Wealthtech Roundup: GeoWealth, Pontera, Advisor360°, Snappy Kraken And Docupace

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

GeoWealth Launches Investment Consulting Division, Pontera Appoints First CMO, Advisor360° Enhances Advisor-Client Toolkit, Snappy Kraken Partners With Three Leading CRMs And Docupace Expands Executive and Management Bench

Our Wealthtech Roundup is back with the most exciting developments in the space that financial advisors and their firms need to know. We also interview our new “Wealthtech Leader of the Month” about their firm’s latest contribution. For our second installment of the monthly column, we speak with Colin Falls, President at GeoWealth, about its new Investment Consulting Division and upgrades to its turnkey asset management platform (TAMP).

Other entries this month include Pontera appointing startup veteran Nicole Zheng as its first Chief Marketing Officer, Advisor360° enhancing its advisor-client toolkit for the financial planning process, Snappy Kraken integrating data synchronization with three leading customer relationship management (CRM) platforms as well as Docupace expanding its executive and management bench with five key appointments. 

1. GeoWealth Launches Investment Consulting Division And Upgrades TAMP Platform

GeoWealth, a TAMP and fintech solutions provider, announced several upgrades to provide RIAs with more personalization and choice. These include launching an Investment Consulting Division, rolling out a new asset manager portal and expanding its model marketplace by more than 200%. 

Its Investment Consulting Division allows advisors to access concierge-level support for developing customized Unified Managed Account (UMA) solutions. The manager portal enables third-party asset managers and advisors to communicate on portfolio updates and trading order execution. GeoWealth’s model marketplace now includes strategies from managers at JP Morgan, PIMCO, Fidelity, State Street, Astoria Portfolio Advisors and WestEnd Advisors

WSR Wealthtech Leader of the Month, Colin Falls, President at GeoWealth

The company also recently integrated with Pontera, to help advisors manage clients’ held-away accounts, and with 55ip, to help advisors with tax-focused portfolio management. These integrations in turn help GeoWealth, which has approximately $18 billion in platform assets, to better position itself as a modern, intuitive and holistic platform.

And now for our quick Q&A with Wealthtech Leader of the Month Colin Falls, President at GeoWealth.

WSR: There’s so much tech out there for wealth management firms. How do these upgrades help GeoWealth stand out for RIAs?

Falls: No doubt there is an ocean of wealthtech and “platforms” out there in the RIA market. It’s easier to stand out as a TAMP because you are targeting a very specific advisor with very specific needs. Advisors predominantly choose GeoWealth, or another TAMP, because they are looking to streamline their growth. 

What we have learned focusing exclusively on the RIA market, in contrast to the broker-dealer market, is that firms want a high degree of control and flexibility along with intuitive integrated technology. 

Our recent announcement is an extension of our mantra to provide RIAs more optionality, access and control of the service that best meets their needs. While many of our firms manage their own investments, some have expressed an interest to have more hands-on support in selecting managers and putting together model allocations. GeoWealth is offering more choice in service and selection – that is primarily what our latest platform upgrades are about. That’s how we stand out.

WSR: How can wealth management leaders determine ahead of time which TAMP solutions will really be value-add?

Falls: The value provided by TAMPs is wrapped around resource optimization and economies of scale. If a leader can determine that they are able to allocate a higher allocation of internal resources toward revenue growth, and if the incremental cost to achieve that revenue trends down with growth, then I say with certainty that the TAMP solution evaluated is certainly providing a lot of value.

WSR: What’s next for GeoWealth, in terms of product pipeline and/or strategic growth initiatives, and why?

Falls: The big challenge for us going forward is to offer new features and enhancements while being true to our core competencies and the value we provide advisors. RIAs choose us to be their TAMP, which we define as the implementation and maintenance of model portfolios – inclusive of trading, reporting and billing – via integrated and intuitive technology. 

Look for us to go deeper and broader within those parameters. Our strategic roadmap includes initiatives like more tax efficiency tools, broader investment product offerings, more robust portfolio analytics and overall workflow automation and enablement.   

To learn more, view the press release here.

Pontera focuses on retirement account technology

2. Pontera Appoints First CMO Nicole Zheng, Gaining Experienced Startup Leadership

Retirement plan focused fintech provider Pontera – which helps advisors to securely manage, trade and report on their clients’ held-away accounts such as including 401(k)s, 403(b)s and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) – appointed Nicole Zheng as its first Chief Marketing Officer.

Zheng has over a decade of experience with marketing leadership and strategy execution. She co-founded Minim (NASDAQ: MINM), a publicly traded intelligent networking software and device company that grew to $55 million in net annual revenue. Zheng also serves as Advising CMO at the startup Aliro Quantum and previously served as CMO at the cloud software firms Antidote Technologies and OnSIP.

Earlier this year, Pontera (formerly FeeX) received an $80 million venture capital investment. The company has partnerships with wealth management firms including Carson Group, Dynasty Financial Partners and Sageview Advisory Group. Pontera also has strategic integrations with GeoWealth, Morningstar Office and SS&C’s Advent Custodial Data Network.

To learn more, view the press release here.

3. Advisor360° Enhances Advisor-Client Toolkit For Financial Planning Process

Enhancing the planning toolkit

Advisor360°, an open architecture software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, released enhancements to its financial planning process and engagement tools for advisors and their clients. These address client goals and proposals, portfolio model management and rebalancing, repeatable dependent workflows for advisors and their staff as well as their document management system. 

“Our most recent enhancements address one of financial advisors’ greatest challenges – getting complete information from clients, which impacts the entire planning process, including making investment decisions and portfolio recommendations,” Suzanne Bohs, Vice President of Product at Advisor360°, said in the press release.

The company serves wealth management firms that in total advise approximately 3 million households representing $1 trillion in assets. Earlier this year, Advisor360° also rolled out new capabilities for insurance policy beneficiary reporting, automated document bundling for broker-dealers and quicker client-account onboarding for advisors.

To learn more, view the press release here.

4. Snappy Kraken Integrates Data Syncing With Salesforce, Redtail And Wealthbox

Two-way data integration

Snappy Kraken – which provides marketing automation and campaigns and online advertising solutions for the financial services firms – launched bidirectional data integration with CRM providers SalesforceRedtail Technology and Wealthbox.  

The goal of the two-way synchronizations is to maximize real-time data flow and minimize the need for financial advisors to search for the most updated source of their contacts’ addresses and other demographic information. “Our industry should continue to demand more of these bidirectional integrations that truly increase efficiencies and connections,” Snappy Kraken Chief Executive Officer Robert Sofia said in the press release.

This month, Salesforce also partnered with Fidelity Institutional on a pilot integration to link financial accounts for RIAs and family offices. Orion Advisor Solutions acquired Redtail in April. The private equity firm Frontier Growth took a $31 million minority stake in Wealthbox in March. 

To learn more, view the press release here.

5. Docupace Expands Executive And Management Bench With Five Key Appointments

Emerging leaders

As we previously reported, Docupace expanded its leadership bench by appointing John StiloSebastian SkwarekFlorence RoyceNouman Jan and Debbie Miller to leadership and management roles across the organization. 

Stilo was appointed Executive Vice President, Finance and Accounting. Skwarek was appointed Executive Vice President, Engineering & President of Docupace Europe. Royce was appointed Vice President, Professional Services. Jan was appointed as Director, Information Technology and Site Reliability Engineering. Miller was appointed Manager, Customer Care Support.

Docupace, a cloud-based digital operations software provider for the wealth management industry, has appointed several new executives since its acquisition by FTV Capital in April 2020. This includes CEO David Knoch, who took the reins at that time, Michael Vossler as Chief Revenue Officer in April 2021, Kevin Armstrong as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer in October 2020 and Ryan George as Chief Marketing Officer in September 2020.

To learn more, view the press release here.

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at clatham@wealthsolutionsreport.com


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