Wealthtech Roundup: AdvisorEngine, T3, CogniCor, AssetMark And More

T3, CapIntel And SnappyKraken Reveal Advisor Tech Reports. AssetLink Launches. Nitrogen Partners With RFG. CogniCor Integrates With Microsoft. Flourish Annuities Launches. AssetMark Launches Tax Services. Orion Enhances Syncing, AI Tools. And Rich Cancro Of AdvisorEngine Is Our Newest Wealthtech Leader Of The Month.
Wealthtech Leader of the Month, Rich Cancro, CEO of AdvisorEngine
Wealthtech Leader of the Month, Rich Cancro, CEO of AdvisorEngine
Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report
Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

In this edition of the Wealthtech Roundup, we speak with our newest Wealthtech Leader of the Month, Rich Cancro, CEO of AdvisorEngine, about the company’s recent Schwab integration and its plans for future enhancements.

Other entries this month include the 2024 T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey results, AssetLink launching to connect asset managers and advisors, Nitrogen partnering with RFG Advisory, CogniCor integrating with Microsoft Azure OpenAI, Flourish launching an annuities platform, CapIntel revealing a report on tech solutions to advisor challenges, SnappyKraken revealing a digital marketing strategy report, AssetMark launching digital tax management services and Orion rolling out calendar syncing and AI speech enhancements.

Larry’s Take

Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report
Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report

Advisor-facing technology reports have a wealth of useful information. This roundup summarizes three such reports. A recent Deals & Recruiting Roundup did so for a Smarsh report on digital compliance. And we also covered a Financial Services Institute (FSI) report that touches on tech regulations.

The challenge for advisors and wealth management firm leaders is finding the time to read them all. Or rather, figuring out which ones to read. At WSR, we try to alleviate some of that burden for you by highlighting the most salient points. But just as every advisory practice is unique, so are their wealthtech needs.

That means technology firms producing these reports must make them as relevant, engaging, forward-thinking and useful as possible. Not only will that help them get their message across better – and potentially bolster their sales – it also will help the broader industry do a better job of serving and protecting their end-clients.

If you would like to discuss this Larry’s Take further, including how these trends might impact your business, please contact me at larry.roth@rlrstrategicpartners.com.

1. AdvisorEngine Integrates With Schwab, Ritholtz Wealth Management

Rich Cancro, CEO, AdvisorEngine
Rich Cancro, CEO, AdvisorEngine

AdvisorEngine announced an integration with Charles Schwab’s iRebal platform that removes several steps for iRebal users, automatically pushes model portfolio data and investment strategy assignments to iRebal, and makes changes done in AdvisorEngine automatically reflected within iRebal.

At the T3 Technology Conference, AdvisorEngine CEO Rich Cancro took the stage with Ritholtz Wealth Management CEO Josh Brown to discuss the selection of AdvisorEngine’s Wealth Management Platform as the foundation for the RIA’s new digital-first Good Advice offering, aimed at serving the mass affluent segment of households with $250,000 to $1 million in assets.

Here is our Q&A with Rich Cancro, CEO of AdvisorEngine.

WSR: What gap in the marketplace does AdvisorEngine’s offering with Schwab fill for advisors and their firms?

Cancro: Our integrations with Schwab Advisor Services helps investment advisory firms elevate their client experience, optimize operations and grow revenue. It was rewarding for AdvisorEngine to be the first to integrate with Schwab’s iRebal tool. Firms that migrated from TD Ameritrade can not only use the portfolio management tool they’ve relied on – they can also streamline their trading and rebalancing.

We also enhanced our digital onboarding integration with Schwab, bringing major efficiencies to opening accounts as well as money and asset transfers, providing advisors the ability to give their clients a customized experience that is branded in their firm’s identity.

WSR: What else are the most crucial technology challenges that advisors and their firms face in 2024?

Cancro: Figuring out growth blind spots – whether it is in processes or technology. Now is the time to transform – if you don’t have a digital foundation in place that makes your service easy to access and scalable, it will be harder to capture future growth. And to ensure growth, you must be able to serve new segments of clients – the HNW clients of tomorrow are being made today.

WSR: What is AdvisorEngine doing to enhance its platform, and help advisors and their firms meet those challenges this year?

Cancro: You’ve heard plenty about the importance of data – we will continue to invest in our easily configurable and personalized business intelligence dashboards, which provides advisory firms with actionable insights about their clients, advisors and the overall health of their business, no spreadsheets or data scientists required.

We have more integrations to come that will help advisors get holistic client views through seamless data exchanges. We are also introducing more scalable engagement options for advisors to help clients with their financial life goals.

2. 2024 T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey Reveals Tech All-Stars

Joel Bruckenstein, President, Technology Tools for Today
Joel Bruckenstein, President, Technology Tools for Today

The 2024 T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey revealed its list of leading wealthtech firms, based on a variety of metrics, ranging from market penetration to user satisfaction, across dozens of categories. Here is a brief selection of some of the survey’s “Software All-Stars.”

Advyzon was highlighted for CRM, portfolio management tools and all-in-one programs. FP Alpha was highlighted for financial planning and tax planning. Kwanti was highlighted for investment data / analytics and economic analysis / stress testing. Flourish was highlighted for cryptocurrency / alts and automated cash management. RightCapital was highlighted for financial planning, Social Security and account aggregation. SEI was highlighted for portfolio management tools and trade rebalancing. And Smarsh was highlighted for cybersecurity and social media archiving.

Bob Veres, Co-Authors, T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey
Bob Veres, Co-Authors, T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey

“We believe this data is useful to the people who make software decisions at advisory firms — the consumers who are charged with creating and maintaining a functional tech stack in an ever-shifting marketplace,” co-authors Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres wrote in the survey’s introduction. “And, we suspect, more than a few readers will notice solutions that they may not have heard of before, or categories they haven’t considered, which could be valuable to their business lives.”

Devon Drew, Founder and CEO, AssetLink
Devon Drew, Founder and CEO, AssetLink

New York-based AssetLink announced its official launch, after previously operating since 2022 as DFD. The AI-powered, bidirectional platform enables asset managers to find and contact financial advisors and accredited investors who are seeking specific fund types or strategies, while also enabling advisors to connect with asset managers based on characteristics of their firms or funds.

AssetLink aims to quicken sales cycles, save buyers and sellers time and enhance financial innovation. At launch, 67 asset managers had profiles and approximately 7,400 advisors had opted into the platform. Initial asset managers included JP Morgan, American Century Investments, Simplify, Krane Shares, Harbor Capital Advisors and Shenkman Capital. Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, was among the advisors who opted in.

“The future of asset management distribution changes today and it starts with AssetLink,” said Drew. “We’re not just connecting buyers and sellers — we’re using machine learning to create precisely matched pairings between advisors seeking specific products and asset managers with the perfect solution. This eliminates wasted time, frustration, and misalignment, creating powerful, meaningful change in how our industry operates.”

4. Nitrogen Partners With RFG Advisory On Enterprise Growth And Client Engagement

Dan Zitting, CEO, Nitrogen
Dan Zitting, CEO, Nitrogen

Vestavia Hills, Alabama-based RFG Advisory has deployed Nitrogen for enterprise growth and client engagement. Nitrogen provides client-facing risk alignment, portfolio comparison, proposal generation, client check in, customized portfolio management tools and concierge-level trading services. The partnership combines Nitrogen’s front-end proposal delivery with RFG’s Blumonte Investment Platform.

RFG – a wealth management platform for independent advisors – provides technology, talent, investment management, operations, compliance, marketing and coaching solutions. It supports more than 100 advisors. Through RFG Capital, the company also acquires stakes in advisor practices to facilitate succession planning and provides loans to facilitate advisors setting up independent practices.

“RFG’s decision to integrate Nitrogen as a cornerstone of its advisor tech platform is a testament to our shared vision for the future of wealth management,” said Dan Zitting, Nitrogen’s recently appointed CEO. “We look forward to supporting RFG in their mission to set a new standard of what it means to be the RIA of the future in the financial advisory industry.”

5. CogniCor Announces Microsoft Azure OpenAI Integration, Pilot Program

Sindhu Joseph, CEO and Co-Founder, CogniCor
Sindhu Joseph, CEO and Co-Founder, CogniCor

Palo Alto, California-based CogniCor integrated Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service into its AI-enabled digital assistant solutions for wealth management and insurance firms. CogniCor’s digital assistants, which aim to maximize advisors’ and agents’ time and enhance their user experience, will be hosted in Azure and offered through Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace.

CogniCor also announced a pilot program with a group of firms including AssetMark, Steward Partners Global Advisory and Shufro Rose & Co. As the pilot group uses the Azure-based platform, it will test the digital assistants and their connections with OpenAI via Microsoft’s application programming interface (API).

“Working with one of the most respected and trusted names in business technology, we are thrilled to benefit from the power of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to enhance productivity, efficiency, and growth for those using these tools,” said Sindhu Joseph, CEO and Co-Founder of CogniCor. “The larger vision for us is to offer a fine-tuned model of the OpenAI algorithms for the wealth and insurance industries.”

6. Flourish Platform Launch Aims At $350 Billion Annuities Market

Max Lane, CEO, Flourish
Max Lane, CEO, Flourish

Financial products provider Flourish, which serves RIAs, announced the launch of Flourish Annuities, a platform and marketplace designed to address problems RIAs frequently encounter with insurance products in the areas of remuneration, licensing requirements and administrative complications. The platform will provide annuities for advisors to place in their clients’ portfolios.

It incorporates a digital application process that advisors can pre-fill on behalf of clients to address the issue of complicated paper applications. To eliminate the need for advisors to gain insurance licensing, the platform utilizes an outsourced insurance desk through the Flourish Insurance Agency. It provides a marketplace of fee-based annuities to address fiduciary compensation.

“Annuities can bring clear benefits to client portfolios. Until now, the user experience for both advisors and clients has made annuities more trouble than they’re worth for independent RIAs,” said Flourish CEO Max Lane. “We’ve confronted these challenges head-on to deliver easy-to-use, compliant access to the world of annuities for advisors looking for better, more differentiated portfolio options.”

7. CapIntel And Vivaldi Study Reveals Client Needs And Tech Solutions

James Rockwood, Founder and CEO, CapIntel
James Rockwood, Founder and CEO, CapIntel

Wealthtech firm CapIntel announced the results of a study conducted with Vivaldi Group, a brand and business reinvention firm, that provides insights into how technology can equip financial advisors to serve clients better. Vivaldi interviewed 30 individual investors, including those not using advisors, and 17 advisors at wirehouse firms and independent broker-dealers across North America.

The study identified obstacles advisors face, including difficulties organizing and sharing information across products and areas of advice, delivering engaging digital experiences, and acquiring resources to create branded, easy-to-edit presentations. It conveys insights into investor and advisor expectations, including that clients work with an advisor primarily due to a lack of time to focus on investing, challenges in navigating investment complexities or seeking validation for their investment choices.

“Vivaldi’s research findings highlight the evolving expectations of financial advisors and investors in the wealth management industry, and validate the mission of our young, rapidly growing firm,” said CapIntel Founder and CEO James Rockwood. “CapIntel’s commitment to providing modern, accessible, and tailored financial presentations aligns with these evolving needs, ensuring that advisors can better serve their clients and help investors achieve their financial goals.”

8. Snappy Kraken Announces Digital Marketing Strategy Report

Robert Sofia, CEO, Snappy Kraken
Robert Sofia, CEO, Snappy Kraken

Ormond Beach, Florida-based wealthtech marketing firm Snappy Kraken announced its “State of Digital 2024” report, which is available as of Feb. 5. The analysis reveals that advisors investing in SEO saw a 94% increase in unique new visitors to their websites, and a 93% increase in visitors who initiated sessions. It also indicates that texting is the most efficient tool for an immediate response, with a 97% faster response rate than email.

The report was unveiled to attendees at the T3 Technology Conference. It highlights the role of email as the top-performing marketing channel, with 55% of analyzed website traffic driven by emails, largely dependent on the quality of subject lines. Including videos in email campaigns shows a possibility of a 117% higher open rate and 120% higher click rate compared to text-only emails. The report concludes that advisors can no longer consider video optional.

“This year’s findings highlight the success of advisors who prioritize SEO, building a quality email list, and using video content to regularly engage their audience,” said Snappy Kraken CEO Robert Sofia. “Their commitment to consistently nurturing connections, providing value and building trust is driving outsized results. At Snappy Kraken, we take pride in equipping these advisors with the necessary tools and insights to convert marketing efforts into measurable growth.”

9. AssetMark Launches Tax Management Services To Assist Advisors

David McNatt, Head of Investment Solutions, AssetMark
David McNatt, Head of Investment Solutions, AssetMark

AssetMark launched Tax Management Services, a suite of services that includes tax transition, tax-efficient rebalancing, tax-loss harvesting and client-directed activity. It strives to help moderate the impact of capital gains taxes on performance returns and investing outcomes, while operating for both asset transitions and ongoing management.

The digital platform allows advisors to personalize plans for client needs, including tax sensitivities, risk tolerance, realized capital gains budget and investment preferences. Its reporting features also enable advisors to quantify their positive impact to clients.

“Advisors have long sought a robust tax management solution, and we’ve delivered,” said David McNatt, Head of Investment Solutions at AssetMark. “Our Tax Management Services provide advisors with the power to tailor portfolio strategies for each client’s unique financial goals, risk tolerance, and tax sensitivities, all within a seamless, client-centric process.”

10. Orion And Redtail Enhance Email And Calendar Syncing, AI Speech Features

Brian McLaughlin, President, Orion Advisor Technology
Brian McLaughlin, President, Orion Advisor Technology

Orion Advisor Solutions rolled out enhancements and integrations with its Redtail Technology subsidiary that include email and calendar syncing and new AI features. Redtail Suite Sync is a new email, calendar and contact syncing tool developed at launch for Microsoft 365 with Google scheduled to follow soon.

The AI-powered Redtail Speak tool can perform auto-completion and offer real-time suggestions for finishing sentences and phrases during composition. Conversations, messages and documents are searchable and automatically archived, recorded daily, and sharable with email surveillance providers. Redtail Speak users can turn the integration on or off as they choose.

“With calendars and emails driving so much of every advisor’s day, we have leveled up Redtail’s robust CRM data with intuitive, trackable scheduling and email, optimizing client communication and saving advisors precious time,” said Brian McLaughlin, President of Orion Advisor Technology.

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

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