Ep. 211: November WealthTech News

Come on in and sit back and relax. You’re listening to Episode 211 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 about Wealth Management Technology.

Welcome to our November News Review. I’ve got a lot of stories to cover, including a YCharts proposals function feature, Docupace launches an API developer portal, Fidelity is blocking screen scraping, Mint is shutting down, Intentional.ly launched their Advisor Brand Builder and of course updates on the WealthTech Integration Scores and the Kitces-Ezra Group Advisortech map.

But before we get started, I have a message for you executives at wealth management firms. Your tech debt is holding back your business growth. Your software platform is old and rusted and falling apart and needs an overhaul. Your disparate systems don’t communicate with each other and it’s driving your ops team and advisors crazy with manual processes and errors and Excel macros and worksheets.

If you’re in charge of technology or operations for a broker dealer, an RIA, a family office or a TAMP, you should run, not walk to our website EzraGroup.com and fill out the Contact Us form on the homepage. Our experienced team can evaluate your current tech ecosystem, deliver targeted recommendations, optimize your existing systems and operations or even run an RFP and help you implement great new software to take your firm to the next level. And you can take advantage of our free consultation by going to EzraGroup.com.

Now a few housekeeping items before we continue. Please subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. We support the invest in others charitable foundation. You can check them out at InvestInOthers.org. All right. Now let’s kick this thing off.

Topics Covered

  1. YCharts launches proposals enhancement for advisor client communications
  2. Docupace launches an API developer portal to boost innovations and collaboration
  3. Mint.com is shutting for good, weeks after Fidelity finally cut off free, screen-scraped data
  4. Intention.ly launches Advisor Brand Builder, a new marketing technology for financial firms
  5. Advisortech map updates

1. YCharts launches proposals enhancement for advisor client communications

YCharts launches proposals enhancement for advisor client communications. For a long time, RIAs who wanted to create proposals for prospective clients were forced to use permits a hodgepodge of investor analytics reporting tools, and Excel and PowerPoint. Lots of other manual efforts to stitch things together into a long PDF that they could give to clients as a proposal. This usually included some from risk tolerance questionnaire, maybe some goals, often a current versus proposed, here’s your current investments, your current portfolio, but here’s the much better proposed portfolio that we’re going to put you into, maybe some back testing of the models or asset allocation, that the advisor was recommending some financial planning, statistics and then other models. So that was oftentimes what was involved with proposals, and some automation became available, usually for enterprise platforms or through TAMPs who could deliver proposals for advisors and over the years, more tools came around that offered different levels of automation for proposals.

One of the early ones was Morningstar Advisor Workstation, which according to Morningstar has over 100,000 active users. Advisor Workstation not only has proposals, but also investment analytics. That’s a common theme that we see a lot of investment analytics tools adding proposal functionality, because they seem to go together, you’re doing your investment analytics, and then now let’s build a proposal out of that. And having those linked together that you could push the models from your investment analytics into the proposal is a pretty handy feature.

So besides Morningstar Advisor Workstation, there’s Hidden Levers which was acquired by Orion. That’s mainly known as stress testing, but I think more than 40% of their clients according to the company use their proposal gen feature. So it’s a hidden part of the Hidden Levers application. Kwanti is another investment analytics tool which you can find on the Kitces-Ezra Group advicetech nap in the investment analytics, investment data/analytics category.

Of course, another vendor that has gotten to the proposal game was Nitrogen, formerly Riskalyze, when they added proposal generation a couple of years back, and they also added investment analytics. So they came at it from a different direction. Rather than starting with investment analytics and adding proposal, they started with risk tolerance, then added proposals and investment analytics.

One of the oldest providers of proposal generation IPS tools is Advisoryworld. Now Advisoryworld was acquired by LPL in 2018, but they were one of the earliest independent standalone providers of proposal generation technology that also supported fully supported SMAs and UMA, at least SMA is in there, and had a full database of SMA providers. We were looking at them back in 2009, I remember doing some competitive analysis on proposal generation tools for SMAs.

If you look at the Kitces-Ezra Group Advisor tech map, you will see there is no longer a proposal generation category. That category went away a couple of weeks ago a couple months ago mostly driven by Nitrogen, Nitrogen coming out with their rebrand and from risk assessment analytics to growth platform. So Michael and I felt that this was a turning point in this particular category, and that sales enablement was a more accurate description of what these tools did. Because not all of them are proposal generation capable, but there is of course Nitrogen, Advisoryworld, CapIntel, and Equisoft analyze are all pure, or they all have strong proposal generation features. There’s a couple if you look in the category this couple other ones that are mainly only around retirement plans, so I’m not going to talk about those. This is talking about wealth and advisory plans. VRGL is another company that doesn’t do proposals yet, but I know they are building some proposal functionality. They’re primarily around documents scanning and statements of clients that then are used for the proposal, often for the current versus proposed comparisons.

That leads us to not only stand alones but the all in one platforms. There’s a number of all in one platforms that have proposal generation built in, such as Orion, on Orion’s capabilities called proposals. And I know Black Diamond owned by Advent SS&C. They’ve got not necessarily not a standalone tool, but something in the ssmc cat a catalog called Rendezvous, which is a prop gen tool that’s integrated with Black Diamond.

That brings us all back to the story at hand which is YCharts, an investment data analytics application platform that started out as fundamental charting and then added capabilities around building portfolios. And once they did that, it seemed like a logical next step to be able to build proposals from those portfolios and they have done that. So their feature is also called Proposals which is a little confusing because Orion’s got Orion Proposals and now YCharts has YCharts proposals.

The proposals will allow users to position investment recommendations, and also one of the key differentiators for YCharts proposal functions is being able to attach talking points to your proposal. So you can explain to your prospective clients, why you’re putting them into certain asset allocations or certain portfolios. So they believe this custom commentary which is a unique feature, I don’t know if there’s anyone else is doing that specifically. Of course, you can always insert a page into a proposal that explains your your strategy, but that’s a separate thing. This is more built into the functionality. So you can highlight particular metrics or statistics, performance expectations, holding allocations, yields, fees, and more. We like this. There’s always more room to expand on client communications and more firms and vendors are realizing that advisors need new ways to communicate with clients connect with them, build the relationships, so why not start from the very first time you interact with your prospective client. It’s the proposal, giving them a good understanding of your firm’s methodology and your investment strategy can only be a good thing for prospective clients to see.

They’ve also got a drag and drop design tool for their proposal report which a lot of other vendors have as well. You can move the pages around, drag them, drop them add ones you can even import, as I said PDFs from other applications into your longer form PDF proposal. So we’re happy to see this from YCharts especially because one of our core ways of thinking about an advisor tech stack or RIA tech stack or broker dealer tech stack is minimize the number of vendors if you can. All things being equal, it’s better to have fewer vendors than more vendors. Just for some of the obvious reasons, vendor management, multiple contracts when something goes wrong, if they’re integrated systems may not know who to call. So if you can have one application like YCharts for your investment data analytics, fundamental and fundamental analysis, charting, and also use them for proposal generation, just one less tool in your toolbox. It does one more thing more like a Swiss Army Knife, easier to train your advisors and other staff and it’s going to be a little bit better for you in the long run, in our opinion. If you want to find out more about YCharts proposals go to YCharts.com.

2. Docupace launches an API developer portal to boost innovations and collaboration

In our next story Docupace launches an API developer portal to boost innovations and collaborations. At Ezra Group we found in general, there’s four significant barriers in the way of growth and scale for wealth management firms, and RIAs specifically. Number one is a lack of automation in Client Onboarding. Two is a lack of integration between critical systems. Three is a lack of digital experience for advisors and clients. And four is a lack of coordination across the back office, which results in manual processes sort of creeping into your daily work until before you know it half the business is running on Excel.

So one of the companies that has taken advantage of that to build a very nice market share for themselves is Docupace. And they are one of the leading providers of enterprise document management solutions where it started their business in Document Management, archiving, and then launch their own new account opening process and workflow, what they call an orchestration engine. And that became very popular. It was these types of orchestration engines, robust workflow tools, that power new account opening with straight through processing integrate to many different systems such as custodians, CRMs, and other portfolios, custodian CRMs and portfolio management systems.

They connect to multiple downstream data subscribers delivering files into document management platforms for archiving, delivery, delivering through different e signature platforms to clients. Also internal processes for compliance and data validation. It’s they’re very full featured applications.

Now, Docupace was primarily in the broker dealer space until last year when they launched their RIA productivity suite, which is their entire platform, which we just talked about, but focused on the RIA market. They had also started acquiring firms, since they themselves were acquired by PE firm FTV Capital in 2020. They acquired a company called jaccomo, which provided post trade accounts surveillance and compliance tools that integrations and advisor compensation systems. That’s 2021.

Also in 2021, they acquired a company many of us know called PreciseFP, which was one of the leading providers of data gathering client engagement solutions. So those two go well with their RIA productivity suite. Now, that takes us to the Docupace API developer portal. And as you know, if you listen to this podcast, Ezra Group has the WealthTech Integration Score, we are very big into integrations. We love API’s and we’d love for firms doing more to make their API’s more transparent, and more accessible, and between providing better support for developers. Just because you have API’s, if you have no support for developers, they’re not going to be able to use them very well or efficiently.

What we like about developer portals and it’s one of the requirements we have for getting a higher score in the wealthtech integration score, you must have a portal and I have to say that Docupace nailed it when it comes to what needs to be in the portal. Let’s go through a list of what they’ve got number one documentation. You can have all the code in the world but if it’s not documented well code examples and tutorials like the next thing, so comprehensive documentation, tutorials and examples, if it’s not documented how it works, usage, instructions, parameters, authentication methods, it’s gonna be very difficult to use your API’s. If you don’t have tutorials and examples, no one wants to build code from scratch when it’s just simple stuff I can copy paste. If you can give developers copy paste things for very common capabilities, you’re going to kick off the ability to use your API’s efficiently effectively in different applications.

You want to be able to test you want to a testing environment in a sandbox, where you can test your applications against the company’s live API’s in the in the developer portal which documents have besides examples, you want interactive code samples, where you can see things live online, and have more resources for implementing best practices for different capabilities. You want a robust environment and you want some sort of community collaboration where you may pose questions see, share insights, exchange ideas with other people who are using the same tools. One thing we found in the Ezra Group with the WealthTech Integration Score research that we did, among the over 430 applications on the Kitces-Ezra Group advisor tech map and in our database, a full 38% have no integrations at all. So we encourage firms to build out their integrations, launch API’s, make it easier for other, your clients and also partners to build to your applications and get access to your systems. If you want to find out more about documentation API portal you can go to documents.com/developer-resources.

3. Mint.com is shutting for good, weeks after Fidelity finally cut off free, screen-scraped data

This next story is interesting to me. Fidelity blocks screen scraping and Mint to shut down, a dual story. Why is this interesting? I’m a student of the history of data aggregation, being in the industry so long, one of the areas I find interesting is how data aggregation works, the importance of data aggregation, how different vendors operate. So I’ve done a lot of deep dives at Ezra Group on data aggregation and data aggregation research. So when I see a story like this come up, I just want to dive right in.

I’m not gonna make this too long, but I’ve got a lot of background information on this, which I think is interesting. Mint shutting down is the end of an era. Mint when it was founded in 2006 was the first consumer facing data aggregation tool and also the first to provide a consolidated view of a client’s financial life way earlier than we in the industry had this data both liabilities and assets. There are still a lot of advisors who aren’t aware of their clients liabilities, but with Mint, you could see all your credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, as well as investment accounts and, and cash accounts and such.

I started using Mint very early. I was one of those sort of nerdy people that used Quicken for many years for my budgeting and when Mint came along, and it was free, and it actually worked a lot better, of course, I stopped paying into it for Quicken and switched to Mint. How they accessed the data was the only way they could which was called screen scraping. The reason why was there were no data feeds. There were no ways to get this data from financial institutions back in the day, back in 2006. API’s were in their infancy back then, with Salesforce being the first cloud provider. firms like eBay, and others were pioneers in API’s, but it certainly wasn’t mainstream. Screen scraping was the only way and what amounted to was getting the credentials from the client and pretending to log in or logging in automatically through code and then pulling the data off the screen.

There’s four problems with screen scraping and while it worked for a while, it’s not a good long term solution. It requires every user to hand over their authentication information to a third party, which inherently is unsafe, no matter how safe that third party might be. When I give Mint the information I’m trusting admins can hold on to the username, password that I’m giving it that it’s not going to be grabbed by man in the middle attack or they’re not going to have other sorts of breaches that could possibly expose my login information. The screen scrapers are hitting these financial institution websites, not just once every so often, like a user would, if I log into my Amex card once a week to check that’s one login. But when you go if you go to a screen scraper or you go to a website like an aggregator like Mint, or Personal Capital and they’re using screen scraping, they may be updating your data every day, even though you’re not logging in. So if they have millions of users, they’re sending out millions of requests every day to keep their data accurate. Which is overwhelming and overloading the websites of all these financial institutions. And they’re certainly not happy about that.

Costs time and money. It’s expensive to do all that. Also, it’s a bad customer experience. If you’re an advisor and you’ve done any work with any of the early data aggregators that used screen scraping, you’ve heard the complaints from clients, that it’s broken, it stopped working, it happens all the time because any changes to the institution’s website will break the connection because when you’re screen scraping, you’re expecting the data to appear in a certain part of the screen. So if the financial institution changes their screen layout, that’s going to break your data poll. Also, if there is a two factor authentication or clients are forced to change their passwords, that also breaks the authentication. It’s a huge problem on the RIA side, so we’re all looking for an option to get away from screen scraping.

Now around 2010, I would say with API’s and data feeds started to drastically change the landscape and providing access to consumer data based on contractual agreements between the aggregators and the financial institutions rather than Hey, we’re just going to scrape your screens and take the day to do whatever we want with it.

There’s been a number of industry associations that cropped up to try to solve this problem. One is called The Clearing House, which is a Banking Association payments company owned by a consortium of large banks. Of course, they don’t like data sharing that would involve screen scraping, and they make a good point. If I’m logging onto Mint, Personal Capital, or Quicken or other aggregators, they don’t want me giving their login information to anybody but they’re asking me as a consumer to give other firms’ login information. So bit of hypocrisy there.

Another industry association nonprofit association that launched which was very successful it’s called the Financial Data Exchange, or FDX. That’s become the de facto standard for API access for interoperable open banking. I believe the stats show as of October 2023, 65 million consumers are accessing their data through third parties or whatever their tools are, that use the FDX API Standards. FDX is another industry consortium. There’s all the big banks Bank of America, Citi, Capital One, firms like Fidelity, JP Morgan, PNC, plus a lot of the vendors are also on the board of directors Envestnet Yodlee, Finicity, Amex, Plaid. It’s the the way to go when it comes to API access for data.

FDX put out a survey in 2021 that found over 12 million US consumers have transitioned from screen scraping to a version of their FDX API, I’m sure two years later that’s gone up quite a bit, and between 65 and 85 million consumers are still providing data through shared login credentials, which we don’t like, and outside North America, a lot of governments have led the march towards API based data access, or like the EU’s PSD2 regulation helped push it over in Europe.

This particular story, which is Fidelity blocking screen scraping and data aggregators, isn’t the first major vendor or major or major custodian to do this. This has been going on for a number of years 2020 was a big year for institutions to block screen scrapers. Envestnet Yodlee and Charles Schwab signed an agreement in April 2022 to avoid Yodlee screen scraping Schwab. So Schwab clients got a better user experience, more reliable, didn’t break as much. They got access to more data because Schwab could offer more information. And that wasn’t the first agreement that Yodlee even closed in 2020, I think they did two or three others one was Citibank one JP Morgan sign agreements. So Yodlee was working very hard, at least when I spoke to them. They’ve always been very strong about the feelings that they’re trying to move away from screen scraping towards data feeds for all of their their data. I’m not sure what the what the percentage is, but it’s pretty high. Also in 2020, JP Morgan made moves to block fintechs from screen scraping, Capital One cut off access to aggregators, and in 2021, Wells Fargo announced plans to transition 99% of current third party financial app screen scraping to API based data exchange, which I believe is the FDX standard.

So clearly a trend, a lot of firms moving in this direction to get rid of screen scraping. Fidelity a little bit late to the game that they are now announcing and they announced they’re going to stop screen scraping about nine months ago. Now what they’re doing, interestingly, is not using FDX, but pushing everyone to use a vendor called Akoya, which coincidentally came out of Fidelity Investments in 2018.

So either from their incubator or they spun it off into an independent company to do this data aggregation and consolidation, and they’ve managed to get 11 other North American banks to invest in the venture. So now it’s another of these industry consortiums, like Zelle, it’s a based response to external pressures. And it’s become very successful because they’re forcing you to use it. Akoya has signed deals with FIS, Intuit, Fiserv, Morningstar, which has the ByAllAccounts data aggregation platform, as well as Envestnet Yodlee.

Interestingly, Plaid, which is one of the biggest providers of before screen scraping and now data connectivity to financial institutions, they’re not using Akoya. They claim that 75% of their data aggregation goes directly through API feeds, but they’ve chosen not to integrate with Akoya at this time. So that creates a bit of a dichotomy for consumers using Plaid, but you’re not going to be able to get access to Fidelity data. That would affect me as an example, I’ve got accounts at Fidelity, I wouldn’t be able to see them through any data aggregation tools that rely on Plaid for conductivity.

They’re not the only ones that are pushing back on Akoya data aggregation vendor Trustly are also not accepting this fee because they’re concerned that Akoya has too much power. Can’t say whether it’s true or not, but that certainly certainly feel that way. This is an issue we see in a lot of different areas in wealth management, in that it’s not in everyone’s interest to cooperate, whether it’s trading models or didn’t get a condition or setting trades. There’s always some firms that are going to opt out because they don’t see it as beneficial to them to cooperate with their competitors.

So we’ve talked about Plaid. There’s a lot of other issues around this, that we’re going to see when it comes to data aggregation and how it plays out. And whether you’re under Fidelity or you’re on other other custodians or you’ve got multiple bank accounts, how you bring that in and how you view your data is going to be another battle. Whether you’re using the consumer tools or using a tool provided by your advisor, there’s always going to be issues when you’ve got these different industry consortiums fighting and some firms in in some firms out.

Another part of the story is Mint shutting down, which I’m sad about because I was a big Mint user. Now Intuit, interestingly, there were some theories that they were using Mint as an onboarding tool to get users into the other products, which I’m sure seems like a good idea. It seems like it was successful. But now they’re shutting it down. And they’re trying to push users over towards Credit Karma, and I don’t see that as good solution. As a Mint user, Credit Karma is just a tool to check your credit score and then sell you credit cards and loans, which is fine. That’s what they’re doing. I’m not into that, but that’s what they want, but it’s not a good solution if you’re looking for personal financial management tool.

My advisor offers eMoney which is a great product for the dashboard so you can do your aggregation there. eMoney has built our own data aggregation. If your advisor is MoneyGuidePro, you can use that MoneyGuidePro of course uses Yodlee by default since they’re both owned by Envestnet.

Now personal financial management goes way back to 1983 when Intuit was founded by Scott Cook, and the Quicken app, which I loved for many years and used for many years. The firm’s called other applications around that time in the 80s were Managing Your Money from Andrew Tobias that was a groundbreaking application, and it was it all started a real interesting market for these personal financial management tools for a subset of consumers that were focused on budgeting a little bit anal retentive, I have to admit that a lot of people don’t want to get this into this much detail but there’s certainly a group of consumers that are interested in this.

I also use Personal Capital, which I found to be a great product and for free on their dashboard. Although I think it’s gone downhill a bit since it was acquired by Empower. Specifically when you go to Personal Capital com, it redirects you to Empower.com which then redirects you back to Personal Capital’s URL when you log in, so it’s a little glitchy there and the dashboards broken, the accounts aren’t updating so I stopped using using the Empower/Personal Capital dashboard. NerdWallet is another option, Quicken is still out there, Quicken Deluxe for $47 a year.

One of the things we’ve been looking at and trying to find more of and I think this is going to be an area that’s going to impact the wealth management space is aggregators of aggregators. Of course, we all know the main some of the biggest aggregators, Yodlee, Plaid/Quovo, eMoney, Finicity and so forth in the RIA space firms like Wealth Access, as well, doing data aggregation, but other firms like there’s there’s another vendor that just came out with Blueleaf just came out with a product called aggregator of aggregators, which I had John Prendergast, CEO on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, so you can take a listen to that. Those types of tools where you can take multiple aggregators, and fill in the gaps because every aggregator is a little bit different. They’ve got a little bit different map of institutions. They probably have some strengths and weaknesses and what data they provide. So I believe that an aggregator of aggregators approach will be the future for most wealth management firms when they want to provide these types of data tools both to advisors and clients.

4. Intention.ly Launches Advisor Brand Builder, a New Marketing Technology for Financial Firms

The next story is Intention.ly launches Advisor Brand Builder, marketing technology platform, Intention.ly was founded by CEO Kelly Waltrich and industry branding veteran Melissa Thomas, and they’ve launched a new platform, which is unusual for a marketing firm to do that. This is a software platform called Advisor Brand Builder. I got a demo of this yesterday, I found it to be refreshingly innovative, very new. There’s nothing like it that I’ve seen on the market. What it does is walks you through all the steps you need as an advisor, it was focused on the advisor business obviously, in building out your brand. Since I’ve done my own brand building for Ezra Group a number of times. I related to a lot of the questions. Of course some of the specific things for advisors don’t relate to us as consultants, but walking through the process of how you come up with your brand, and all the different components that are required, I think it was a very interesting way to do it.

Some parts of it were intuitive, some parts need a little bit of work, but I think it’s a great first start and walks you through from the advisor point of view. If you’re a sole advisor or you’re running an advisory firm, you’re the head of marketing or you need some help with with that, it walks you through all the questions such as what your logo should be like, what message do you want to send with your marketing, do you want to say well, hey, we’re traditional or modern or were a little bit playful or you’re more light in the way we operate so you can specify that and it’ll adjust the branding to that style. The way it shows different color palettes, different groups of color palettes you can say which ones you’d like to like more earth tones like more pastel, bolder colors. You can pick different images, and all the images are licensed from different image services and it’s gives you different groups of images in the different categories that you select.

If you selected modern, you’re going to get images that are more modern. If if you chose traditional, you’re going to get images that are more traditional, and also as iconography that would appear on the website and other layouts. But one part I thought was very interesting where it asks for messaging, that’s going to be a little bit more complicated for advisors to to think about. They need to spend some time thinking, what’s your tagline, and that’s not something that just rolls off the top of your head. You have to think about it a bit. So I think that’s an area where their team can provide feedback.

This is not a completely automated tool. There is a team behind it. It’s more of an onboarding tool. So it’s onboarding for marketing, which is a unique experience. Just like onboarding for advisors, onboarding for portfolio management. Here you have onboarding for marketing. So I think there’s a lot of ways this can be used especially for enterprise broker dealers, enterprise RIAs, that are bringing on a lot of advisors are buying up teams and they want to keep those teams independent, or at least with their own branding. They could use this as an intake tool to gather all the information about the brand, what are my differentiators, what inspired you to become an advisor, a lot of good background information about the advisory firm that then either if I’m a broker dealer, I can get the firm that we’ve acquired or if I am the marketing team, I can better understand what makes that team tick and how can I adjust the brand to match that?

What’s your value prop and then once you go through all those questions and fill it all that all that text and all the answer all the options, the system generates the foundational brand assets. Simple things like business card, and stationery but also branded banners for Twitter profiles, LinkedIn profiles, Facebook profiles, and other social media graphics, which I have to tell you is not easy to build way back when before Ezra Group grew a lot and we could hire marketing people, I was doing that myself. And I remember trying to remember we found trying to figure out well, how big is the Twitter logo or the Twitter profile image supposed to be the background and how many pixels is it and how do I want to have my using the measure pixels? I don’t have Adobe Illustrator. So this this kind of tool can be helpful to a marketing person. If you’re a one man band marketing person at an RIA and you need to be able to generate brand assets quickly and update them and see when they’ll change the colors a bit. Tweak the logo a bit. You can run it through the system and it’ll regenerate everything for you on the flight, which is very cool. I’m looking forward to some more AI tools.

I know they that’s this is the first version. Kelly said they’re they’re building a lot of AI into this which I think could be very helpful, especially for a standalone version or to give advice to the advisor while they’re filling the form out, asking them some questions about differentiation that they don’t understand a lot of advisors maybe don’t know what the differentiation is. So it’s a tool rather than just give me an empty box, give me some questions that say, Hey, here’s some things that other advisors use. Maybe review the text in real time and give some feedback. If someone’s looking over your shoulder and say, Oh, that’s probably a great idea. Oh, you should expand more on this thing. The AI will be perfect. The generative AI tools would be perfect for that kind of feedback.

There’s two versions of this: self-directed and one consultative. Consultative is where there’s people walking you through it. So that’ll provide a lot of benefits for advisors. This is something that I think just take a look at even if you’ve already got a logo and you’ve already got your brand, it’s an interesting journey and will remind you of a lot of things maybe you didn’t think about when you were building your brand or maybe gives you some innovative ideas for how to adjust your brand going forward or either way you should definitely give them a call, Kelly and Melissa over and Intentional.ly.

5. Advisortech Map Updates

Here’s the list of all new products being added to the map for November:

All right, we’ve come to my favorite part of the news. We’re talking about the advisor tech map that Michael Kitces and I partner on, which you can find on Kitces.com anytime, and I’m going to go through the new applications that were added this month. We have seven applications. We’re just going to do a quick review of each quick. Two seconds on each one here. The first one that we added new vendors called Practice Intel, and they aren’t a platform that helps advisors gather client feedback. The client engagement category of the new map if you see the new organization in October, we redesigned the map. Of course Michael’s team did most of the work. There. The way you’ve got to be color coded and under client engagement you’ve got client being support, client data gathering and client feedback, which is where Practice Intel is going to go.

Then the next one that we’re adding is called MyNameFlow and that is an automated marketing platform that helps advisors find lost prospects and drive engagement to grow sales. So it’s an automated marketing platform going it will be going under the digital marketing category of the advisortech map. We’re seeing more of these types of tools. So I believe that in our industry, at least Nitrogen, formerly Riskalyze sort of blazed the trail for growth platforms and sales enablement tools. This is another something similar, although it’s going into the digital marketing category, called MyNameFlow, at MyNameFlow.com.

The next up is Forms Logic. I saw these guys at the Schwab IMPACT Conference, very interesting workflow solution. They’re going into the workflow support category. They’ve got streamline processing, paperless electronic onboarding. They provide operational efficiency, they manage data and of course, their document management solution as well. They’ve been around for a while since 2015 in case haven’t heard of them, they fly a bit under the radar mostly enterprise solutions. They’re mostly in the enterprise space, doing data storage, they support compliance for business processing. They linked to CRMs a very interesting product.

When this application came in to our our queue for this month with Michael and I it sparked interesting discussion is a little bit of inside baseball as to what’s the difference between workflow processing or workflow support category, the digital onboarding category, the document management category, and the forms management category, because they all have workflow in them, right? If you’re doing an onboarding, you’ve got to have workflow if you’re doing docket management, you got to have workflow. If you’re doing forms processing, there’s got to be workflow. So Michael and I had a discussion about the differences between them and we didn’t come to any agreement. But we did agree to put Forms Logic into workflow support even though the word “forms” is in the name so maybe I should go in forms management, but from what I know about them, they’re better in the workflow category, but you may see some shake up there. Between those categories, or at least we’re going to come up with some better guidelines, when an application goes into one of those or the other.

Next up, is Hadrius. They are a compliance solution. Claims be powered by AI. I’m always skeptical of that. So I’m going to be getting a demo of Hadrius to drill down to see is it AI driven, is it using AI in the background. They do communications review, archiving, marketing, review and archiving, trade monitoring. Task management at to stations and disclosures, you’ll see them in the compliance category.

Next, new application being added to the Advisortech map that Michael Kitces and I work on is Paraplanner.ai. They claim you can save 10 hours a week using their delegation tools where you can delegate admin and planning tasks to their technology. They’re going into the sales enablement categories because they’re all about helping firms to grow. Growth tools growth platform, they offer admin assistance at 35 bucks an hour and para-planning at $50 an hour that you can get through their application Paraplanner.ai.

Number six on the list, Masttro, they are data aggregation account aggregation. Their website from what I’ve seen, I saw a demo a while back that they are on the higher end, higher net worth, ultra high net worth client reporting. Data gathering data consolidation. They focus a lot on alternative investments, illiquid assets, it’s a bit of a niche, but it is going to the account aggregation category and you can find it at Masttro.

We’ve got Orion Compliance. They’ve launched their compliances I believe has always been available as a standalone application. And I believe our new rule on the map is if you have an application that you sell standalone it’s got separate pricing then even though it integrates with other parts of your business, we will put it on the map. So Orion Compliance is offered standalone you can buy it separately. You can find it Orion.com and we are adding it to the map.

So that’s the update for the map you’ll see a new one this is now the end of November. That’s the November map changes. So if you go to Kitces.com and look up the latest FinTech news, scroll to the bottom and you can download the latest advisor tech map.

All right, you’ve reached the end of another episode of the wealth tech today podcast. Thanks for listening. Please go to our website EzraGroup.com scroll to the bottom of the homepage and sign up for our newsletter. Once a month you will receive an email chock full of wealth management news information updates, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks again for listening and talk to you all 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