Ep. 167: Dimensional Launches New SMA Platform to Expand Advisor Toolkit

Come on in and sit back relax, you’re listening to Episode 167 of the WealthTech Today podcast. I’m your host, Craig Iskowitz, founder of Ezra Group Consulting and this podcast features interviews, news and analysis on the trends and best practices all around Wealth Management Technology.  

Much of this technology is designed to support managed accounts, which is one of our areas of expertise, fee-based managed account platforms. Separately managed accounts, SMAs, have consistently been one of the largest programs by AUM, recently reaching $1.5 trillion out of over $9 trillion in managed account assets, according to Cerulli Associates. A great article from my friends at ThinkAdvisor, Managed Account Assets Are Exploding, a major driver of asset growth in SMAs is growing demand by advisors to deliver a greater degree of customization for their clients. SMAs provide opportunities for advisors to take advantage of tax loss harvesting, among other things, within client portfolios adding things like restrictions based on client preferences such as not buying specific stocks or stocks in specific industries or sectors. Asset managers are introducing more SMAs in order to stay competitive, according to this article, and one of the best ways to do that is to get advisors at home offices maximum vehicle flexibility. 

So this is what this podcast is about, SMAs being launched by asset managers. There’s a recent history of asset managers over the past few years launching their own SMAs including Fidelity, Putnam, American Century, Natixis, and Voya to name a few.

Today’s episode is another asset manager, DFA, Dimensional Fund Advisors launching their own technology for advisors to invest their client assets in DFA SMAs. I found this to be interesting because we drill down into the platform, understand the technology, why DFA built their own technology, why it’s better for advisors and why they plan to use it. 

Before we get into the interview, if you are listening now you’re an executive at a broker dealer, an asset manager or an enterprise RIA you should run not walk to a 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 vendor evaluations systems integrations, improving operational efficiency, software implementations and a whole lot more. You can take advantage of our free initial consultation offer by going to EzraGroupllc.com. Now, let’s kick this thing off.

Topics Mentioned

  • Expanding Client Segments
  • New SMA Platform
  • Tax Transitions
  • Integrations Into Advisor Tools
  • Competing With TAMPs
  • Trading SMAs
  • SMA Trends
  • Product Roadmap

Episode Transcript

Craig: I am excited to introduce our next two guests on the program who are both from Dimensional Fund Advisors. First we have Lisa Dallmer. Chief Operating Officer. Hi, Lisa.

Lisa: Hi there. Thanks for having me.

Craig: And we also have Shawn Jaberzadeh, VP of Enterprise Client Group. Hi, Shawn.

Shawn: Hey, great. Thanks for having us. Really excited to have the conversation.

Craig: I’m so glad you guys are here. I’m so glad to talk to some people from Dimensional. We’ve worked with you guys before him and you guys are really well known in the industry. But since you guys are both in different locations, and I’m in where I’m going to third location, so we’re all spread out which is a great thing about Zoom. Shawn, can you please give us for anyone who’s been living under a rock and doesn’t know Dimensional Fund Advisors, the 30-second elevator pitch?

Shawn: Yeah, absolutely, Dimensional Fund Advisors is a pioneer in systematic investing globally across public stock and bond markets. For over 40 years, we’ve really led the industry in being able to bridge the gap between financial science that’s being done in the realms of academia. And actually delivering real life solutions for advisors and financial professionals so that they can then deploy those on behalf of their end investors. And more specifically, we work with independent financial advisors to ensure that we’re supporting the growth in their business, the communication they have with our clients so that they can continue to have scalable and profitable businesses as well.

Expanding Client Segments

Craig: Thanks, Shawn. We’re here to talk about some of the technology that Dimensional has launched recently. But one of the things that everyone knows about Dimensional is you’ve you’ve been very well integrated into the independent RIA space, but recently has expanded into other client segments. Can you talk about the results of this and how Dimensional’s audience has changed over the years?managed account platform

Shawn: Yeah, absolutely. And I’ll maybe take a step back. Dimensional started its roots in the institutional marketplace. Working with institutions, foundations and endowments in the early 1980s. And in the early 90s, as you just suggested, Craig, we expanded on working with some of the earliest financial professionals in the independent advice movement. But as the years went on, and I would say the marketplace of companies out there really caught up with the independent movement. You saw that you can have independent financial advisors, not just in the RIA space, but through independent broker dealers or even ones in other wirehouse situations. I think Dimensional has had a very robust platform to serve independently minded financial professionals.

Shawn: And where you find those independent professionals has expanded over the years. Our solutions, as well as our service offering beyond the investments themselves, has allowed us to meet those folks where they need to be met. And what’s been really great about that is that sometimes comes in the form of different types of investment solutions, whether you’re talking about private wealth markets for high net worth clients, or the mass affluent, that can mean things in the retirement space. And that also means having to innovate globally as well. We’ve had the good fortune of taking that foundation that you alluded to, but expanding across many, many more financial professionals. And that’s important because one of the hallmarks of what we’re trying to achieve at the firm is getting this investment approach that we believe increases the probability of investment success for end investors in the hands of as many of them as we can. And so those financial professionals have been amazing partners for us in that endeavor.

New SMA Platform

Craig: One of the other things that we do a lot of as is work with firms on build versus buy decisions around technology. And it’s always interesting how they decide whether to do that. One thing I want to talk about is your separately managed account platform that was recently launched by DFA, can you explain why you guys decided to build it versus buy it or rented from another platform provider?managed account platform

Lisa: Sure, Craig, it’s a good question. And every company faces this in all industries, what do we build versus what do we buy. And I think the starting place is really to understand what is your core competency? What is it that is your secret sauce? And if you if it’s important that that secret sauce be the thing that the client interacts with and the client interfaces with very directly, then that’s the piece you want to build yourself. You can buy a lot of components for technology. But the pace of evolution of the piece of software technology as in our SMA center, for example, the client and the advisor directly interact with that’s where our secret sauce is stitched into the process. It’s very important that we that we build that ourselves, and we can then control the timing of certain functionality release the timing of when we bring out certain products, and we’re not reliant on a third party software agreement.

Craig: All good points of some of the recommendations we offer to firms as well. When you built this technology, what is it integrated with and what other parts of the DFA ecosystem does it interact with?

Lisa: Well, since we have a singular investment process and a singular investment theory, whether we’re doing it in a mutual fund, whether we’re doing it for a separately managed institutional account, or these smaller, separately managed accounts where we lower the minimum investment, we were implementing the same investment theory. We need to connect to the same decision making software that we built proprietary over the years for our systematic investing that Shawn mentioned. Whether it’s the price information, whether it’s the tax lot information, whether it’s the performance and the attribution, calculation information, to see what’s happening in the portfolio, trade execution. All of the technology framework that we use, we we try to operate in a scalable operating model. This new SMA technology had to basically be able to connect to all of that.

Lisa: One of the different features was though that we were doing it at a smaller account size and that was very different. And we were taking in as clients bring us an account, sometimes they fund with cash, sometimes they fund with securities and when they fund with securities, we’ve got to onboard that historical tax lot information. And tracking that and pulling that in, that’s one example of some differences.

Lisa: But quite frankly, from our perspective, as Shawn mentioned it and called it our “science of investing”, that’s consistent no matter what vehicle we’re we’re doing, we’re deploying it to whether it’s a institutional separate account, whether it’s a mutual fund, or in this case, separately managed account for an advisor that’s very specific to their client’s needs. We had to hook into the full operating model and make some adjustments to be able to do that and then do that at scale. In this type of product of an offering.

Shawn: Yeah, Craig and what I’ll add is Lisa mentioned the user experience and so for many decades, Dimensional has had an advisor site and that advisor site housed is a lot of proprietary research that we share with our clientele, academic research that might be in collaboration with others, analytics, model building resources. Instead, what we actually did from a user perspective, is we created the SMA Center Lisa mentioned a few minutes ago, and we integrated into that advisor site. Now the advisor site becomes a one stop shop where an advisor can come in, learn about Dimensional, model out portfolios, decide if a separate account should be a part of the solution for their clients, and step seamlessly into the SMA Center. And from there, they can build an SMA proposal, which comes with deliverables that they can show to a client to help make the case for the trade offs for that decision. They can launch the SMA from there, they can request things like monthly reports, and they can request support for it.

Shawn: Technology is important. But then sitting right behind that is when there’s someone that is essentially signaling two Dimensional that they need to have a proposal delivered to them, to Lisa’s point have a tax position analysis delivered to them a report or a customer request, such as a cash redemption, a change in the management of the portfolio. We created a lot of additional infrastructure, the firm, we’re from the advisor site, there’s direct linkage to our separate account Solutions team, or then quarterbacking so many of the work that happens behind the scenes. I think that’s been seamless, both for the end user and for Dimensional internally because we needed to be sure many people can work effectively together. To be sure that Lisa’s point we can profitably and sustainably deliver everything. We’ve done it for 40 years, but in a far lower minimum. And we’ve been getting really positive feedback which has been very gratifying.

Tax Transitions

Craig:  Now I have a lot of questions. You brought up a number of interesting issues about the SMA center.  You’re talking about funding accounts with securities, that’s via ACAT, they’re transferring securities in can they hold those securities and sell them down over time? Is there a tax transition part of this process?

Shawn: Yeah, absolutely. To paint a picture, going back to user design. We hired user design experts to help think through how we wanted to design user experience. We got feedback from actual financial professionals through to advisory councils that we ran for a year leading up to the launch, so we can refine it over time. You first select a starting strategy, the dimension is designed for you. Then you move into your customization levers. And to your point one of those levers is tax management.

Shawn: If you do have a funding source being securities, we give you four customization levers, no tax management, if you have a non taxable account, like an IRA, that you’re actually using to a separate account solution, or three different levers of tax management across light, standard and aggressive and what we’re doing there is although it is systematic and scalable for Dimensional to execute, we wanted the control of the emphasis on tax management, whether pre-tax or after-tax to be in the hands of the financial professional.

Shawn: They get to tell us whether they want Dimensional every single day to gear the management of the portfolio towards higher pre-tax returns, which means that you can keep the design of the portfolio kind of exactly where you want it to be. Whether you want to have a balance between the portfolio design and the tax management that Dimensional doing on your client’s behalf, or that we should have a very low threshold for going after tax loss harvesting activity as an example. And so the portfolio might start looking a little bit different over time, but you’re telling us that the client has a very high sensitivity to taxes, and so the control is with them, but then we have a very scalable way to execute it on the back end for them every single day.

Shawn: We’ve developed the platform such that it’s not a setting and forget it as a client circumstances change across tax, environmental, social governance, proxy voting, or individual security or sector restrictions. As a financial professional, you could go back into the SMA Center, you can zoom into that account that might require a change. You can make what we call live account edits. We’ll run a another tax transition analysis for you so you can assess the trade offs of making those changes on behalf of your client. And then you give us the go ahead and once again in a very streamlined way. We’re off to the races making those changes over the course of the next few business days. A lot of flexibility built in to give a lot of the decision making power in the hands of the advisor.

Craig: I’m glad you mentioned that, I was going to ask do you show the analysis like what if like if I do this change what’s going to happen to my pre post tax results in my portfolio. You do have that, I think that’s something that some firms don’t have and are flying blind when they’re adding restrictions or other other things are changing about an account.

Shawn: The lenses that we provide are through the characteristics of the portfolio, the tax consequences of some of those trade off decisions and as an example, because one of the most important things is advisors trying to bridge the gap between what they believe their clients care about, and tangibly actually showing them. They’re meeting their client’s needs.

Shawn: As an example, if you have a client that is interested in a sustainability overlaid, customization in a separate account, we offer in our reporting, what’s called scope one and scope two greenhouse gas emission data visualization, so that an advisor can actually go back to their client and say, given what you told me you care about, here’s how some of the changes in the portfolio will actually impact the way that the portfolio constituency leads to its footprint, if you will, through a greenhouse gas perspective. And so we’ve taken a lot of care to be sure that we’re giving advisors the information they need so they can help their selves and their clients make informed decisions about the setup or changes in the future in the account.

Integrations Into Advisor Tools

Craig: That’s terrific. One other thing you mentioned was that it’s integrated this new SMA center is integrated into the advisor. That was a question I had that it wasn’t a separate application, switch screens go to a separate part of the website. It’s all in one area when they’re building it when they’re doing their analytics or doing their models. The billing proposal, they can switch in between SMAs and other securities.

Lisa: Yes, yes. And that was an important point, right? Advisors have a lot of tooling that they use for whether it is client onboarding, or risk profiling. And so this is very significant, I call it the swivel chair experience between applications and websites. And we wanted to build it in within our website so that it felt all part of the Dimensional experience. And so it was very much integrated into that front end, which meant we had to also integrate into the back end.

Lisa: Shawn pointed out the live account edit. That’s a great feature, whether it’s an ESG screen on carbon emissions, or let’s say, you set it up your client changes, jobs or industries and they want to change a industry they want to apply an industry screen, because they already feel like let’s say they’re an automotive executive, and they feel like they’re already exposed the automotive industry through their work and they want to screen that out.

Lisa: That is an example of those live account edits, that customization that we offer advisors and those changes we have we implemented technology within the tech stack. That’s called a message bus. That when those changes come in this technology called a message bus will send a message to other applications in the tech stack, about new events, new changes, so we we very much had to think about this kind of two way interaction that we were developing with the adviser through the front end that was all part of our existing interface with the client and the advisor, but it did require us to kind of think differently because we people were going to be literally saying, I want this I don’t want that. And it was gonna be captured in the technology, which we needed to make sure scalability connected to our infrastructure.

Competing With TAMPs

Craig: One of the things I find interesting about what you’ve done here, it’s kind of a move away from how DFA has operated in the past. You’re providing more services, and more capabilities, but you’re moving into an area where a lot of TAMPs offer very similar services where you can build your models, you build portfolios, you can mix and match different types of securities. You’ve got a team that background that can help you with portfolio with proposals. Do you see your service is competing with TAMPs? In some ways, and is that something you were concerned about when you built the SMA center?

Lisa: No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t say I don’t see ourselves as competing with TAMPs. We have a lot of relationships and we definitely value the role that the TAMPs play in the ecosystem for advisors, we’re not trying to book trades do settlement. We’re not an end to end technology or back office processing tool for an advisor. I would say that we are complementary. And actually, if anything, we are an example of why somebody would how this we’re an example of using technology to help the advisor do that which they want to do and do it better at a more customized level at a way that they can then explain and illustrate to their client. We’re complementary in the same way a TAMP is.

Shawn: And Craig, if you remember, I mentioned that we stood up to advisory councils leading up to the live launch of our program, and we actually had so the two groups were the first group were what I consider subject matter experts and separate accounts. Virtually every end client of that firm was getting a separate account. And the second group were kind of newer to the idea maybe had launched a few accounts, and it was a wonderful mix of perspective. We’re gaining. Well, in both of the groups, we actually had TAMPs that we’re a part of that advisory council feedback loop.

Shawn: And today, as a part of our launch clients, we serve several attempts. I think just going back to Lisa’s point about being complimentary, we took both independent RIAs folks through independent broker dealers and TAMP firms to ensure that the platform we’re building could serve a single individual RIA that’s doing everything for the firm, all the way to serving a TAMP. That has to serve hundreds of constituents and everyone in between. And I think that flexibility has served us well out of the gate and will continue to serve as well as far as where we take the program, but it’s been really exciting collaboration with the community.

Trading SMAs

Craig: Glad to hear that and everyone is both partners and competitors in some way. There’s a lot of competition going on whether you’re custodians or you’re an RIA platform vendor or your mutual fund. Another question I have is how do the SMAs get traded? If I’m on your SMA center and I want an SMA from Nuveen or an SMA from Safe Harbor, how does that get selected, put into my portfolio, how does it get executed and traded?

Shawn: Yeah, I’ll start I think Lisa might want to come in as well. So just to maybe clarify a little bit so Dimensional, as Craig has in 40 years in the business of building investment solutions based off of the academic science. And so in the same way that we build mutual funds, we build active transparent ETFs. We’ve actually designed starting strategies through the lens of a separate account. Whether it be a US large cap us all cap exposed to things like size, value and profitability, whether it be global separate accounts, where you’re getting your access through American Depository Receipts, it’s Dimensional design solutions, so not third party somebody accounts.

Shawn: I think the reason folks are coming to us is because they consider us an expert in capital markets and execution. And so we wanted to build that in and deliver it to the community. You start off with selecting that strategy that dimension was designed, you get to apply any number of customizations such as tax management customization, ESG, individual security restrictions, or sub industry restrictions for human capital considerations like Lisa alluded to, and then you go through the process of getting your tax position analysis, selecting which strategy you’d like to launch from relative to the trade off you want to make for the gain realization that you might need to incur and then Dimensional is managing it every single day.

Shawn: And so what we were really trying to go for is everything that we’ve delivered for 40 years. How much of that can we deliver at a far lower minimum than the commingle solutions that we have that are running billions of dollars at a time, but while demanding the least amount of interaction for the professional so the least amount of inputs from the advisor to get them to exactly where they want to be that customized solution was kind of really what we needed to go for. And so I would say the three pillars that we stand on are going beyond indexing, which has been a staple of what we’ve delivered forever, going beyond the text management that is purported to be done out there in a very thoughtful manner in a daily cadence and and what you Lisa and I have been talking about for the last 20 minutes, which is ensuring that all of it is very streamlined.

Shawn: Because when we ran a lot of feedback in the early days, the it’s a, it’s a non technical term, but advisors said what’s out there is clunky, it’s Excel sheets being exchanged by emails and so forth. And so we wanted to take care to make sure we made us operationally streamline while delivering what they wanted. And Lisa can chime in on kind of the performance and trading if you’d like at all.

Lisa: Yeah, I mean, just so for example, Shawn mentioned that people were looking for things to feel more integrated less spreadsheets going back and forth. And so one of the things we have set up is a way for the advisor to onboard with their custodian and their account information in this SMA center, these clients come to us sometimes they fund with cash, as we mentioned, sometimes they find with securities and where we’re transitioning it to a particular positioning of a Dimensional designed SMA, and we’ve got to integrate interact with their custodian to capture those tax slots or to fund from the custodians account that count they have at the custodian. So all of that is done in the SMA center that we designed to build and we wanted to feel like a very simple user experience for onboarding and we can accommodate several different custodians because ultimately we’re not the custodian. The advisor still uses the custodian that they have for that client.

Craig: Excellent, thanks for clarifying that. I should have known that it’s only DFA SMAs, right only only the SMAs you guys create are available which makes perfect sense and it’s all trade, of course, on the advisors, custodian. That’s where all the trades happen. Like an overlay on top of that.

Shawn: Yeah, I will. I’ll make a comment on that. Craig, just I think Dimensional is kind of known for being very thoughtful and making sure that we leave no stone unturned. We actually run internally weekly trade cost analysis on all the separate account trading that happens at the market level. And the result, we want to ensure that everything that we’ve set up by design is actually the way we expect it to happen. Week in and week out. And we’ve been we’re actually our research team is in the process. of delivering a first half 2022 paper on the trade cost analysis because I think many folks are going to be very impressed by our execution ultimately, through the very purposeful design from a strategy level and a management level.

Craig: So would report on best execution.

Shawn: That’s exactly right.

Craig: Hopefully, it will show that your best execution is below the market below the volume weighted average of that time period.

Shawn: Yeah, well, let me say this, I can’t speak to what the end result is going to be in the paper but I’m sure we’re publishing because we’re very excited.

Craig: Hopefully, it’s good news.

Shawn: It’s gonna be good.

SMA Trends

Craig: Terrific. So now this has been live for a year the SMA center and advisors are using it. They’re embracing it. What trends are you seeing in the way advisors are using the SMA center?

Shawn: Yeah, I can start. So it’s really interesting and I think this is maybe one of the most exciting parts ultimately on our side is it’s one thing to hear the industry at large talk about a movement towards customization or how they’re trying to meet constantly to be met. It’s another thing to have very specific data on how that’s manifesting for end client portfolios. So I’ll just give you a few statistics a year in. So when we take a look at all of the accounts that have launched so far.

Shawn: We see that tax management so I told you we have four customization levers within tax management alone, over 90% of the accounts that have launched are being designated as standard or aggressive tax management. What that does, it reinforces, I would say, the fact that the primary reason today that financial professionals are deploying separate accounts remains custom tax management, right, where you have clients that have a level of sensitivity and you want to ensure that you can customize around those needs around the low cost basis securities that they might have, you want to diversify beyond.

Shawn: Now if I move away from tax management customization for a moment, and I look at all the accounts and I’d say what about about other customization across ESG or otherwise, what you see is 50% of the accounts that have launched actually have no customization beyond tax management. So the advisor is saying what I really needed to come here for is a customization beyond what a mutual fund or even an ETF can provide because we can do a lot level tax management on behalf of the client relative to what their circumstances may be. And as you probably know, Craig, you can use a separate account as an offset to what’s happening outside of the separate account. Whether it’s a realized gain or loss outside and separate account, you can use a separate account as a complimentary piece. And then for the other 50% where they are using customization, we define them or label them as 25% of them are what we call minimally customized so they’re customizing between one to five specific pieces across ESG intervals, individual security or sub industry, customization, and the other 25% are what I consider highly customized, which are greater than five customizations across ESG individual security or sub industry. So it’s been really interesting to see the wide spectrum of use cases that advisors are delivering separate accounts for.

Craig: Those were a lot of statistics.

Shawn: We can follow up if you’d like.

Craig: No, I just want to I just want to review them quickly because you you went through so many so 50% of accounts have no customizations beyond tax management. And 90% of those accounts have either standard or aggressive tax management.

Shawn: Right.

Craig: So what does that tell you? What’s the message that said that investors or their advisors are more attuned to taxes more concerned about taxes or less?

Shawn: At more, I would say it’s one they’re more attuned. And there’s a big backdrop of course, depending on the state you live in, and the broader economy, about taxes kind of always being on the table. So I think it says that advisors are more attuned and investors are more attuned. I think the other thing that it says is that advisors are looking for more sophisticated tax management. So it’s not just important to say that you care about tax management. It’s really important to be able to customize relative to the client’s circumstances and go back to one of maybe Lisa’s examples from earlier and expand on it.

Shawn: Let’s say you have a client who is a business owner, and they start out by not really taking much of an income. And so if we take the state park for a moment, they’re not a high income individual right, because everything’s really tied. into the business. You launch a separate account with a low minimum, you give them a foundation of individual securities, knowing that in the subsequent 12, 24, 36 months, they’re going to have a liquidity event. That liquidity event happens. All of a sudden they go from being lightly sensitive. If at all, to taxes to being hypersensitive to taxes. You go back into the Dimensional’s SMA center, you go from the light custom tax management, to aggressive, you hit launch with Dimensional and now all of a sudden Dimensional is retuning our daily tax management thresholds to ensure that now we’re driving towards the highest after tax return a circumstance by client because their individual financial circumstances change. So I think customization but with a lot of flexibility so you can have a separate account, go through the investment journey that the client might have over the course of being a client.

Craig: Interesting. So of course we all know that SMEs can offset other accounts or their holdings that a client may have. Do you have any held way account or your account aggregation technology where I can see as an advisor, other accounts that the client has like an offset or they have to bring note that information in on their own?

Shawn: Yeah, it’s a ladder and I think it goes back to these are coming about not being entered Right. So there’s a place for other tools in the overarching tech stack that a financial professional uses. And so they would tell us that information now, in the case of wash sale considerations, though, when a financial professional links, another account to the Dimensional separate account, we will take care of to not trip wash sale rules, as we’re endeavoring to do daily tax management considerations.

Craig: Super important. Most applications have that we call that tax aware that at least that’s the bare minimum you want to watch out for wash sales.

Shawn: Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Product Roadmap

Craig: Okay, we’re almost out of time, but wanted to get another question or two in. So what’s on your 12-24 month roadmap for technology? What can we expect to see from from DFA in the next year or two?

Lisa: Sure, Craig, I think it’s a great question. I think our view is to continue to enhance the functionality in the SMA center. So for example, adding ETFs Dimensional ETFs as a tooling and as a selection in the SMA center, but also, preparing ourselves for consideration around fixed income securities, the SMA center, and and just constantly improving that user interface. As Shawn mentioned, we work a lot with our focus groups, both advisors, as well as our our peers, and industry, partners of TAMPs and we really want to take in that feedback on how do they want to be able to take this to your point, and, make sure that they’re able to use the information and and look at it in our whole portfolio. So there might be things they want to export, etc. So performance, attribution the effectiveness of that tax management. So we’re just really looking at functionality enhancement over the course of the next year.

Lisa: And then on our side, making sure we’re doing that as, as I’m looking at the whole operating structure, everything from onboarding the account to transitioning the account into the positioning that Dimensional thinks is best for that design, given the preferences, they put in the selections, they put in executing, reporting,  billing and the whole interaction space end to end. I’m looking at that from an operating model perspective to make sure we’re operating quite scalable, but scalably not to the sacrifice. That customization we think that the advisor should have and should have control and features on because meeting your customer where they are delivering to the advisor the features they need in order to explain their view to the to the end investor, that is the number one goal and doing that in a way that we can bring our systematic quantitative you know process to to basically more we’re advisors at a different account size.

Craig: This has been super helpful for me I really appreciate your time to help me understand the SMA center, how it fits in and of course, the audience. I’m sure they’re much more educated on how this all works. Lisa Dollmar, Shawn Jaberzadeh, thank you so much for being on the program and helping us understand the SMA center and and DFA where can people find out more information about Dimensional Fund Advisors?

Shawn: Yeah, I think they can email us at sma@dimensional.com or they can go on our public site, DFAus.com and find information there as well.

Craig: Fantastic. Thanks so much being the program. 



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