StratiFi And Entrustody Recruit Executives, SkyView Launches Mobile Banking Tool, Docupace’s PreciseFP Integrates With LPL, Mirador Enhances Compensation Management, LaSalle St. Enhances Advisor Tech Center, Ledgex Launches Document Retrievals, FusionIQ Integrates With Blueleaf, CapIntel Launches Proposal Builder And COMPLY Publishes 2023 Regulation Rundown
In this edition of the Wealthtech Roundup, we speak with our newest Wealthtech Leader of the Month, Akhil Lodha, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of StratiFi.
Other entries this month include the launch of SKYVIEW 1’s mobile banking platform for advisors to offer to their clients, Docupace subsidiary PreciseFP integrating with LPL Financial, Mirador revitalizing its compensation management services, LaSalle St. adding a concierge service to its Technology Learning Center for advisors, Ledgex launching a private investment document retrieval service, FusionIQ integrating with Blueleaf, Entrustody appointing Brian Kutmas as Senior Vice President of Product and Technology, CapIntel launching SEC-aligned proposal building features for RIAs and COMPLY publishing its 2023 Regulation Rundown.
1. StratiFi Recruits Sarah Gribben As Director Of Sales And Business Development
Risk management platform StratiFi announced the hiring of Sarah Gribben as Director of Sales and Business Development, responsible for developing and cultivating customer relationships. With over two decades of experience, Gribben previously served as Senior Account Manager; VP, Key Accounts; and Director, Advisor Sales during 12 years at eMoney Advisor.
StratiFi provides solutions for client risk profiling, portfolio risk analysis and compliance. The company serves financial advisors, investment managers and compliance officers at IBDs, RIAs, family offices and institutions. StratiFi monitors more than 135,000 accounts with a total of over $50 billion in assets under its risk supervision.
And now for our Q&A with Wealthtech Leader of the Month, Akhil Lodha, Co-Founder and CEO of StratiFi.
WSR: Why did StratiFi recently recruit Sarah Gribben, formerly of eMoney Advisor? How does her appointment align with StratiFi’s long-term growth plans?
Lodha: We have experienced significant growth in recent months. Her appointment will further this growth trajectory. Also, the wealth management industry has seen an increased focus on risk and compliance, with firms operating within a highly regulated environment.
StratiFi has responded to this shift by prioritizing its risk offerings, which she believes offer a unique contrast in the crowded fintech marketplace. Overall, her addition to the team, vast knowledge of financial technology and experience in sales roles position StratiFi well to capitalize on what we believe are some enormous opportunities in this market.
WSR: What are wealth management firms that StratiFi communicates with saying are their major pain points regarding the other major risk and compliance platforms on the market? How is StratiFi seeking to overcome those challenges for customers?
Lodha: For one, some risk and compliance platforms require wealth management firms to classify securities and assign them appropriate risk ratings, which many don’t have much experience doing. Two, the incumbent in the RIA space for risk analysis lacks a sophisticated risk model, and its core platform is just a marketing platform, as evidenced by its name change.
Third, many platforms can be difficult to use, making it challenging for firms to get advisor adoption to manage risk and compliance effectively. Finally, much of the market is either unable or unwilling to customize platforms for enterprise firms that are looking for a level of customization necessary to meet the specific needs of their advisors and clients.
WSR: How can a wealth management firm and its advisors determine if a risk and compliance platform will be a good fit for their needs, before signing up for a long-term commitment with that platform?
Lodha: When determining if a risk and compliance platform is a good fit, wealth management firms and advisors should consider its alignment with the key Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) priorities and its effectiveness in helping the firm address specific areas of examinations around suitability assessment and RegBI compliance.
This includes its ability to support advisors in assisting clients, especially vulnerable ones; create and implement policies and procedures that comply with applicable securities laws; provide tools to help mitigate conflicts of interest; and support compliance officers in implementing supervisory control systems.
2. SkyView Launches Digital Banking Solution For Advisors’ Clients
Wayzata, Minnesota-based SkyView Partners, an investment bank and specialty lender supporting the M&A goals of RIAs, launched SKYVIEW 1, a sister company that offers mobile banking technology and products to high net worth individuals through their financial advisor.
The new venture provides RIAs and broker-dealers with a dashboard for advisors to open bank accounts, link external bank accounts, set up recurring bill pay and direct deposit, initiate electronic payments and wires on behalf of their clients, as well as see an overview of each client’s SKYVIEW 1 accounts. Advisors’ clients can access a savings account with a 3.51% APY interest rate and up to $125 million in FDIC insurance.
“SKYVIEW 1 empowers independent and registered investment advisors to compete with big banks and wirehouses with an optimized user experience that is 100% white labeled for each practice,” said Scott Wetzel, CEO and Co-Founder of SkyView Partners and SKYVIEW 1.
3. Docupace’s PreciseFP Integrates With LPL
Client engagement and data gathering platform PreciseFP, a subsidiary of wealthtech firm Docupace, announced a partnership with LPL Financial to provide access for its more than 21,000 advisors and 1,100 affiliated enterprises to tools designed to streamline and modernize client engagement.
The PreciseFP platform provides data-gathering fact finders, automated workflows, prospect management tools and a library of client engagement templates designed to free advisors’ time from manual data entry. It shares data through integrations with over 30 wealthtech providers including CRMs, financial planning software and other advisor tools, allowing users to share data across applications.
“We are thrilled to partner with LPL Financial to bring to their network of advisors the technology, solutions and data-gathering tools financial professionals need to simplify the process of collecting client data,” said Richard Thoeny, EVP – Product Strategy at PreciseFP. “Our purpose is to empower financial advisors to spend more of their valuable time on what’s most important to their firm and its clients.”
4. Mirador Enhances Compensation Management Services
Wealthtech services provider Mirador announced a revitalization of its compensation management services, including an expanded team and upgraded product capabilities to extend its offerings of data sourcing and uploading, system maintenance and new advisor onboarding.
The firm provides a range of managed services for financial reporting, technology solutions and products for the ultra-high and high net worth wealth management space. Its compensation management services provide sales, profitability and compensation reporting, as well as business insights for improving operations.
“Mirador provides clients with exclusive access to a dedicated team of experts who are committed to staying at the forefront of industry advancements and ensuring these advancements are vetted and implemented in a way that best serves each unique client need,” said the firm’s CEO and President, Joseph Larizza. “Our dedicated teams alleviate the challenges that in-house tech teams face in keeping pace with rapid market innovations and provide an extra layer of security for potential talent gaps.”
5. LaSalle St. Enhances Tech-Based Advisor Support With Concierge Service
Chicago-based wealth management firm LaSalle St. enhanced the advisor support features of its Technology Learning Center with a concierge service. Over the past year, LaSalle St. gathered feedback from its advisors and upgraded the Center by expanding its self-help section.
The firm’s upgraded tools have been designed to better help advisors integrate technology and participate in peer-to-peer exchanges while also accessing its live webinars, recorded videos, written documentation and a podcast.
“After launching our Technology Learning Center, we found that while many of our advisors were completely fine to use this tool to apply new technologies to their practices, others felt that they needed a bit more support to make the right choice,” said Mark Contey, LaSalle St.’s Senior Vice President, Business Development. “With their help, we developed a hands-on resource they can use to fully optimize their practices through the application of technology that best fits their needs.”
6. Ledgex Launches Private Investment Document Retrieval Service
Ledgex, which provides tools to help investment firms manage complex asset portfolios with data accuracy and transparency in a timely manner, launched a document retrieval service – Ledgex DRS – for family offices and other financial firms to minimize manual tasks associated with private investments.
Ledgex DRS provides the ability to download, upload, transfer and audit documents that originate in various portals. Its cybersecurity protocols leverage Azure, Password Manager, multifactor authentication and operational status updates for validation. The company also plans to release a dashboard for Ledgex DRS that can function as a single place to find status updates, make ad-hoc requests, monitor operational errors and more.
“Due to security issues, there’s no way to fully automate this process, so many financial services providers throw bodies at document retrieval, raising overhead, the likelihood of mistakes and staff burnout,” said Ledgex CEO Nicole Eberhardt. “Ledgex DRS gets the data in the system as quickly and cost efficiently as possible, so customers know exactly where they stand at all times, and employees can focus on more gratifying, strategic work.”
7. FusionIQ Integrates With Blueleaf To Boost Reporting Capabilities
FusionIQ announced a strategic integration with Blueleaf, a provider of billing, reporting and client aggregation tools, in a move designed to help firms undergo digital transformation with an enhanced user experience (UX).
The platform enables advisors to customize, schedule and deliver reporting in a white-label environment. FusionIQ selected Blueleaf due to its automated reporting and communication platform, which provides performance reporting, billing, invoicing, account aggregation, portfolio monitoring and client updates and reports.
“By leveraging Blueleaf’s automated reporting and communications platform, FusionIQ clients will benefit from a best-in-class, client-focused UX, expanded institution coverage (multi-custodian approach), and innovative reporting capabilities that enables streamlined connection management for held-away accounts,” said FusionIQ CEO Mark Healy. “Working together, Fusion IQ and Blueleaf will guarantee a secure environment for end-clients, where they may safely share their account information.”
8. Entrustody Appoints Brian Kutmas As SVP Of Product And Technology
Entrustody, a digital-first custodial platform for RIAs, appointed Brian Kutmas as Senior Vice President of Product and Technology. He is responsible for leading the firm’s product and engineering teams, and accelerating its strategic roadmap toward growth through custodial solutions that align with advisors’ goals.
Kutmas has approximately 20 years of financial technology experience. Among other positions, he previously served as Vice President of Product Development and before that Senior Product Director at the financial planning software provider NaviPlan, now a part of InvestCloud; as well as Senior Development Manager and before that Senior IT Architect at FIS Global, where he worked on banking technology.
“Brian’s unparalleled experience building and leading product development staff will greatly enhance our continuous efforts to integrate innovation while creating the custodian of the future,” said Entrustody Founder and CEO Patrick Moeller. “Our primary objective is to establish the market’s foremost RIA custodial experience, and Brian’s exceptional leadership and expertise will be instrumental in achieving this goal.”
9. CapIntel Launches SEC-Aligned Proposal Building Features For RIAs
The Toronto-based B2B fintech provider CapIntel launched a wealthtech platform with proposal building features that enable financial advisors and their RIAs to create investment presentations in accordance with elements of the SEC’s Marketing Rule. It includes adhering to the SEC Marketing Rule’s principles-based general prohibitions, automating key controls and providing a consistent format.
Compliance features encompass disclosure automation, abiding by Marketing Rule requirements that advertisements showing gross performance also include net performance, and using the same time periods to compare performance as well as the same return type and methodology. CapIntel’s new functionality enables inclusion of only net performance and performance over specified time periods.
“Financial advisors rely on investment presentations to ultimately build the foundations of trust critical to client relations,” said James Rockwood, Founder and CEO of CapIntel. “CapIntel’s customers and partners can rest assured that tailored proposals deliver knowledge and perspectives while staying within the parameters of regulatory requirements.”
10. COMPLY 2023 Regulation Rundown Finds Potential Gaps At Financial Firms
Regtech firm COMPLY published its 2023 Regulation Rundown of changes, enhancements and proposed amendments and rules from agencies and associations including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Department of Labor (DOL) and North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
COMPLY proprietary data based on market surveys found that 60% of the polled audience considered proposed cybersecurity risk management rules to be a primary concern for their firm, and 53% were uncertain whether their current tech stack would be strong enough to satisfy regulators going forward.
“Past periods of heightened rulemaking have occurred in the aftermath of a crisis or scandal and were meant to correct systemic issues or bad actions that contributed to the calamity,” said COMPLY Chief Regulatory Officer John Gebauer, who predicts between five to ten rule proposals are likely to pass by the end of the year. “The confounding aspect of the current rulemaking blitz is that there is no singular event or trend that would justify the magnitude by which regulators are proposing to reshape the financial markets.”
Chris Latham, Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at email@example.com