Ep. 165: November News Roundup

Come on in, sit back and relax and listen to episode 165 of the WealthTech Today podcast. I’m your host, Craig Iskowitz, founder of Ezra Group Consulting. This podcast features interviews, news and analysis on the trends and best practices all around wealth. Management Technology. This episode is our news roundup, where I go through all the latest news in the wealth tech and wealth management technology space.

We’ve got seven stories that I’ll be covering. We have two marketing stories. Orion is partnering with Snappy Kraken on the marketing campaign. We have FMG and Catchlight are partnering as well. It’s two marketing stories, though we have two conference stories. One is the XY Planning Network’s conference, the second one is the Riskalyze conference. And finally a couple of other stories, Envestnet is partnering with FNZ, the global wealth management and custody platform. And then we have Pulse360 launching an AI based tool. And then as always, our newly added ending to our news is updates to the Kitces-Ezra and Ezra Group Wealthtech Integration Score. And speaking of the Wealthtech Integration Score, it’s something that can be used by large firms and small firms when they’re building their tech platforms and looking for new software. So if you are an executive at a broker dealer, asset manager or enterprise RIA, you should run not walk to our website, EzraGroupllc.com and fill out the Contact Us form on the homepage to meet with us about your technology platform issues. Our experienced team can assist with software and vendor evaluations, systems integrations, improving operational efficiency and software implementations. You can take advantage of our free initial consultation by going to EzraGroupllc.com and a quick note before we start, please subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. Now, let’s kick this thing off.

Companies Mentioned

Stories Covered

Episode Transcript

Orion Supercharges RIA Marketing Tech Suite with the Launch of Redtail Campaigns

Craig: The first story in the news roundup, Orion supercharges RIA marketing tech suite with the launch of Redtail campaigns. Orion Advisor solutions today announces the launch of Redtail campaigns, the industry’s first CRM centric advisor marketing suite, powered by none other than Snappy Kraken, a digital marketing platform tool for financial advisors, Redtail campaigns builds upon Orion legacy Market*r, empowering advisors and firms to drive new business and deepen client relationships through hyper personalized marketing campaigns launched right from the CRM dashboard.

Craig: This is a new trend we’re seeing in the all in one platform space is adding digital marketing tools. So Orion has not acquired the tool but they’re partnering with Snappy Kraken to integrate them tightly into their building their expanding empire of of wealth management tools after acquiring Redtail in April of 2022. They are now adding digital marketing. One of the things I don’t like about some of these press releases is the incredible number of buzzwords, hyper personalized just personalizes enough personalized marketing campaigns. There’s no difference in personalized and hyper personalized. But we are seeing more success from these firms, building out digital marketing tools, partner with digital marketing tools and just the rise of digital marketing tools in general. If you look at the Kitces-Ezra map and vice tech map, which you can find on Kitces.com You can see the digital marketing category has been expanding over the years and adding more features.

Craig: Now that’s separate from the standard generic marketing technology platforms of which there are, believe it or not, almost 10,000 just generic marketing tools. Some of the success of some of the biggest tools such as HubSpot, or SharpSpring, which is what Ezra Group uses for our marketing platform, which is very similar to HubSpot, where they’re an all in one solution. They are a CRM, they have marketing tools. They monitor your websites for traffic, they can send email campaigns and newsletters like MailChimp or other tools constantly Constant Contact on SharpSpring. So we’re seeing that bleed over into the wealthtech business whether they need the same and it makes perfect sense having the digital marketing tools plugged into the CRM, you want everything in the same place. You don’t want separate databases, one newsletter email system, one digital marketing system and then your CRM separately. You want everything together. The tighter the integration, the better. Even just integrations is bad if it’s not having it all on one on one route makes it a lot easier, and a lot more seamless.

Craig: A recent Broadridge study shows that close to 40% of advisors struggle with developing their digital marketing strategy. That’s one of the benefits we found in our research at Ezra Group on the digital marketing space is one of the advantages of the Snappy Kraken business model is that they offer prepackaged campaigns, advisors, at least they’re their clients, the clients that go to Snappy Kraken like having everything done for them. They like the digital marketing strategy in a box so to speak. If you look at Snappy Kraken they have different campaigns set up for different niche markets, whether it’s physicians, or airline pilots or widows or people who are divorced, they have different categories and they’ve got all of the content all scheduled out, very easy to use and build your own campaigns. So you can see the power of having that linked into your CRM, where if you push out this campaign to your prospect list, every piece of content that the prospect touches or interacts with feeds back into the CRM so they can see not just launch.

Craig: Now they mentioned in this press release you can launch campaigns, right from the CRM dashboard. That’s not the major power. The major power is all the data coming back into the CRM in one place. Every time a prospect clicks on a piece of social media content, or interacts with it or forwards it or opens an email from you or goes to your website or reads an article or other piece of content. Having that all in one place and tracked and rolled up makes it easier for you to manage your campaigns going forward. It makes it easier for you to build workflows in your digital marketing tool to say well if a person if a new prospect comes in off this particular campaign, and they do x, y, then send them something else more it becomes a drip campaign. Send them this piece of content in two weeks and this piece of content in two weeks, and so forth and so on until they become a client.

Craig: Now in June 2020 San Francisco based private equity firm Genstar Capital bought a stake in Orion and then merged it with Brinker Capital, one of the biggest TAMPs with $25 billion under management. Now, Genstar’s stake happens to be equal to that of TA Associates another private equity firm that was Orion’s majority shareholder since 2015. With Redtail campaigns, this is a quote from Brian McLaughlin, the founder of Redtail Technology, but now the president of Orion Advisor Tech, with Redtail campaigns, we’re marrying marketing CRM and venture planning technology to accelerate the prospect to plan journey and modernize this important advisor workflow. One of the big aspects of this and I think a lot of the acquisitions a lot of the partnerships revolve around data. I believe that the Orion buying Redtail, part of it was because it’s a great team, by McLaughlin’s a leader in the industry, red tail is a leader in market share in advisor a CRM, but also data Redtail has been around for since 2003, so almost 20 years. All this data built up in their systems, notes, texts, emails, prospects. Advisors, to all this database data is there for them to then manage, analyze, review and figure out ways to provide value to advisors. And as I mentioned before, having it all in place, makes it better fragmented, standalone tools don’t integrate well, and they aren’t as efficient.

Craig: We’ve seen that in our work with an analysis of the digital marketing space, as well as our when we launched our Ezra Group Wealthtech Integration Score, we can see that many firms aren’t integrated. Many applications are not integrated well, especially in the digital marketing space. Here is a 2022 investment news advisor technology study shows that digital marketing software used by advisors 70% of advisors responding to the investment news survey said they use social media marketing tools, 70% use email marketing, 44% web design, that seems low I’m not sure they even understand the question why would only 44% have a web designer… So there’s lots of tools used by advisors, at least according to this survey, but they’re not integrated well.

Craig: In terms of spending another survey this is also the same InvestmentNews survey shows that 58% of advisors are not increasing their spending on digital marketing. And 67% are not expanding and not spending more on CRM either. So bad news for maybe this initiative. Maybe they can target the 42% that are expanding digital marketing, or maybe they’re not expanding because they don’t know the value or they don’t see the value regarding integration scores. In the Ezra Group Wealthtech Integration Score, Snappy Kraken scored in 8.0, and Orion Advisor scored a 10.0, perfect score. We expect this trend towards end to end platforms to continue more tools and technologies built into these platforms from prospecting and digital marketing and onboarding. All the way through the building and see your end and preferred client statements and such. It just makes things much easier for advisors and broker dealers and all firms in general.

Envestnet and FNZ Partner to Launch Seamless, End-to-End Digital Solution in the US

Craig: Story number two, Envestnet and FNZ signed a partnership agreement for Envestnet to use FNZ’s digital onboarding solution. Now FNZ acquired their digital onboarding solution when they bought away in December 2021. That acquisition was completed in February of 2021. So the integration of Envestnet’s and FNZ’s its platform will allow for real time account opening and funding along with digitally automated servicing and maintenance capabilities for the full lifecycle of the client account, according to the press release.

Craig: Now Appway is a multinational company headquartered in Zurich and their solutions, they claim they’ve got their solutions installed at 10 of the 25 world largest wealth managers. They do have a foothold in the US, one of the biggest clients is LPL Financial. They’ve also made some partnership agreements with other vendors. Back in 2018 they launched two partnerships, one with Fiserv APL which is now part of InvestCloud they agreed to use their automated onboarding tools for the Fiserv APL billing systems. And Refinitiv announced a partnership in July 2020 2019 With Appway to use their onboarding solutions for the beta platform. What’s interesting about that is Refinitiv then sold BETA to who else InvestCloud well actually Motive Partners, the owners of InvestCloud, but it’s all the same under the same ownership umbrella. So it’s interesting that both of those firms now belong under the InvestCloud, umbrella and all both are using FNZ. It’s onboarding tools according to the press release, so what’s interesting about this is investment has been revamping their toolset and their capabilities.

Craig: In their most recent Advisor Summit, they demoed new products, including new proposal generation tool, a new digital onboarding, end to end solution, which totally revamped what they had before, as well as the new client portal. So Envestnet is definitely looking for partners to help them improve the capabilities and onboarding has always been an issue for advisors. So anything they can do to make it easier, will be helpful for Appway is very good in the enterprise. space and Envestnet has some of the largest capabilities the largest market share with enterprise wealth management firms. 

Craig: here’s a number of different challenges that wealth management firms encounter when they are doing onboarding. So this came from a report from July 2020, I believe is from Gartner, long onboarding times for customers, sometimes 45 days or more in different regions of the country or different maybe regions of the world. There are some regional misalignments that even in the same region of the country, there’s different booking centers of the same region, or different branch offices, different parts of the business have different customer experiences that standardize across a business, especially larger broker deals, larger wealth management firms, there’s issues with regulatory data quality, things are misaligned and the compliance processes when they’re onboarding again when you get to bigger firms, whether the custodians or large broker dealers, and these onboarding processes become very complex and inefficient, because there’s so many different systems that have to be touched so many different pieces of data that be moved KYC AML moving data between moving file data moving systems and if you’re going to be funding it with security, so you doing a cats that changes things up to opening multiple accounts, that requires multiple envelopes. Sometimes they don’t, they’re not able to bring multiple accounts in the same digital envelope. And then when you’re adding other types of financial products like insurance, some systems can open multiple accounts, including insurance accounts, but many cannot. So that’s an important benefit.

Craig: Another change another update here is that I said invested the debt also part of this partnership was was also announced in the press release. Was that Envestnet’s their newly launched data and analytics wealth platform, which we’re calling Wealth Data Platform, WDP is going be integrated into FNZ’s platform. So they’re sharing systems and data back and forth. between them. Now, we’re excited to see Envestnet’s wealth data platform, being so into data as we are at Ezra Group, we’re always looking for more benefits for broker dealers, advisors, asset managers, large RIAs, RIA aggregators, TAMPs and other firms to be able to access their own data and be able to use it and ways to provide analytics and aspects actions and better business management. So offering the Envestnet platform back to FNZ, and their global customer base and also FNZ is looking to get a foothold in the US which is another interesting aspect of this deal.

Craig: FNZ also signed a partnership agreement with State Street to to launch businesses that are backed by State Street’s custody to high net worth, and other trust businesses in the US, because FNZ doesn’t have much business on the wealth side besides Appway, when it comes to US companies. So FNZ and Envestnet do compete in that aspect that FNZ, I believe has their eyes on Envestnet’s business in the US, but now they’re partnering. So another part of the coopetition which we’ve seen since I’ve been in the industry, over 30 years, we’ve always seen competition firms that have to work together while they’re still competing. So seeing they I have scheduled a call with Envestnet they reached out to me when this press release went out, but I couldn’t get the call scheduled before the news was being recorded. So hopefully they’ll have some more information. And I’ll include that in the news next month.


Craig: Next story up on the news round up, XYPN live. XY Planning Network is an organization of fee only financial advisors who specialize in working with Gen X and Gen Y clients. They offer comprehensive resources to help financial planners run better and more successful businesses. They’ve been around for over eight years and went from just 30 members when they started. Now they’re up to 1600 members. This sort of looks to me like a loosely affiliated broker dealer with the number of services they offer. They they aim to provide a turnkey solution for planners before they launched the business for firms in their first year. And for businesses that have existed for multiple years.

Craig: In the last session I was at the conference with the two founders Michael Kitces and Alan Moore. And I think they showed some data that show that the firms that are have been in business for multiple years have were the ones who started with XYPN in the very beginning. They haven’t gotten a large portion of new businesses that are already existing but they tend to keep the the startup businesses that grow bigger for a long time. It’s interesting a group of firms that an advisors and fee only planners that have joined the network and stay with it.

Craig: Their support system includes technology compliance, education marketing. At this conference, they just launched their virtual advisor and that virtualizer sorry, virtual admin, virtual admins through XYPN, with all pre pre designed packages of services with X number of hours. I imagine what the admins already trained on how to work with financial planners very cool suite of services. There was a full trade floor of vendors of all different products and software. It looked like a real trade show. I had my first event at XYPN I was impressed with the whole setup, how smoothly things ran some of the sessions and oh by the way at that asked me anything event, which was towards the end of the conference, there was over 500 people in that room, listening to Michael and Alan answer questions and answered everything. Whatever came up, they were they were tweeting live, I think or posting live to the app questions and some of them were pretty funny. They took all questions and answered everything as honestly as I could.

Craig: I participated in one of the events what they call, which they called the AdvisorTech Expo. And it is they do this every year where they bring in vendors that are new I think someone’s got to fact check me on this show check beforehand. There I believe they have to be have been in business for less than a year have less than a million dollars and or have less than a million dollars in revenue. Looking for small firms, startup firms to give presentations, and then they pick a winner. I believe everyone who is attending the demos picks a winner and they get and the winner of the AdvisorTech Expo gets a free booth and next year’s XYPN life.

Craig: We’ll quickly go through the vendors, tell you a little bit about each one and then I’ll tell you who won. There were seven vendors, three of them were what I would call financial planning light type or financial planning alternatives, wellness type of application, so do them first. The first one was Lumiant and they call himself a digital engagement tool. They offer fact finding gold based venture planning retirement tools tasks, nudging a document vault, and one of their benefits is they believe they can reach out to the what they call the non CFO spouse which I thought was very cool, because a lot of times many, many advisors kind of focus only on the CFO spouse or the spouse that earns the money and the other spouse gets ignored so if products like Lumiant can help advisors reach out to the other spouse or the other partner in the relationship and help help them understand financial wellness and other types of aspects of the financial lives. It can engage and empower clients increase referrals increase revenue and retention all around, but it’s difficult to be in this particular space since it is a bit amorphous. It’s not full on financial planning, like MoneyGuidePro, eMoney, Right Capital, rather a light tool.A lot of it has to do with onboarding, gathering a lot of information when the clients first meet with the advisor to understand them, which is again, great tools and great to have. It’s just a difficult space to be in. So the first vendor that came up was Lumiant we liked their demo, like what they had to show.

Craig: Second product is called Savology for advisors. Again, another there they call themselves a modern financial wellness platform. They offer tools for data gathering prospecting, data collection, user onboarding, and they also have financial literate financial literacy tools. So again, very similar in what they’re offering for advisors and how they present their product because the products look very different. They all try to encourage nudge, better habits, help advisors nudge better habits with the clients, and they try to offer one platform that no Savology has some more advanced planning features. They have some financial coaching involved. Again, both both tools have goals based planning. They offer options directly to individuals so that so Savology also has a B2C component. So it makes things a little different there.

Craig: The third financial planning light platform is Income Lab’s Life Hub, this was a pretty cool product. They have good retirement income planning, plan monitoring, but also this decumulation planning, which I thought was interesting. The way their tools work, it looks like a sort of a mini flowchart, and they show a lot of data across the screen and how clients financial lives work through income assets, expenses, liabilities, all on one screen gets kind of busy, but all the advisors I spoke to who have seen it, like the way it works, it’s all color coded. And you can see things flowing through the client’s financial lives again, all on one page. So it makes it easy for advisors to explain to clients here’s how everything’s working the tax center, they have some more deep in depth planning again, I don’t believe that this tool is designed to replace MoneyGuidePro, eMoney, but it’s supposed to enhance it, or maybe be used for clients that don’t need a full on financial plan.

Craig: So those are the three applications in that category. There was another great application that we saw was called Hubly, and in the notes on this podcast will include links to all these companies websites. Hubly is a CRM enhancement tool. So workflow automation tool, from what I can see from it. And they showed a demo of it sitting on top of red tail enhancing and improving the way you work with your CRM. To me it looked like it was almost disintermediating the CRM because you spent most of your time in the Hubly tool, and less and less time in Redtail. They have their discovery data gathering. They have an onboarding view, they have a client check in tool, they have age based rules so you can set things up to say to let me know which clients maybe are reaching age 50 and need to do a catch up Ira contribution. That’s a Hubly use case. They also have something called Client cards. And in the client card, it surfaces a lot of Redtail data client data to client tags notes, you can access your Redtail client list. So you sort of putting this interface on top of red tail and you can use tag groups you can manually add things like up, you can schedule future workflows, add different types of accounts. Now there are things that Hubly doesn’t do, such as logging clients in, actually sending an email, doing calendars that you need to go back to Redtail or your CRM for that. But there’s a lot of interesting tools that hopefully can offer you as more advanced workflow that you may like better than Redtail. So check them out.

Craig: Another product that was demoing at the AdvisorTech Expo. As part of XYPN live was VRGL. And that’s just four letters, they do a cool thing, they extract data from client PDF statements. They can do performance contribution attribution throughout, they can do risk calculation including multi factor models real time scenarios. They pull the clients asset and factor base exposure across all the accounts if you have multiple accounts with multiple PDFs, they claim they can unravel layered fees and show their drives on performance which could be very helpful for advisors trying to pitch their differentiation to prospective clients. They described their product as a quantitative solution to the tax optimization puzzle. They offer some tax transition strategies, and they have goals of accelerating advisors revenue by 50% so it looks like a very interesting program. Every advisor seems to get PDF files with their clients or prospective clients account statements. So pumping them through VRGL can reduce the amount of time it takes to build a proposal for a client and hopefully generate more revenue bring more clients on board.

Craig: The next to last application is called Econiq and their product is the conversation hub for financial advice. This is a client meeting management tool designed for enterprises and large RIAs and it has some very interesting features. One is it is built on top of a custom designed web recording or web sharing screen sharing tool, sort of like a Zoom video conferencing tool so but it’s their own built in so it replaces Zoom and it’s very cool. It’s more modern looking gives you more functionality. You can see the different people that are on the meeting, and then you can build your own agendas for the meetings. They have different templates that allow you to customize and white label these agendas. The agendas have different color coding for different parts of the meeting. So it’s easy for the adviser to walk through different things and make sure they don’t forget what they have to tell the client and different questions they want to ask them or different parts of the clients venture life they want to pay attention to. And it all walks through on the screen and color coded. It then links into the CRM. So your tasks get updated. Very interesting product. Just take a look at them. They also have a proprietary scoring methodology called MQ or meeting quotient to let you know if your advisors are having productive meetings or not.

Craig: The last application is called Sora Finance, they describe themselves as an always on debt optimization tool that gives advisors the ability to view full loan pictures for the clients in one place. So Sora looks at the opposite of what most advisors do, which is they look at the investments and assets soar looks at debt. They look at loans, home loans, elocks, auto loans, student loans, and they try to find better deals. Automatically through AI is an AI based debt management tool. They’re built they claim they provide a lot of value for clients. They have better access to to lenders. The advisors are charged 100 bucks a month for advisors scaling down for large firms and they claim they have been able to bring rates down by 30% or more for the customers By comparing different lenders and saw a finance one the AdvisorTech Expo at XYPN live so they’re gonna get a free booth next year at XYPN live 2023 And you can check them out. Sora Finance, you can Google them.

Riskalyze Announces Client Acquisition and Engagement Growth Platform Enhancements at 2022 Fearless Investing Summit

Craig: Next up in conference news Riskalyze Fearless Investing Summit was also held last month in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah. And some of the news that came out of the conference Riskalyze announces client acquisition and engagement growth platform enhancements. So I’m going to give myself a pat on the back back in February of 2017, so almost six years ago, I wrote an article about Riskalyze when they launched their model marketplace, and they already had a number of other products that were non risk related. They were already expanding into tangential areas, and the advisor workflow, and I said it’s time Riskalyze needs to change their name. Because being Riskalyze, if you’re just doing risk is great, but if you’re also doing client check ins and you’re doing meetings and you’re doing model marketplace, and then you’re doing other things like the autopilot, which is portfolio rebalancing, you’re no longer just risk and the word Riskalyze, well, it’s a great name and it’s because a great brand. It’s not enough to represent what your platform is. Well, that was so six years ahead of my time.

Craig: Aaron Klein, CEO and co founder of Riskalyze at the conference from the big stage announced he teased us tease us there will be a name change coming in 2023. It wasn’t he wasn’t didn’t wasn’t forthcoming with what the name will be. But it sounded like there’ll be a holding company similar to what I wrote in 2017. Like what Google did with alphabet, they created the alphabet holding company. And then Google was just one of the products under alphabets holding company and it sounds like Riskalyze will be doing the same. So new name will come out as a new company Riskalyze will still be a product and maybe the launch other products underneath it. They’ve got so many products now. They’ve got the compliance tool, which they call command center, and they also Riskalyze ultimate. They’ve got their portfolio statistics, they’ve got discovery snapshot now. They’ve got a lot of other things. So these might all be rolled into risk lies or just separate companies we don’t know. But it’s a great it’s a great way to go they need to to expand because they are more than just risk and the positioning if you read the press release and also during the conference their their branding, and their messaging is now industry leading growth platform for wealth management firms. So they’re pushing the growth platform that their firm is no longer they’re no longer describing themselves as a risk tolerance tool or anything like that. They’re talking about a growth platform so it gives them a lot of room to expand into almost any aspect of the advisors workflow.

Craig: Aaron talked about their fourth pillar that they’re adding. The first one is what the calling maintains consistent client experience, which I’m gathering is around the risk tool. And their check ins and some of their light financial planning where they’ve got some goals and some expense calculations, and then provides insights which is another part of those tools. Then they’ve got the compliance, which has expanded and done pretty well in terms of them selling into enterprise accounts. And the fourth pillar of their growth platform is now just called empowers growth. So they’re looking to help grow advisors businesses, they announced updates to see five six different parts of the system check ins so they added a new check and experience which is their email Hey, do you like the market? Do you not like the market? Very quick, easy to question questionnaire, and then they’re pulling that and rolling that up into a dashboard. So you can see across all your clients, which ones first of all, responded to your check in? And what did they answer either? Yes, yes or no? Yes or yes, no. And that gives you different advice as to whether you should in fact, if it’s anyone who answers the survey you should call was what their basic requirement was, but some of them if they answered no, no, that they’re upset about the market and upset where things are going. You need to call them even quicker. They announced account groups a new way to to group accounts for reporting for their portfolio management tool for their doing reporting on different time horizons for goals. It’s a it’s a common functionality that almost every full featured wealth management platform that’s primarily portfolio management reporting has some way to group accounts, even just to simply do it for reporting. It’s a requirement.

Craig: They announced a feature called tax drag, taxes are a huge driver of sales in the portfolio management costs in the tamp space when it comes to tax transition. You’re bringing in accounting from another broker dealer and you need to transition them over to your models. You want to do that in a most tax efficient way. When you’re buying assets is securities into multiple accounts usually clients that have both taxable and non taxable accounts. Asset location is very important for taxes. So knowing where to put your bonds that are throwing off steady streams of income and where to put your stocks that you’re gonna be holding for multiple years that it’s very important to put them into the right location can have a tremendous impact on taxes. So they’re offering this tax drag metric, were along with the risk number, and the risk loss GPA. And these are all great intellectual property assets for Riskalyze.

Craig: The Risk Number is something that was associated with Riskalyze. Now their GPA for portfolio analytics tool and other tax dry goals for measuring the tax liability. I know that life yield has something similar they have a tax efficient number I became and then the tax efficient where you’re, it’s analyzing the taxable efficiency of a portfolio. And also the other part another important part of taxes when you’re rebalancing. You want to rebalance in the most tax efficient way watch out for wash sales, netting across accounts if you can. And then when you’re in the accumulation phase of life, and you’re selling down assets also to do that, in the most tax efficient ways. There’s a lot of room for risk likes to build out more tax tools. Tax drag, is just one metric and also take taking these metrics as intellectual property and then applying it across other parts of their business, for example, in their portfolio, investment analytics tools, which they launched last year. One’s called discovery for filtering looking through different types of assets and building portfolios. Being able to filter assets based on the proprietary numbers and tools that Riskalyze is launching. So you can give me the the assets that have the lowest risk number or that when they when they put them together give me the best risk score when I build my portfolio from my my discovery tool, now show me the GPA of that portfolio showing the tax drag of that possible portfolio. So all these different metrics are proprietary to Riskalyze. So it makes it the advisors who are using the platform stickier because they’re gonna get used to building portfolios using these proprietary metrics.

Craig: They launched a snapshot report, which is a one page side by side report comparing advisory fee expense ratios and tax drag in a current or proposed full portfolio. We always call that as part of a proposal and risk was also as a very good proposal. system, which is kind of an under the radar. I think they don’t talk about a lot, but a lot of advisors use their proposal proposal generation module, and one part of Prop Gen is current versus proposed or current versus target portfolio. A very important part of a proposal he telling the client here’s your current portfolio, which by definition, if you’re going to new advisor, they’re gonna tell you sucks. Hey, here’s your current portfolio. Here’s why it sucks. Whatever you can pull out whether it’s risk or dispersion, or other aspects of it, you’re gonna have to say the current portfolio sucks. And here’s the new portfolio target portfolio. To put you in and how wonderful it is. So you need that proposed in most portfolios, now Riskalyze has it.

Craig: They added some features in the discovery tool as well, which is they’re part of their investment analytics. They added filters for fixed income important to have the whole aspect of the investing they didn’t have when they were always supporting equities and other fixed income. And they also cover securities such as separately managed accounts and bond funds, huge addition to the discovery tool. And they have the added feature to their command center, which is mainly mainly compliance and this was a big thing that was missing for many years when you have risk across 1000s of portfolios on a roll them up. I want to see across my portfolios in one dashboard, what risk is going on where am I trending and other things that are happening? And finally they announced some updates to their Riskalyze ultimate platform, which is one of their packages of tools. So we’ve got a couple of packages that advisors can purchase that build in a bunch of modules for a certain price and ultimate is what they’re calling their flagship offering which is everything so top of the line Riskalyze growth platform tools that integrate with CRM federal planning, there and another word that Aaron Klein use when stages get the flywheel spinning. A great term we use a lot, talking to businesses how they grow and getting that flywheel spinning hard to turn the flywheel which is going it’s hard to stop it and Riskalyze sees that as well.

Craig: The last final thing I want to thank Riskalyze for giving Ezra Group a shout out from the mainstage and they were talking about their Ezra Group WealthTech Integration Score and risk score to perfect 10 out of 10. So we want everyone to know about that. And I would encourage all firms to talk about, whether you’re as a group, wealth tech integration score, and also I believe about my notes here, Riskalyze also launched a new integration kit for financial planning apps that enable launching a plan from Riskalyze setting date and also pulling data from planning. We’re always encouraging firms to build more two way bi directional integrations. It gives you a better integration score, first of all, but also it’s better for advisors, broker dealers RIAs, everyone using integrations, you want bi directional integration. It just makes it easier to to move data back and forth. It’s going to provide a more seamless experience for advisors, improve your workflows. So that’s a top of the review for the Riskalyze Fearless Investment Summit.

FMG and Catchlight Partner to Give Financial Advisors an “Easy Button” to Deliver Personalized Prospect Communications

Craig: All right, our next story FMG and Catchlight partner to give financial advisors an easy button to deliver personalized prospect communications. I like this announcement. Of course, I’d like any announcement where firms are integrating and sharing data and building better solutions together. We need more of this. I love the Catchlight solution, they’re a new company launched out of Fidelity Labs and they are a lead insights engine. It’s a part of the whole lead generation digital marketing workflow that’s missing. And what they do is they enrich these profiles of advisors leads enrich the pipeline that advisors have with deep demographic data and they highlight those that are most likely to convert. And it’s AI based and I did some investigation, some due diligence, they are actually using AI not one of those firms that just say hey, we have AI was not. It is AI based application using it’s been trained on more than 100,000 successful client conversions, to show which which parts of a prospects financial life are most likely to indicate that they will convert, become a client of an advisor. It’s a very good tool, they’ve got a proprietary scoring algorithm based on that, that ranks all of the prospects in an advisors pipeline and from high to low for most likely convert to least likely so if you have dozens and dozens of prospects that have maybe reached out to you touched you in some way through a either a webinar or read an email or clicked on social posts, which ones they speak to, firstly, a limited time. The catch light score can tell you where to focus in what order super helpful. I see that being a major benefit to advisors who are using it in terms of efficiency and growth, focusing on growth.

Craig: So what is this partnership between Catchlight and FMG? So FMG is one of the the leading providers of digital marketing platforms focused in the financial advisory space but they also do insurance agents. They are certainly the largest provider in the enterprise space. They’re the one of the largest providers in the RIA space, great company, they’ve they’ve built their business or both organically and in organically over time. You can always just Google and go to their website FMGsuite.com and Catchlight is at Catchlight.ai, if you want to check out catch light. So what is this partnership doing? What so what Catchlight has is the lead score, well, they don’t have is content. So FMG has a huge collection of content, whether they’re email templates, blog posts, social media posts, articles, other things. They’ve got content that they’ve developed. FMG has her own content development team. So they build out content specifically for the clients of advisors in different niches things that clients prospective clients might be interested based on their profession, based on their hobbies based on their family, their age, things like that. So they’ve got all this contents all tagged. So you know which particular content might be interesting to a particular type of Prospect can be some age income objectives. Or other different traits. So now we’re going to match these two, we’re taking the lead score. When an advisor is looking at their prospect list, you’ve got the lead score, it’s not going to match up with the FMG content. And in Catchlight’s, they’ve got a very nice dashboard, you should take a look at it. They also integrate with CRM so they can surface their data into the CRM so it’s all in one place. You’re also going to show the FMG content that will be most likely to entice that particular prospect and why you should send it very helpful. We were looking for we love tools, technologies that reduce the number of decisions are then research and advisor has to do and just gives them decisions here, click here or click here. You don’t have to do the research. You don’t have to look through hundreds of pieces of content to find the right one that you think would be interesting to your clients or your prospects. We’ve already done it for you here. Just click here and in this order great time saver. There’s a reference to a McKinsey Report that is personalized marketing tools can live revenues 5-15% and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10-30% There’s the old adage, half of my marketing budget is wasted, I just don’t know which half, it’s true for advisors as well and if this content works, if this connection works, then it’s going to increase the efficiency of the time and effort that advisors spending on marketing by 10-30% or even more. If you’re inefficient, then you get is going to save you a lot more.

Craig: And from what we’ve seen, most advisors aren’t very efficient when it comes to their marketing strategy. We’ve done a lot of research at Ezra Group in the digital marketing space excuse me in the digital marketing space. And one of the the survey results that come up a lot is more than I think 40% of advisors just don’t even have a digital marketing strategy. They’re just floundering, going from idea to idea and doing some things that they think are working and maybe not. So having a digital marketing strategy using a company like FMG to help you with that strategy. And then partnering with tools like catch light will help advisors improve the efficiency and grow their businesses. So we’re looking, we like this partnership between FMG and Catchlight. 

Pulse360 Brings the Latest Artificial Intelligence Technology to Help Advisors Communicate Concisely and Clearly

Craig: Next story in the news Pulse360 brings the latest artificial intelligence technology to help advisors communicate more concisely and clearly more AI news. We love AI news. We love artificial intelligence and how it’s going to help advisors and the rest of the wealth management industry. Another example of real AI not fake AI like we see a lot of firms doing pulse 360 is offering featured a Pulse360, you can check them out Pulse360.com They are advisor client meeting organizational efficiency tool. If you are an advisor and you have meetings with clients, as all advisors do, you need Pulse360 to organize your meetings, build the agendas, organize the data you’re going to be talking about run the meeting. Deliver a customized communications after the meeting. Update you’re automatically update tasks in your CRM kick off workflows in your CRM save tremendous amounts of time.

Craig: For these critical tasks, you need to have the client meetings, why not do them more efficiently with Pulse360 part of their tool they just announced is something called rephrase. It is an AI based tool that summarizes text. So you have blocks of text paragraphs of text pages of text you want to communicate to the client, your clients. It could be about retirement, it could be about particular types of assets or particular types of accounts, or whatever you want to communicate to the client about. Rephrase will summarize using AI natural language processing and tremendous amounts of learning on lots of other communications and looking at how humans summarize text. The AI now can do that. I tested it. It works great. I wish I had it for my business. I’m not an advisor, unfortunately, but we’d love to have this type of product. For what I’m writing emails. I’m trying to write long emails. It wasn’t getting too long. I would love to be able to summarize. Just in a couple of sentences. There’s long block of text or paragraph body paragraphs in in a simple way.

Craig: So the Pulse360 rephrase what they’re saying it eases writer’s block makes it easier to write shorter, more precise communications to your clients. You can check it out Pulse360.com There was one other comment I wanted to make here. Pulse three sixty.com If I can find my notes here okay, we got so using rephrase to write better faster. You can see on their websites a demo of this. There’s a screen recording that shows you how it works. If you want more information, it can on Pulse360.com. So making it easier. It also makes it non technical. So it reduces the technical difficulty of the reading and no there’s a number of statistical metrics on texts that show you the level of education you might need to understand. I know I need to read it below high school level personally, I prefer writing in eighth grade. I do check sometimes check my writing to see that it’s at least eighth grade or lower, not because people are unintelligent, but because it’s just difficult to read when we’re all reading so many emails every day. You don’t want to send out very dense or technically dense or dense communication to people. It’s just too hard for our brains to to consume. So this the software that’s built into Pulse360 makes it concise, it expands anything you written, wrote that was in shorthand and puts it out into a non technical way. So I would check these guys out Pulse360.com and the Rephrase AI tool

Kitces-Ezra and Ezra Group Wealthtech Integration Score Update

Craig: And wrapping up the news as we always do is updates the Kitces-Ezra Group advisor tech map and the Ezra Group Wealthtech Integration Scores. So let’s take a look at what is new. We’ve got, I believe nine new companies that had been added to the Kitces-Ezra Group map. They are let’s see Alt Exchange, which is going from supporting Apex Clearing and Entrustody that are going into custodial platforms. Projection lab planning light, Sora, which is going to specialize planning other, Denim Social is going to digital marketing, I believe Careful is going into specialized planning as well. And then we have Ramsey Smartvestor is going to advise a lead tech and Savvy Social Security is going into specialized planning retirement.

Craig: What we’re seeing in the trends around the map is more companies around specialized planning more companies available looking for new niches in specialized planning which is great for advisors, advisors are flocking to these tools. One reason we see that is they want some differentiation and just using MoneyGuidePro, eMoney, Right Capital, any other full featured planning tool is great, but they want more in very specific niche areas. Whether it’s retirement planning, whether it’s health care planning, whether it’s planning for aged family members, all these different tools are offering a lot more for advisors to deliver to clients. So we’re seeing all these different planning tools come around we’re also seeing a lot of light planning, financial wellness, things I talked about in the XYPN segment of the news. There was a couple of I think two or three firms there that were what we call life planning or wellness platforms. And these are more client we have these under client engagement on the map, because they’re sort of doing a lot of different things that help advisors connect with clients in different ways, whether it’s color coding, walking through different parts of the business. And then leaving the advisors into conversations with the client reminds me I wanted to mention this during the XYPN and segment I forgot, reminds me of United Capital before they were sold to Goldman had built their own onboarding tool called Money Mind. And I had think they had a couple of the tools as well. That were designed to help advisors gather information from clients and build a relationship with them by walking them through sort of a gamified version of the onboarding process. And that was very, very successful. So I think a lot of firms are are copying that in different ways trying to help advisors. Launch conversation with different types of clients. In order to build that relationship was the very first thing you work with the client I was on his onboarding. And if that experience is good, they’re more likely to stay. So we’ve got those.

Craig: Those are the updates for the map. If you have any viewer or new vendor and you want to be added to the map, send an email to Adam@Kitces.comand the the Ezra Group WealthTech Integration score. We’re a couple weeks behind so we’re gonna be adding the vendors that came on board the on the map last month. So you’ll see those coming on this month. And you’ll see these vendors coming in a couple of weeks because takes us a little while to do our due diligence on these vendors and get their scores going. So you’ll see those in the Ezra Group map.

Craig: Also, there’s gonna be some slight tweaking to the map. We’re tweaking the methodology a little bit on depth and breadth. So we’ll be announcing that in I think two weeks you’ll see what the difference is. Just going to slightly changed some scores a bit. And also big news, the Ezra Group WealthTech Integration score is going live on the Kitces advisor tech directory. So he’s lots of Kitces-Ezra things in this this and this discussion but Michael Kitces on his website kitces.com has the advisor tech directory, which is an interactive tool for free anyone can use to look at all of the applications that are on the map, as well as all of their secondary categories, where the map only shows primary category. The directory shows secondary so for example, a firm like invest that their full feature platform, their Tamarack platform, whether an enterprise platform has, dozen or more different categories that’s covered. We don’t show those on the map. We put them in the directory where the Michael does. This is Michael’s area. I did help them a little bit with it. That’s his baby Levi’s tech directory in the directory, I believe they’re going to be showing a kid says advisor satisfaction rating for each vendor, which they got from their server they did last year. And you can you can find it also on kids.com. And they’re also going to show for every vendor, the Ezra Group WealthTech Integration score.

Craig: So when you’re looking at different applications, you can search by them filter categorized by them, or when you looking into applications coming down to the wire, which one do I pick, you can look at the as well thick integration score and help you decide. So it’s going to be launching this month on Kitces.com. That’s our updates. Thanks again for listening, made all the way through another episode of the program. Please go to our website as EzraGroupllc.com scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and sign up for our newsletter. Every month you’ll receive an email chock full of wealth management, goodness news, analysis updates links, you will not be disappointed. Thanks again for listening and talk to you again next time.



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