enterprise pitch they want to work with other FinTech firms and other large enterprise broker dealers and provide their software in their data. But Michael Kitces said just was Vestorly has a mailing list of potential articles doesn’t necessarily make any of those readers want to do business with those advisors orthose firms.
So it’s not clear why Vestorly’s data is actually useful. Good point. Another quote from Michael was, Vestorly appears to be having trouble actually monetizing and demonstrating a value proposition for advisors based on all this third party content aggregation. So this suggests you may not find much traction in leasing or licensing to others either if it fundamentally doesn’t drive results for advisors. Excellent point. If they couldn’t sell the product to RIAs and RIAs didn’t see the value in that software in AI/ML that was providing all this information, how they’re going to sell that to other firms, if they can’t show them the business case is working.
Now of course at the time, Pahlmeyer disagreed with it as he should if he believed in his product vision, he believed his pivot was going to work that he should disagree vehemently and strongly say, Hey, we are going to do this. Now of course, he got other people to agree that they could do it. I know CrunchBase shows almost $50 million in total funding for Vestorly, the last round was a Series A in 2020. People were still investing money into Vestorly believing they could make it work. Even Ink Magazine had Vestorly in the top 5000 companies just last year, I think they were number 2744, so right in the middle, top 5000 companies basically in the entire US it’s pretty good.
But things still really weren’t working. They weren’t really getting a lot of traction. At Ezra Group, we have a research division and we do research in all categories of advisor technology, including digital marketing tools, and Vestorly hardly showed up in any of our interviews with any of our surveys who are looking for a firms with the most market share. The space was dominated by firms like Advisor Stream, which was acquired by Broadridge last year, Snappy Kraken, Hearsay Social and of course FMG which rebranded themselves from FMG Suite just recently. If you look how fast things change in our industry, in any industry, RIAbiz back in 2019, when talking about Advisor Stream, call them a Vestorly style drip marketing platform, right so they’re using Vestorly as the comparison tool because Vestorly was one of the first marketing firms for advisors.
But what Vestorly didn’t do and what Advisor Stream did was improve on the concept dramatically. One of the things Advisor Stream did to improve on the Vestorly model was to license the content rather than just providing a link to a client or a prospect. Click on the link and go to the Wall Street Journal or to Barron’s website where you see the rest of their content you see, when you click on a Wall Street Journal article you see around the edges are the Wall Street Journal links. You may even see ads for your competitors the Wall Street I would certainly serve that up with a thought that an investor was clicking on that they might be interested in an advisor so why would you want to send your clients or prospects to a website where other advisors are marketing to?
So Advisor Stream paid for this content, paid for Wall Street or content Barron’s content, other media outlets content and they served it up to the advisors with their advisor branding, serves up to the client. So the client clicks on the link from an adviso, they see the advisors branding, and they see the story. They can see it’s a Wall Street Journal story but it’s not at the Wall Street Journal’s website. It’s at a custom built website dynamically built that shows the advisors branding and the story. So it makes it much cleaner and provides much better experience both for the advisors and the client. So that’s what advisors can do to improve and they did very well so well but they were acquired by Broadridge.
Snappy Kraken, another competitor, built a very different product in the digital marketing space. They do have a content marketing piece of the solution, but they built a more comprehensive combination of tools. into more of a campaign delivery mechanism. That includes email, blog posts, web content, social media, and other content all combined auto schedule posted out and created for different client segments whether you want to target physicians or airline pilots or widows, whatever it might be. They have different content just for those clients segments. And they also, Snappy Kraken, guarantee geographic exclusivity for advisors, so another advisor in your town wouldn’t be sending out the same content used to your clients. That’s another differentiator. So these are things Vestorly did not do that their competitors did do, another example how innovation you can start out as the most innovative firm but then things fade over time if you don’t keep up.
Now FMG has a history of being very acquisitive, and that has helped them grow to be one of the leaders in the digital marketing space for advisors. In December 2020 they acquired competitive TwentyOverTen. This is a good article from WealthManagement.com written by Asia Martin. So they bought TwentyOverTen, which had a website editing tool, as well as a lead generation tool that they just launched that year at the T3 Conference and that helped FMG Suite bring on additional marketing website tools for independent advisors, as well as TwentyOverTen’s client base, which they had been very successful expanding into and closing deals with some of the largest broker dealers, including LPL, Cetera, and Advisor Group. So it’s again something that Vestorly couldn’t do, which would have helped them sell themselves earlier is have those marquee client logos in their back pocket.
My sources tell me that Vestorly put themselves up for sale at beginning of the year, there were other companies interested kicking the tires and they were even down the road with one other vendor, but they backed out. So they had to go with a relatively low offer from FMG, which is basically for the technology and some of the staff, which is a shame, but it’s really how things work, that’s how innovative software works. There’s an example I use in my when I give keynote presentations it’s a slide from a website called the Google graveyard. And what’s the Google graveyard? You can Google it, the Google graveyard is basically a list of every product. Google has shut down since they started and there was 100, I don’t remember 140 products on the list. It’s just one company, just Google. Of course, Google is much quicker to do these things and has a lot more money, but just an example of how innovation works. Sometimes things work for a while, and some of the Google products lasted for years or even a decade or more before they shut them down for various reasons, and there’s different reasons why you shut things down. So just like basically people build something cool, get a little traction, raise some money with a more startups come into the space. And then the best execution wins. You have to out execute your competitors or else you’re going to lose and that’s how this ends. It’s not with a bang for Vestorly but with a wimper.
Next up is the first story in our monthly news since we started doing the monthly news that is about Ezra Group. It is the announcement of the Ezra Group WealthTech Integration Score. Really excited to announce this we launched it last week. And you can go to EzraGroupllc.com And if you click on the menu at the top of what we do, there is a link that says Ezra Group WealthTech Integration Score. The reason why we did this is we work with a lot of FinTech firms, half our concert FinTech firms. Half our clients are broker dealers, large RIAs and asset managers, and everyone’s got trouble with integrations. We’ve been doing it for years and years, whether it’s doing software deployments for firms, whether it’s going into a broker dealer and helping them optimize their platform, or working with a FinTech firm and helping them decide which integrations they should support or add to their product roadmap. It’s confusing. It’s not easy to do, and it’s hard to manage and hard to understand.
So we came up with a score to help basically everybody in a number different ways. What the score is, is a consolidation of a lot of information we’ve gathered over the past six months and a methodology we put together over the same six months to consolidate all this information down to a single score, 0 to 10. And what the score will tell you is how well the firm’s software integrates with other software in our industry. So it’s all the advisor tech software, basically everything on the Kitces-Ezra Group advisor tech map almost everything is it was scored and documented with this methodology.
Now we didn’t do every vendor we did about 200 and take a look at the website 236 out of 329 because some applications don’t really need a lot of integrations, for example billing. Billing just has to integrate with the custodian, pull the data down and generate the bills. There’s no reason to penalize them because they don’t integrate with financial planning software, as an example. We also didn’t hold companies accountable for integrating with their competitors. So you know a Riskalyze doesn’t have to integrate with Morningstar as risk tool there’s no reason why they would do that. We couldn’t hold that against them. So we have all of that methodology built to understand all that. So narrowing it down to just the companies we felt the risk score will be valuable. And it allows firms, for example, very large RIAs or RIAs or broker dealers to look at two applications that they’re neck and neck and take a look at the integration score, that can be one more piece of data that maybe will sway them. If one vendor has better integration capabilities than the other vendor.
We’re also trying to get more transparency in the industry. This took us a long time to gather the data. One reason is because most firms don’t provide it on the website. Some firms to look at it from like eMoney, MoneyGuidePro, Riskalyze, Orion, just to name a few. These firms provide a lot of information about their integrations on their websites. But most firms don’t, so took us a long time to get the data. We had to send a lot of surveys, some vendors didn’t fill out the surveys. So we had to follow up with them again, to get the data, they’ll present it for you. So that’s a lot of work. We don’t want you to have to do that work. So we’re trying to save a lot of time for people out there. So we’ve done it for you. But we want to try to push for more transparency, the more FinTech firms will post on their websites, what their integrations are and what data can be passed.
So some firms just put their logo, here’s the logos of the firms we work with. That doesn’t help me much as we rank integrations on a five point scale, a 1 meaning it’s just an SSO, and then a 2 means it’s just one direction. A 3 means is bi-directional, the 4 and 5 or higher levels for more integrated, more tightly integrated capabilities that are much easier to deploy. So we reserve the 5 for the highest level integrations. And just because you’ve built out a bunch of levels, we need to know what is it? If it’s just SSOs it’s useful, but not as useful as a full blown integration or something that conditional widget automatically dropped onto another company’s website to pull in your data, which is much more valuable. So that’s another thing we did there so those firms can use it.
We also think that FinTech firms can use it most themselves to know who to partner with while they might want to partner with other firms that have strong integration scores or work with them first, because it’ll be easier to work with them since they already have strong integrations. Other firms that can use this could be PE firms, so PE firms are looking to invest in the wealth management space and maybe they want to buy a flagship company that can be the core of a new platform they’re building, they’re gonna buy up pieces on different tools and plug them in together. Knowing which vendors have which providers, the software providers have the highest level of integration, maybe they buy them first, because they’ve already got strong integration capabilities. And then by lesser firms plugged up into or lesser integrated firms to plug them into. That might be one capability, one way to do that.
So lots of ways that this data can be used. It’s free on our website the scores are free. We have a lot of data behind that trying to figure out what to do with it. A lot of back end data. We basically went through every single integration. And if you look at the website, EzraGroupllc.com under the WealthTech Integration Scores. There’s a number of total integrations we check it’s 3,646. Meaning if Orion’s got 80 integrations, and Riskalyze has got 100 integrations, that’s 180 integrations, we have to check and score to know exactly how deep their integrations are.
Oh, that reminds me. So there’s three criteria for calculating the integration score. One is breadth just how many integrations does a firm have? We only weighted that at 15%. We wanted to keep it low because we didn’t want vendors to go out there and say, Oh, I’m gonna build 100 integrations all SSO and get a great score. Well, no, we want to encourage the more in depth integrations, the the deeper integration, so kept it at 15%. The next level is technology support and authentication. That looks at whether the firm’s offer API’s are they well documented. Is there a developer sandbox? Do they have a full range of API’s available? And do they use the best offered authentication tools? So if you used his username password, that’s a low score, that’d be a 1. If you use a better piece of software to do authentication, you get a higher score. So that section is 25% of the score. That’s 40%.
The remaining 60% is depth, because I really want to encourage vendors to really build deep integrations. So that’s where the 60% comes in. And part of that 60% we also want to encourage integrating with what we believe are the most popular apps used by advisors. So we put together a list of key apps, which you can see also on our website that get a higher score if you’re going to be with them. So with the top three vendors in each category, plus some other ones that we thought were important to advisors to use, most advisors use so integrating with those gives you a bit of a higher score than integrating with a one off platform or platform that doesn’t have a lot of users. So that’s really an overview of why we did it, who could use it and how it works. If you want more information again, go to EzraGroupllc.com. We’re going to be coming up with a blog post, introducing the score and going into more detail than another blog post that talks about the methodology in more detail. You can also see I did a podcast with Marie Swift. Check out her website. And there’ll be more information coming from Ezra Group to explain more and talk about changes as this resource evolves for the industry.
All right, I’m just gonna do a quick overview of some of the upcoming conferences for the month of September, first one that I will be at is the Wealthies which is hosted by WealthManagement.com in New York City on September 8. After that, shortly after that, I will be Future Proof. September 11-14 in Huntington Beach, California. Here’s a conference that I can’t go to but wish I could, Finovate Fall which is overlapping with Future Proof. It’s September 12-14 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square in New York. And finally, something you really shouldn’t miss on September 29 is the next incarnation of AdviceTech.LIVE. You can find more information at AdviceTech.LIVE, and this is on September 29, 11-6pm, it’s a virtual conference. It’s going to be online. Adam Holt from Asset-Map was the leader of this. I just helped out AdviceTech.LIVE started during the during COVID shutdown and now we’re still running it. So I’m participating I’m going to be moderating a panel during this conference. It’s great to attend, money goes to a good cause. So I would go to AdviceTech.LIVE and register for this conference. It’s going to be on September 29th.