Advisor Circle Gears Up For Future Proof, CapIntel Launches Client Presentation Builder, GeoWealth And Halo Partner On Structured Notes, Snappy Kraken Launches AI-Powered Email Builder, Venn By Two Sigma Launches Analytics And Presentation Tool, Catchlight Launches Salesforce Integration, BetaNXT And Opto Make Executive Hires
In this edition of the Wealthtech Roundup, we speak with our newest Wealthtech Leader of the Month, Matt Middleton, CEO and Co-Founder of Advisor Circle, about its preparations for the second annual Future Proof Festival.
Other entries this month include CapIntel launching a presentation builder to enhance client communications, GeoWealth and Halo partnering to provide RIAs structured notes in UMAs, Snappy Kraken launching an AI-powered email builder for advisors, Venn by Two Sigma launching an analytics and presentation tool, Catchlight launching a Salesforce integration, as well as BetaNXT and Opto Investments making executive hires.
1. Advisor Circle Gears Up For Second Annual Future Proof Festival
Future Proof will be held Sept. 10-13 in Huntington Beach, California. It is the brainchild of Advisor Circle, a content and product studio for the financial services industry, and Ritholtz Wealth Management.
Billed as “the world’s largest wealth festival,” Future Proof premiered last year – and was held outdoors. This year’s sponsors include State Street Global Advisors, Vanguard, Morningstar, Orion, Fidelity and dozens more leading companies. This year’s speakers include DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach, John Hancock Investment Management Co-Chief Investment Strategist Emily Roland, myself and many others.
And now for our Q&A with Wealthtech Leader of the Month, Matt Middleton, CEO and Co-Founder of Advisor Circle.
WSR: What can wealthtech firms, as well as financial advisors and wealth management firms looking to optimize their tech stacks, each get out of the upcoming second annual Future Proof Festival?
Middleton: The Future Proof Festival is the largest annual gathering of wealthtech and wealth management executives in the industry. It serves as a nexus for innovation and collaboration. Wealthtech firms can expect to access over 1,000 top-tier wealth management professionals, including CEOs, CTOs, COOs and fast-growing financial advisors.
These professionals are eager to advance their firms through the use of technology. With 200+ wealthtech companies in attendance, financial advisors and wealth management firms will have a front-row seat to the latest technology tools and trends, propelling them ahead in the rapidly evolving industry.
Anyone looking to refine their tech stacks can gain insights into solutions that enhance client relationships, streamline operations and drive profitability. This gathering is not just about the tech, but also about anticipating the future needs of clients and adapting proactively.
WSR: How is artificial intelligence impacting the wealthtech landscape, and how is Future Proof addressing these AI breakthroughs?
Middleton: AI has the potential to revolutionize almost every aspect of the wealth management industry. The depth and speed at which it can process information outpaces human capacity, enabling firms to grow more efficiently and support clients more effectively.
Artificial intelligence is one of the key themes at this year’s Future Proof Festival. Several leading AI experts will take the stage, ensuring stakeholders understand the implications, potential and ethical considerations intertwined with AI-driven wealth management.
The event showcases the latest innovations and trends in the industry, and many of the 185+ sponsor companies will eagerly give the audience a front-row seat into the future of wealth management right from their outdoor exhibit space.
WSR: In general, what’s the best way for financial professionals to evaluate any potential wealthtech platform before committing to using it over the long-term? How can they know beforehand that it’s worth their time and money?
Middleton: If you want to evaluate a potential wealthtech platform, you can start by coming to Future Proof (half-kidding). But in all seriousness, advisors should prioritize platforms that align with their unique needs and goals.
This involves hands-on trial-testing, scrutinizing user experience, evaluating integration capabilities and assessing platform scalability. It’s also helpful to tap into your network of industry colleagues to get their personal reviews of the technology.
Before investing, professionals should ensure the technology delivers a measurable return on investment either by boosting efficiency, enhancing client interactions or directly impacting their bottom line. Always avoid the shiny object syndrome.
2. CapIntel Launches Presentation Builder To Enhance Client Communication
Toronto-based CapIntel announced the launch of a holistic, digital wealth management platform designed for advisors to provide advice to clients, with a comprehensive view of their investments through an interactive presentation builder that contains compliance and secure sharing protocols.
The platform, named “OMNI,” is intended to enhance client conversations and enable better decision-making. CapIntel aims for OMNI to provide advisors with accessible, credible, informative and tailored financial presentations that enable clients to better understand their financial goals and how to achieve them, to enhance the human relationships with and advice for their clients.
“With an ongoing commitment to advancing technology in the financial industry, OMNI sets the stage for a transformational shift in advisor-client and advisor-asset manager conversations,” said CapIntel Founder and CEO James Rockwood. “By providing advisors with a comprehensive and interactive presentation tool, OMNI aims to elevate the value proposition of advisors and create an impeccable digital experience for clients.”
3. GeoWealth And Halo Partnership Provides RIAs Structured Notes In UMAs
A new partnership between Chicago-based fintech firms GeoWealth and Halo Investing enables GeoWealth to provide customizable structured note portfolios as a component of a Unified Managed Account (UMA). Halo’s structured notes tool enables RIAs to deploy and manage structured note exposure to client portfolios and model programs.
GeoWealth’s proprietary sub-accounting software also will allow RIAs that use structured notes in UMAs to view, report and bill at the individual sleeve level. GeoWealth’s TAMP and open architecture technology also is designed to offload middle-and back-office responsibilities. Halo Investing also connects advisors with providers of buffered ETFs and annuities, as well as offers digital tools and education resources.
“This partnership with Halo is another step forward in our mission of creating the UMAs of the future,” said Colin Falls, President and CEO of GeoWealth. “Partnering with Halo and leveraging their protective investment solutions allows GeoWealth users more flexibility in customizing models at scale.”
4. Snappy Kraken Launches AI-Powered Email Builder For Advisors
Ormond Beach, Florida-based Snappy Kraken – which provides marketing automation, campaigns and online advertising solutions for financial services firms – launched an artificial intelligence powered email builder with the goal of helping financial advisors quickly create more impactful email campaigns to clients and prospects.
The new tool can revise email headlines and text, as well as generate brand-consistent images and call-to-action buttons intended to drive audience follow-through. Since its founding in 2016, Snappy Kraken has sent more than 100 million emails for advisors, which the company also has analyzed to enhance data-driven decision-making regarding advisors’ communications.
“Many advisors have found themselves caught up in what we call ‘blinking cursor syndrome’ – a situation where they have a great idea they want to communicate to their clients or prospects, but are stuck staring at an empty screen, feeling the pressure, trying to figure out the best way to convey it,” said Robert Sofia, Co-Founder and CEO of Snappy Kraken. “Our response, powered by AI, tackles this issue head-on.”
5. Venn by Two Sigma Launches ‘Report Lab’ Analytics And Presentation Tool
Portfolio analytics platform Venn by Two Sigma launched a new analytics and presentation tool called Report Lab. It is designed to create client-ready reports and proposals, as well as to help investment teams become better at communicating data-driven portfolio insights that Venn reveals.
Report Lab is intended to complement other tools that Venn provides to asset allocators. These include an end-to-end workspace that runs risk analyses and communicates them to users’ end-clients and other decision makers. Report Lab also is designed to be able to combine analytics from multiple sources. NewEdge Wealth served as a beta tester for the module.
“Modern-day advisors and other allocators are looking for a single tool where they can run all their portfolio and manager analytics and easily create customized and polished presentations showcasing those findings,” said Venn CEO Marco Della Torre. “With Report Lab, investment teams can clearly communicate proposed strategies and make deep quantitative analytics easy to understand across multiple audiences.”
6. Catchlight Launches Salesforce Integration To Access Data Insights Directly In CRM
The lead-gen platform Catchlight launched an integration for Salesforce on Salesforce AppExchange. It allows advisors to access Catchlight’s data insights without exiting their CRM, viewing estimated liquid investable assets, projected client revenue, age and income ranges, and more data types within Salesforce. The Catchlight Score, a prediction of how likely a prospect is to convert, also will be available.
In April, Catchlight launched an AI-based tool for generating personalized emails to prospects, in beta mode for active subscribers. It uses a proprietary transformation layer and natural language processing model to facilitate one-on-one outreach campaigns by making unique emails that advisors can edit. Founded in 2020, Catchlight arose from the Fidelity Labs technology incubator of Fidelity investments.
“Firms with ambitious goals for attracting new clients need data insights to better understand and scale their organic growth campaigns, and expect them to be easily integrated within the platforms they already use,” said Yelena Melamed, Co-founder and Head of Product at Catchlight. “This app is a major stride towards that objective, and we feel validated to see our users already winning new business with advancements such as this.”
7. BetaNXT Appoints Peter Horowitz Head Of Corporate Development
BetaNXT, a provider of wealth management infrastructure software, hired Peter Horowitz as Head of Corporate Development, reporting to BetaNXT Chairman and CEO Stephen Daffron. Horowitz most recently served as the Chief Strategy Officer of Dun & Bradstreet, where Daffron also previously served as President. Earlier in his career, Horowitz was a Partner at PwC and Arthur Andersen.
BetaNXT is a combination of three platforms – Beta, which automates the securities trade, settlement and asset servicing life cycle, including custody operations; Maxit, which provides real-time cost basis and tax information reporting as well as tax optimization and reconciliation services; and Mediant, which streamlines investor and client communications for brokers, banks, corporate issuers and mutual funds.
“I have known the senior leadership at BetaNXT for some time, and I am proud to be working alongside them to further the company’s mission and deliver more value to all stakeholders,” said Peter Horowitz, Head of Corporate Development at BetaNXT. “Together, we can monitor market trends and identify the ideal business strategy opportunities for our organization.”
8. Opto Investments Recruits Industry Veteran Matt Dunn As Head Of Marketing
Opto Investments, a private markets investment platform that helps RIAs access alternative investment opportunities, hired Matt Dunn as Head of Marketing. Dunn previously served as Executive Vice President and Head of Americas Marketing at PIMCO.
Prior to that role, Dunn served as EVP and Global Head of Digital Marketing at PIMCO. Before that, he was Head of Digital Marketing for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Earlier in his career, Dunn spent 16 years at Franklin Templeton Investments. Opto Investments provides a suite of alternative asset tools to help independent advisors gain clients and revenue.
“What stood out to me was Opto’s pioneering approach to reshaping the private markets landscape,” Dunn said. “The chance to enhance premier access to private markets while further developing a brand with strong financial support and high client demand is incredibly motivating.”
Chris Latham, Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at email@example.com