Ep 170: December WealthTech News

Come on in and sit back relax, you’re listening to Episode 170 of the WealthTech Today podcast. I’m your host, Craig Iskowitz, founder of Ezra Group Consulting and this is our December news roundup where we cover a curated selection of the most interesting news stories in wealth tech. And this is the very last news roundup of 2022. So I hope you enjoy it. The companies we’re covering in this episode include documents purging investment, FP Alpha Morningstar, Holistiplan, FMG Suite, and Catchlight. 

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.

Companies Mentioned

1. Docupace Launches New Productivity Toolkit for Financial Advisors and RIA Firms

Docupace, provider of cloud-based fintech digital operations software for the wealth management industry, today announced the launch of its RIA Productivity Suite, designed to optimize operations for advisory firms of all sizes – empowering them to digitize, streamline, connect and automate operations.
First up on the December news is Docupace launches new productivity toolkit for financial advisors. Docupace is a provider of cloud based FinTech digital operations software for the wealth management industry. And they announced the launch of their RIA productivity suite, which designed to optimize operations for advisory firms of all sizes, empowering them to digitize, streamline, connect and automate operations. We really like what Docupace has done here. Traditionally, Docupace has been around since 2002. And they’re mainly in the broker dealer space, they’re very much into enterprise software. They started out as a document management solution, providing SEC and FINRA compliant document software in a secure private cloud became very popular with a lot of broker dealers, especially IBDs. They claim I think 13 of the top 20 IBDs, Advisor Group, Cetera, First Global, Kestra and others were their clients. So they’ve had a lot of success there. And they expanded from a document management solution into more of a back office processing and workflow solution from their clients ask them for it. So they moved into new account opening processing paperwork, connecting to custodians, they link to all the major custodians and even a lot of minor ones. One of the things we liked about them and we’ve covered documents a lot on the blog and on our on our podcast, is their universal account opening. They can open up basically any kind of account brokerage advisory, direct mutual funds, like you might go to American funds, sort of having to go to website you can do it through documents, they can do direct annuities. You can do that through annuity net or directly to firms like Jackson national John Hancock again all through the Docupace platform they use configure it and it sends the data to where you need to you don’t have to supervise a review, firms used to fax or FedEx that all the paperwork and Docupace can deliver it electronically. They pre populate forms around things the back office synchronous and they synchronize forms and compliance checks. They also have other tools like advisor transitions for moving advisors, books of business. Another thing we like about documents is their API’s. Of course, it is a group where we’re really big into integrations. API’s are key. So they’ve got bidirectional API’s that a lot of the firms are using, and we cover this in January 2018. If you look up on our on the WealthTech Today website, Advisor Group built their own onboarding technology which they called Equipt, you can find that review of that product on our website, and they utilized part of documents technology for that product. But what is this precisely so this new announcement of this RIA suite of services, this Productivity Suite features a whole host of applications, which can be very useful to a lot of firms. But one of the reasons why how they launched this and where they came up with us moving from very strongly into the RIA space was they called us or they called Ezra Group and asked for some help. So in the press release, they were kind enough to to include us in there. Okay, we don’t we do not sell any software for any vendors. We are just strategic advisors in product roadmaps in market segmentation, competitive analysis, partnership analysis. So we do all that type of work for FinTech firms all over the country, such as documents, and so this the RIA productivity suite is what they launched based on our advice to them. So we’ve covered them a lot, as I mentioned, you can check out some podcasts interviews, you go back to May 2021. We interviewed David Knoch their CEO back in Episode 99. We interviewed Rob McGill, who was the former founder of Giacomo, which was acquired by Docupace last year there comply with a compliance article. And then in October, just a couple months ago, we interviewed Ryan George, their chief marketing officer about some of the things we had done for them in helping them move into the RIA segment. We did a piece where we did a series of articles or podcasts on moving into different clients segments. We work with a lot of FinTech firms that are either going from enterprise into RIA, as Docupace did, or the opposite firms that are having success in the RIA space but now they want to move to enterprise. They want help how do they do that? Who are the competitors? What are the gaps in the product? What are the buying decisions that an enterprise would need and how can they work through that system? So the system is so much enterprise is a very different sales process than selling to RIAs. So Docupace came to us for that as well. And we help them a number of things. And that basically came out to this new RIA productivity suite. And so some of the things are in the suite include streamline new account opening, which is one of their core products, workflow engine with a rules based data validation, and some of this workflow that we like we don’t there aren’t very complicated workflow engines out that require basically people with who are very technical to manage. But the documents workflow engine is designed for business analysts to use so you don’t need to be a programmer in order to manage their workflow engine and connect to different environments or different systems move data back and forth. That invalidate data through your workflow. That they have straight through processing. They have a forms library and bundling and out of the box CRM integration with Redtail, Salesforce, Salesforce FSC, Wealthbox and Practifi, a digital organizer of compliant document storage, indexing, retrieval, and more. So digital back office express, which allows end to end predefined workflows that include pre configured custodial form validations and bundles, purchasing advisory services, Charles Schwab, Pershing and Fidelity Institutional and of course the embedded DocuSign and standard wet signature solution seems like a very useful suite of tools for RIAs to automate their back office. If you want to learn more about the RIA Productivity Suite, please go to documents.com and if you want to learn more about how as your group can help your firm if you’re a FinTech firm, a wall tech firm selling into our space, please go to our website, EzraGroupllc.com.

2. Pershing Goes All-In on Financial Planning Integration, Makes an Equity Investment in Conquest Planning

Pershing X, a technology provider and new business unit of BNY Mellon | Pershing, and Conquest Planning (Conquest), a financial planning technology start-up, have announced they will work together to integrate Conquest’s financial planning application into the Pershing X platform. Advisors will benefit from a personalized experience, delivered through a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), powerful analytics, and real-time client collaboration.

Our next story in the December news is Pershing X and Conquest Planning working together to increase financial planning efficiency. Pershing X, a technology provider and new business unit of BNY Mellon Pershing and Conquest Planning a financial planning technology startup have announced they’ll work together to integrate conquests Financial Planning application into the Pershing X platform. Advisors will benefit from a personalized experience delivered through a combination of artificial intelligence, powerful analytics and real time collaboration that’s from the PR Newswire press release. BNY Mellon has also made an equity investment in Conquest. The Conquest solution is scheduled to go live on the Pershing X platform in 2023. This is an interesting development. We’re always excited to see this kind of news where firms are integrating more tools into their, into their their platforms, providing more capabilities for advisors, and basically building more holistic products for them. It’s something we’ve seen a trend going on for many years. But let’s talk a little bit about Pershing X. So being white metal and launched their new business unit Pershing X led by Ainsley Simmons in October of 2021. And if you don’t know, if you’ve been living under a rock, the new unit is there. They’re multi custodial platforms that are building a brand new wealth platform from scratch. But a totally from scratch, but a lot of it from scratch others from different components that purging and BNY Mellon have to offer a new technology to the market. Pershing X is one of BNY Mellon’s top investment programs. According to Pershing CEO Jim Crowley, and Simmons who is the CEO has held top digital posts at Learnvest, Northwestern Mutual and PIMCO investments. And at BNY Mellon she oversees a team of over 500 engineers, designers and product managers working on the new initiatives they certainly have made quite an investment in Pershing X. Now the Conquest integrated offering according to the press release, provide advisors a strategic approach to financial planning, combining both goals based and Cash Flow Planning. That’s what we liked about Conquest. We got a demo last year we got also got a demo a couple weeks ago of the Conquest platform, and we like it looks good. It’s always interesting to see new applications come into crowded markets and this is something we constantly see in existing categories. There’s always new vendors coming in even though the market is of obviously filled up with other vendors. New vendors keep coming up with different approaches or just building on the latest technology. If you look at the legacy applications, MoneyGuidePro, eMoney and such, they’re built on old tech. So it’s just the nature of a legacy business. The more successful you get, the older your tech is going to be as you grow and you become an opportunity for new firms to steal some business familiar with a newer tech platform newer, refreshed UI and so on. So we have Pershing X coming out and we have them making an equity investment into conquest, ostensibly because they want more access to the product. Now what what is Conquest Planning? This is a product that first launched in Canada in 2020. It was founded by CEO Dr. Mark Evans, who was one of the creators of Naviplan, which coincidentally launched their first version also in Canada but way back in 1990. So you got a 30 year separation between those two, so great for Mark to get back in the game again. Now, according to Conquest from our interviews with them, they’ve built their platform with an API first mindset, which we love at Ezra Group, we love integrations and anybody who’s building out integration first technology, and they claim that they use their own API’s in development, which we call eating your own dog food. You build API’s, you better use them yourself, don’t just build them for the outside world. Use them internally, you know they’re gonna work, they’ll be tested, and there’ll be solid. So we always appreciate firms that do that. They changed their methodology or the architecture. According to people we spoke to learning from the mistakes that Mark Evans made with Naviplan which was they didn’t embed the UI, the calc engine and data layer together. They made them all separate all AI based. So when the UI wants to call the calc engine, they use their API’s, which makes things a lot more flexible, and able to build better keep bugs from cross pollinating between different parts of the system, and they’re able to sell access to different parts of the system separately. Now, they’re still a Canadian base. I believe the Pershing relationship is a first foray into the US market, although don’t expect that to hold them back they’ll just basically modify things like changing registered required retirement savings plans RRSPs, which are the Canadian version of IRAs, into IRAs. And such and so forth. So make those changes but a lot of the things will stay the same. So they’ll build that out, I like their flexibility, as we mentioned earlier, they run daily cash flows, but it’s more of a blend of cash flow and goals based planning. From what we’ve seen, it’s still a light planning experience. I don’t expect them to be replacing eMoney, MoneyGuidePro, RightCapital, Naviplan, and so forth. But I believe I don’t have a I don’t have any inside information. But the Pershing is looking for mostly advisors who aren’t financial planning focused, to be able to use sort of a light planning tool or a slim plan, even though it can do cash flows, but still a little bit less of an in depth plan than MoneyGuidePro, eMoney would build. They’re still mainly around the mass affluent space. They have estate planning and trust planning on their roadmap, which is not surprising considering Dr. Mark Evans being founder of Naviplan also running this company that they will be looking to get into that space. Naviplan was basically owned the market for ultra high net worth and very high net worth plans until eMoney kind of caught up with them. So they’re integrating the financial plan into the end to end workflow at Pershing X. It’s going to mean they can pass along more context about the client into the plan easier. You can move back and forth between different modules of the system rather than having to test switch from your future planning tool into your proposal generation tool for example, or other aspects. So you can go from prospect into proposal gen into implementing the plan or into building the plan and incremented plan and monitoring the plan conceivably, all inside one platform, much more holistic. We see this as a better way to go. You can track goals throughout the system that not just stuck inside the plan. And we seen this as this equity investment. While it’s not an outright acquisition, it’s part of a trend that we’re seeing over the past seven or so here’s if you look back on all the acquisitions we’ve seen in the venture planning space. So last year 2021 Investcloud acquired Naviplan, which was mentioned and the also ended in 2020, going back a year, Morningstar acquired Toronto based PlanPlus, which is again another candidate, Canadian based financial planning firm. Also in 2020 Tegra118, the short lived Tegra118, which used to be Fiserv APL and is now InvestCloud Financial Supermarkets acquired RetireUp. That’s back in 2020, Envestnet acquired MoneyGuidePro for $500 million in 2019. Orion acquired Advizr remember that one for $50 million in 2019. And way back when 2015 Fidelity acquired eMoney Advisor for $250 million just sort of kicked off the party. So what are we seeing we’re seeing more and more vendors realizing that financial planning is not just an add on. It’s not just an external component that advisors use. It’s a core components a core feature of their system needs to be built in, it needs to be tightly integrated, more tightly integrated. Than you can get by just calling API’s or doing other integrations. You need to own them or own a part of them to get inside to see under the covers and be able to get access to more tighter integrations then your competitors can get otherwise why would you do it? You want a differentiated offering, you want a competitive advantage, you can say look, our financial planning tools are more tightly integrated. You’ve got a seamless workflow for advisors, there’s less tests switching, there’s more data moving between the systems, less data entry, and a better experience for everyone. If you need more information on Conquest Planning all one word.com and more information and Pershing X go to Pershingx.com.

3. Envestnet-FNZ Update

Envestnet partners with FNZ to launch combined technology TAMP and custody offering. This is an update from story I originally covered in October news, but back then it was just a press release put up by Envestnet outlining technology partnership with FNZ basically for account opening. That’s all they really said. But apparently, at the investor conference or investors call earnings call, CEO Bill Crager talked about how they’re going to launch a custody offering with FNZ, so sort of released a flurry of new articles and new information and I spoke to the Envestnet strategy people really trying to find out what was going on here. So there’s a lot more to the story, we’re going to enhance our coverage, expand our coverage. New Zealand based FNZ was originally spun off from Credit Suisse as their technology platform and has major private equity backing from firms like motive partners, which owns much of investments competitor Investcloud, which also merged with Tegra118, formerly Fiserv APL. Now, FNZ administers more than $1.5 trillion. And it is backed by $1.4 billion in private equity investments, and invest that administers $5 trillion, mostly through 100,000+ IBD reps and RIAs in the US. So this is now a custodial partnership with FNZ and a two way partnership where FNZ is going to resell Envestnet’s new wealth data platform which they just launched. But the custodian part is more interesting for the US market. And this is not something that’s been that’s a new thought we’ve all thought that Envestnet should be getting into custody or might be getting into custody for years. I found an article from Financial Planning magazine back in September 2019. So over three years ago, which was titled Why Envestnet may be your next custodian. And so they’re a little prescient there some good statistics here. Of course, the market back then was a $6 trillion market for custody. It was still dominated by the the big three, trial betrayed, Pershing and Fidelity with a host of smaller providers around there was a report from a research firm called GPM securities, which did some research on whether Envestnet should get into the custody business. And this was not commissioned by Envestnet as far as I know, which said adding custody could boost their per advisor revenue by approximately 200% which is quite a large percentage to do. Specifically Envestnet could give away some or all of its technology and still end up with better net economics, which we think will be difficult to compete with. Not surprising. This is what every custodian does. Every custodian basically gives away their technology whether it’s Schwab, Fidelity Pershing, most of their taxes is free because custody is such a lucrative business, mainly with the cash flow and other services that a custodian can offer. So not surprisingly, doing this so some interesting tidbits from this report from I’m sorry JMP securities that Envestnet currently averages approximately 10 basis points of revenue on assets per advisor, depending how the platform is used. And the custodial revenue could potentially add another 20 basis points to his bottom line. This will be huge for Envestnet being a publicly traded company where everyone is hanging on their quarterly earning statements. So adding the 20 bips you know 100% more, would be quite an increase. Of course they’re going to be battling with Schwab and TD Ameritrade, Schwab got 3500 RIAs leading the market, whereas TD Ameritrade had 6000 RIAs, so combine those some overlap, whereas Envestnet according to the report has approximately 8000 RIAs with $1.5 trillion in assets which they could now sell custody to. Now, another good article I found Envestnet-FNZ partnership could alter the RIA custodial landscape from WealthManagement.com and a friend Davis Janoski really good article, talking about the rumors and some of the lead up to this announcement. Two years ago, FNZ bought a majority stake in State Street’s custody business. They renamed it, I was told was a joint venture so it’d be wrong, rather than buying a stake, it could be a joint venture in your way to get a foothold in the US wealth market. And the unit was later renamed FNZ Trust Services with a minority ownership still held by State Street, according to Janoski article. So this was a great play for Envestnet for FNZ to get into the US market. They’ve got an integrated wealth management platform that has a lot of clients in Europe and APAC, but they really don’t have any presence in the US besides their Appway business which they bought a couple of months ago. They do claim to have 1000 clients and UK, Europe, Australia and Canada, such as Barclays, Lloyds Bank and Santander and also runs the technology beneath Vanguard’s direct to consumer business in the UK. It’s interesting, I didn’t know that so we sell in custody should definitely be more profitable for Envestnet. If you look at some of their earnings reports, they they make a lot more money on their TAMP offerings than they do on technology. And I remember there was one report where one of the big clients took their asset management and other other recon and other work in house rather than outsourcing to investments tamp and put a big hit on their earnings. They had to announce that because moving back to just technology as a selling technology is not as lucrative as selling Asset Management Services outsourced portfolio management capabilities. So adding custody will be another cashflow another cash flow business for Envestnet. Let’s see what else we have here. So the the other side of this coin whereas invest that is going to be reselling FNZ’s custody and packaging it into their other technologies and other other products is that fn Zed is going to be reselling investments data and analytics platform which is called the wealth data platform. This is something an investment just announced but we’ve heard rumors about it as well. And that these firms these large wealth management technology platforms are leveraging other parts of their business to launch different services kind of like how Amazon launched AWS to just take advantage and monetize their own cloud based infrastructure investment is seemed to be doing the same that they’ve already got this data and analytics infrastructure internally, why not monetize it? They brought in Farouk Ferchichi who’s now Group President of Envestnet data and analytics, who has decades of experience in the industry working before with Fortune 100 Companies such as USAA, Gartner, Toyota, and Accenture. So he’s taking the lead on their new data and analytics business. And they’ve also partnered with Snowflake, the data cloud company, they’ve become the de facto standard in data warehousing cloud based data warehouses. They’ve got their own financial services division, just focusing on that. This is contrasting with what Orion has done in a similar vein, T3. Back in March, they announced their partnership with Amazon speaking of Amazon and their data platform called redshift. So both these firms, both these leaders in the space, seeing data and analytics as not just something they need internally, and not just a product they sell to clients but becoming a separate platform that they would sell for other firms to be able to do their own data and analytics. I can see things like investments selling their data model. So hey, we’ve already got a very detailed wealth management data model. Other firms could use it with that monetizes that piece of their platform and other firms can build on top of it. I position this with number of clients over the years that why not offer your platform up as a capabilities to other firms. Sort of like Google Google Maps allows API’s to people to build on top of Google Maps. Other tools want to do the same thing with your wealth platform while other firms to build on top of it. You can’t capture all the business yourself, enabling other firms to utilize your capabilities different bits and pieces of it can be another revenue stream for you. Let’s see. So we’ve got that so with FNZ they’re going to be taking it on launching this outside the US so there’s not a lot of overlap between FNZ and Envestnet’s businesses and Envestnet is almost entirely US based and FNZ is almost entirely non US based. So with investment reselling FNZ custody in the US, and then FNZ reselling data and analytics to non US firms that could provide a lot of value, because investment would get to see what’s going on. So investing would have access to dozens or hundreds of other companies that FNZ is selling these data and analytic services to run all their data through the platform, and then provide things like next best actions to their clients. Some of the things I see Envestnet getting into is, for example, with their MoneyGuidePro unit that they own. That creates 2 million potential clients every year, tremendous amount of data, you could mine that data and say well, hey, your broker dealer you’ve got this many this many clients this many accounts, but here’s a percentage that don’t have a financial plan, or this percentage hasn’t updated their plan recently. So you have a lot of interesting information you could provide to firms based on your drilling down across all the data available at the company. Now you’re gonna have investors gonna have access to that data internationally as well. Of course it has to be anonymized it wouldn’t really see like any PII or things like that, but since they’re gonna be running their platform, they’ll get a lot of data back from it, which they can then use to tweak the current platform and make things more valuable. So it’s interesting partnership between Envestnet and FNZ. If you want to find out more information about Envestnet, go to Envestnet.com and likewise, you can go to FNZ.com

4. Lightning Round

New FP Alpha tax projection update

And now we’re on to our lightning round. This is a new feature of our news where I’m just gonna go through a bunch of stories really quick and give you my comments just off the top of my head. So the first news story in the lightning round is new FP Alpha tax projection update. This is from the T3 Technology Hub written by my good friend Joel Bruckenstein, FP Alpha, and advanced planning platform for advisors announced today, the next iteration of its tax projection tool, bolstering its functionality adding state and federal analysis. Along with a multi year unlimited scenario offering. So FP Alpha is a really cool application. They have scanned documents such as the state documents, tax returns, insurance policies, and then deliver advice on them. They’ve got a recommendation engine, and of course with many documents with a tax tax return or estate documents there’s some things that are just very commonly missed. Probably the play the 80/20 rule 80% of the advice provided to most most people, when you review their tax returns or their estate documents or insurance policies is very similar. Instead of having to hire an estate attorney CPA or other experts or either outsource that. You could just use the software use FP Alpha, and they’ve gathered insights from dozens of subject matter experts, estate attorneys, CPAs, insurance specialists and so on, which allows them to deliver this customized advice for advisors and they can kind of scale their business without having to hire lots of other people or outsource to other people. It’s much cheaper to do it this way. So they’ve added tax analysis called the tax projector, very similar to Holistiplan’s application which does something similar for clients, but this is a new update for FP Alpha, and just in time for urine planning. So they can use this and they added federal and state tax scenarios. So it’s great an opportunity for advisors to deliver some added advice to their clients.

LPL Adds Holistiplan to Affinity Program

And speaking of Holistiplan, also the news LPL adds Holistiplan to their affinity program. Well that really should read Holistiplan is added to LPL’s affinity program. So LPL has a vendor affinity program, which they basically vet vendors and put them on to their platform so that their advisors can use them or not. It’s not forced to use them. They are able to use them at different levels and the affinity program has different levels where vendors are more integrated or less integrated into ClientWorks, which is LPL’s platform. So Holistiplan is now on their affinity program. And then they can do things like look at tax brackets like the like we’re talking about the FP Alpha application. It scans in the clients tax returns, does things like giving advice, Roth conversions, Medicare premium surcharges, it’s very complex offer. They’ve got a bit of a head start on what FP Alpha is doing, Holistiplan also brought in brings sort of crowd sources their advice, so they look for advisors, or the tax professionals in every state. So you’ve got 50 states worth of tax advice, crowdsourced if hundreds or thousands of little bits of advice that relate to each state, which an advisor gets a client you know, they live in New Jersey, where I live, and they get a client in California. They may not know the tax issues there but using the Holistiplan software, you’ve got a whole database full of California specific tax advice, which the software will will provide you with if your client lives in California or maybe does business California has a house in California, whatever tax related issues. List the plan launched in 2019 they won the XY Planning Network’s 2018 award for the newest FinTech competitors, and their the affinity program if you want to find out more about the affinity program, I interviewed John Rajes, who is the head of their partnership program in Episode 158 of the podcast. And if you want to even hear more about LPL, I interviewed their new Chief Product Officer Kabir Sethi in Episode 164.

Morningstar Wealth jumps into the direct indexing game

Next on list here, we’re trying to go through these pretty quickly here. Morningstar wealth jumps into the direct indexing game. This is from an article Investment News by Jeff Benjamin. So what is Morningstar doing here? They are building on top of their SMA platform where they about $12 billion in assets and adding direct indexing features. This is something they had been pitching or they’re previewing for a while. They did a pilot program with 90 Financial Advisors. They think it’s a big trend, talking to Daniel Needham, president of Morningstar wealth. They believe that this focus on tax management capabilities is also important ease of use if they see of direct indexing as being something that makes it a lot easier for advisors to deliver advice to clients and utilize deliver customized solutions, especially with the elimination of commissions and fractional shares. It’s really exploded the direct indexing market, we’re seeing a lot more, of course, more and more firms. There’s a huge run in firms buying up the smaller direct indexing providers. Now Morningstar decided to build their own and it’s probably gonna go hand in hand with their TAMP offering, which we’ve written about. We also have Daniel Needham on the podcast, I think that was Episode 154. You can check out my interview, they’re talking about their refreshed TAMP offering where they brought in SMArtX Advisory as the underlying technology for their tamp. Next up in the lightning round FMG integrates with Catchlight. So Catchlight FMG is a digital marketing platform, one of the leading digital marketing platforms. They probably got the highest market share, especially in the enterprise space, and you can check them out at FMGsuite.com. And they’ve also bought a number of companies to grow their their market share. Now they recently bought a company called Vesterly, which had been one of the very first digital marketing companies in the advisory space. And they’ve got some interesting AI technology that FMG is going to be using to customize some of their content. But their integration with Catchlight, Catchlight is a startup, an AI driven lead generation platform, which was incubated in Fidelity Labs and they do a very cool thing. They link into the CRM, pull out all the prospective clients and they searched publicly available databases and have the ability to make an estimate of each prospects financial complexity, which then translates into something called a Catchlight score. And then they present that to the advisor as a next best action saying here is your prospects list of prospects organized by the ones we think you should be talking to first, super helpful for advisors, especially to have hundreds of prospects in your pipeline, knowing which ones you should focus on which ones have a higher probability of conversion can save tremendous amounts of time and should increase the conversion rate of advisors which is something that Catchlight says they have seen in their work so far with the clients they work with their analytics engine, which has access to some 2.5 billion data points from different sources of publicly available data enables him to deliver this Catchlight score for for advisors. What the integration is, when you’ll see your list of prospects sorted, ranked by your catch light score, you then can just click on a button it’ll open up and FMG window will pop up pulling in personalized content from FMG’s content library that the advisor then sent out to that specific prospect either social media post blogs, you know emails and that will help they believe that will provide much more personalized experience and increase conversion rates by providing that type of of targeted advertising targeted marketing to clients. And that’s all we have for the lightning round. Also, check out catch light at Catchlight.ai. Transcribed by https://otter.ai

5. Kitces/Ezra Advisortech Map

Now it’s time for the part of the news where we review changes in the Kitces-Ezra advisor tech solutions map. This map is produced by Michael Kitces and myself, we go through it and review all the new vendors that are coming on each month is usually a bunch. The industry is changing over time, and the map is changing over time. You can find the latest copy of the map on Kitces.com. So what has changed I’m gonna go category by category and list the changes behavior assessments category, we added Shaping Wealth or you can check them out at ShapingWealth.com and their outsourced Chief Behavioral Officer experience.

Next up is digital marketing. There was an update Tiffin wealth changed their name to Tiffin Clout and then we added two new vendors once called Financial Funnel, check them out at FinancialFunnel.com get clients to a personal site with a financial health quiz built for you free in under 24 hours, according to the website and then the next one was Denim Social, DenimSocial.com connected convert on social successfully scale converged conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels. Very cool. And next sets digital marketing portfolio management we added alt exchange we’re seeing an expansion of alternative investment in the alternative investment category that might become its own category on the map right now. It’s it’s lumped into Portfolio Management. So Alt exchange, like checking or AltExchange.com lead generation we added Ramsey solution, RamseySolution.com invest in your future with a smart with a smart advisor Pro.

Custodial platforms, new player in the space, Entrustody. This is a new all digital first custodial platform. I’ve spoken to these guys a number of times and trust me it very interesting to see a new custodial service custodian come onto the scene. I spoke to him first last year and they’re they’re growing pretty quick in the RIA segment. They’ve got a decent technology platform as well, which puts them in the custodial platform category. Alright, planning light projection lab. Very cool. We saw this at the XYPN conference they did their new tech new tech contest with a new bus some new vendors came up gave demos. They have a very interesting product in the planning space. Lots of cool graphics on it. workflow process through the whole planning, phase visualization, visualizing the entire client’s life financial life. Very interesting stuff. Just take them check them out at projection lab.com That’s where they’re specialized planning estate we deleted something RIA executor assistant is no more, sad to say had to get rid of them they are gone.

Specialized planning other, we added two one is called Careful and that is Savings Credit identity and family passwords guarded from threats, thieves, everyday money mistakes. So we have it under a state planning. But it includes especially for families to put all of their information in one place like a vault, your bill payments, your accounts and such. Which is I think very useful. A lot of families don’t know I was just talking to some friends with their parents and the kids don’t really know what the parents have. And they think they do, but they really haven’t checked recently and they were just the conversation we started they found out Oh, you’re doing this we’re doing that we don’t know. Where’s your where’s your passwords? Where’s your statements? How do we find out you don’t want to have to go through all this. God forbid when something terrible happens you should get it all sorted. out with a product like careful. And finally, the last addition to the Kitces-Ezra advisor tech solutions map is Sora Finance. So our finance burnishing product they won the XYPN planning advisory tech contest this year and for new vendors in the space and they help financial advisors offer lending products. They really what they do is they evaluate help advisors evaluate their client’s current loans, whether they are a home loans for mortgages or auto loans or other types of loans. And then using their technology go out on the market and check other lenders to try to find the same loan for a lower rate. And they seem to have some good success. They claim they’ve saved a lot of money for their clients. They’re still growing quickly. Still small, but you want to get in on the ground floor with these guys. You can check them out at Sora finance.com are the only other change in the map if you’re looking at it. I posted on Twitter, highlighted all of the icons that were added and removed from the map you can check out on my Twitter feed @CraigIskowitz and one minor change the cash management and health care Medicare categories were moved. So they’re in a different location just above where they were before and then kind of mushed together there. So they’re just to get you looking for them over on the far right of the map. That’s all we got this month. We’ll come back again with more updates on the advisortech map next month.

6. Ezra Group WealthTech Integrations Score

And finally in the news, we’re talking about our Ezra Group Wealthtech Integration Score update for the month. Not a lot of changes going on this month in front of the scenes, but behind the scenes, we’re making a lot of updates doing a lot of work. Of course, adding vendors, risk scoring them. As they get added to the Kitces roadmap, they’re gonna get their advisor tech integration score, and you can find the advisor tech integration score. There are the ezytube wealthtech integration score on EzraGroupllc.com on our main page or under what we do you can see that score you can look up any vendor you like. You can also see our scores at on the Kitces advisor tech directory over akitas.com. We’re making some changes behind the scenes to the depth scoring calculator. We want to give some firms a little bit more credit when they build out very deep integrations with other vendors. We want to encourage that so we’re bumping up the scores a little bit when it comes to firms that have those deeper integrations. You won’t see that until next month. That’s when that is coming out. But if you are a vendor with application on the Kitces as your map, please contact us about filling out a survey about your integrations. Right now all the data we’re getting is the publicly available data. So if it’s not on your website, we’re not going to know about it. So please contact us as group llc.com to fill out a survey and it will definitely help your Ezra Group Wealthtech Integration Score, I promise you. And that’s it. You listen to the full news for December. Thanks for listening, and please go to our website EzraGroupllc.com scroll to the bottom of the homepage and subscribe to our newsletter. Once a month you’ll receive an email chock full of wealth management, goodness, news, updates, alerts, all kinds of information, you will not be disappointed. Thanks for listening. Talk to you again next time.     

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ABOUT ME

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

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