Wealthtech Roundup: FusionIQ, Dynasty, Opto, Altruist And More

Mark Healy Of FusionIQ Is Our Newest Wealthtech Leader Of The Month. Partnerships By F2 Strategy And Dynasty, Eaglebrook And Franklin Templeton, FP Alpha And PreciseFP, Alai Studios And Shaping Wealth, Vestmark And Pensionmark. Product Enhancements From Opto, Altruist And Orion.
Mark Healy, CEO, Fusion IQ
Mark Healy, CEO, Fusion IQ
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, FusionIQ CEO Mark Healy, about its product enhancements and strategic hires.

Other entries this month include F2 Strategy releasing a white paper in collaboration with Dynasty Financial Partners; Eaglebrook launching a digital assets SMA strategy with Franklin Templeton; FP Alpha and PreciseFP expanding their partnership to leverage external integrations; Alai Studios and Shaping Wealth launching the AI-powered behavioral finance assistant Lydia; Opto Investments rolling out CIO toolkit, custom funds and pre-trade analysis enhancements; Vestmark collaborating with Pensionmark to create a digital wealth management platform; Altruist launching Altruist Cash, a cash management solution; and Orion announcing results of its second annual wealthtech survey along with product enhancements.

Larry’s Take

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

Since wealth management is about making connections with people and getting to know them, advisors and firm leaders should apply that skill set when evaluating wealthtech. In addition to testing the platforms, learn about the key personnel running those tools.

Tech leaders who can communicate well – and give you confidence that they understand what matters to you, your firm and your clients – are more likely to have tech products that will work for you, your firm and your clients. Conversely, you might want to reconsider adopting platforms run by people who don’t give you such confidence.

Wealthtech tools for RIAs and IBDs must provide useful solutions that independent advisors face, and deliver enhancements in response to advisor and firm-level feedback. That can only happen if the people making the technology, and their leaders, are aligned with you, their client.

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. FusionIQ Launches FIQ Market One With Access To Digital Assets, Alts And ETFs

FusionIQ launched FIQ Market One on the FusionIQ One platform. It provides access to investment opportunities and features white-labeled, unified advisor and client portals. The firm also recently expanded its consulting team with the addition of John Phillips as Senior Strategic Advisor. Last year FusionIQ forged a strategic alliance with Valley National Bank and a strategic integration with Blueleaf, a provider of billing, reporting and client aggregation tools.

Here is our Q&A with FusionIQ CEO Mark Healy.

WSR: How does the addition of John Phillips as Senior Strategic Advisor align with FusionIQ’s growth strategy?

Healy: John is an outstanding addition to the dynamic team we’ve built at FusionIQ. 2023 was a breakthrough year for FusionIQ with our all-in-one cloud-native wealth management platform emerging as a leading solution in the bank and credit union sectors. In 2024, we’re looking to build on those successes and take a leadership position in the broker-dealer, family office and RIA sectors, becoming the go-to solution for firms looking for profitable organic growth. John’s relationships, expertise and experience in those sectors will be vital as we deliver the easy to implement products firms need to win in competitive markets.

Mark Healy, CEO, Fusion IQ
Mark Healy, CEO, Fusion IQ

WSR: What kinds of advisor-related enhancements and integrations is FusionIQ working on in 2024?

Healy: We’re launching several new products this year. FIQ Journey brings together Hybrid Digital Advice and Self-Directed Investing into a single investor journey. FIQ Market One digitally onboards investors to a single market to find and invest in digital assets, SPV and alternative funds, private investments, and ETFs through unified advisor and client portals. It also gives asset managers a digital channel to distribute their products. Lastly, FIQ TAMP+ brings together our frictionless cloud-native wealth management platform with advanced portfolio management technology to deliver the modern advisor and client experience, flexibility and efficiency firms need to scale for profitable growth.

WSR: In general, what types of wealthtech solutions are advisors and their firms most in need of to achieve scale?

Healy: Advisors and their firms need flexible, easy-to-implement wealth management products that streamline operations through a single digital workflow that seamlessly connects the front, middle and back offices. Together with process automations, these end-to-end workflows create the efficiency needed to profitably scale for growth. Cloud-native wealth management platforms like FusionIQ One simplify the tech stack for firms, not only creating the efficiencies firms need for organic growth, but reducing operating costs, and delivering the modern digital experience clients and advisors want on the device of their choice. Solutions also require experienced teams that can bring fin and tech together.

2. F2 Strategy And Dynasty Release Tech-Focused White Paper For Breakaways, RIAs

Andrew Marsh, Vice Chairman, Dynasty Financial Partners
Andrew Marsh, Vice Chairman, Dynasty Financial Partners

F2 Strategy released a white paper in collaboration with Dynasty Financial Partners that is targeted at prospective breakaway advisors and existing RIAs in navigating technology and operational decisions. The white paper focuses on the implications of technology on firm operations, growth and valuation over a five-year period, examining frameworks to help advisors transitioning to independence.

F2 and Dynasty collaborated on a study between September and December 2023 and benchmarked 38 Dynasty-affiliated RIAs against a sample of 4,669 RIAs registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. One of the findings is that the average payout increase for independent advisors partnering with Dynasty is 42%, with many advisors expanding their gross income margin by 100% or more.

“Our collaboration with F2 Strategy is designed to equip advisors with the insights needed for this transition, highlighting the strategic benefits of collaboration with Dynasty while encouraging a thoughtful, nuanced approach to technology and operational planning based on firm size and growth goals,” said Andrew Marsh, Vice Chairman at Dynasty Financial Partners.

3. Eaglebrook Partners With Franklin Templeton On Bitcoin-Ethereum SMA Strategy

Chris King, Founder and CEO, Eaglebrook
Chris King, Founder and CEO, Eaglebrook

Eaglebrook, a crypto investment platform that provides RIAs with direct access to digital assets including bitcoin and ethereum, launched the Franklin Templeton Digital Asset Dynamic BTC/ETH separately managed account (SMA) strategy. The strategy seeks to outperform a market cap-weighted portfolio comprising bitcoin and ethereum.

Designed for RIAs and U.S.-based wealth managers, it is available on Eaglebrook’s Digital Asset SMA Platform. Invested assets will be custodied at Anchorage Digital. Franklin Templeton provides the model for the strategy to Eaglebrook on a non-discretionary basis. The actively managed investment vehicle allows advisors working with high net worth investors to access Eaglebrook’s tax optimization strategies, and an automated tax overlay.

“Expanding our relationship with Franklin Templeton presents even more opportunities to bring exclusive digital asset investments to Eaglebrook’s advisors and their clients,” said Chris King, Founder and CEO of Eaglebrook. “Backed by Franklin Templeton’s robust digital assets research, this partnership is designed to provide an accessible and tax-efficient path to incorporating digital assets into client portfolios.”

4. FP Alpha And PreciseFP Expand Partnership To Leverage External Integrations

Andrew Altfest, Founder and CEO, FP Alpha
Andrew Altfest, Founder and CEO, FP Alpha

FP Alpha, an AI-driven planning solution for financial advisors, and PreciseFP, a client engagement and data gathering platform from Docupace, expanded their strategic partnership to leverage PreciseFP’s integration partnerships to help advisors that are using financial planning software not already integrated with FP Alpha.

Advisors will be able to access and auto-populate client data from their planning software directly into the FP Alpha platform. FP Alpha users will be able to collect data and documents securely, and to sync data with financial planning tools such as RightCapital and eMoney Advisor. PreciseFP has more than 30 external integrations.

“We already had an integration with PreciseFP that was very popular with our users and wanted to take it a step further with this partnership,” said Andrew Altfest, Founder and CEO of FP Alpha. “This now allows advisors who are using planning software and other tech tools that we don’t have a current integration with, the ability to auto-populate client data from those tools into the FP Alpha platform.”

5. Alai Studios, Shaping Wealth Launch AI-Powered Assistant For Advisors

Andrew Smith Lewis, Founder and CEO, Alai Studios
Andrew Smith Lewis, Founder and CEO, Alai Studios

Tech company Alai Studios and Shaping Wealth, a provider of coaching solutions for advisors, launched Lydia, an artificial intelligence-powered behavioral finance assistant designed to help advisors better understand their clients’ emotional needs. Shaping Wealth is led by a team of experts in behavioral finance, psychology, neuroscience and financial planning.

The always-on Lydia aims to augment advisors’ human skills in emotional intelligence, decision-making, collaboration and coaching. For now, Lydia engages advisors through three “conversational agents” with emergent intelligence in three separate themes: navigating hard conversations, behavioral marketing and “funded contentment” (money and happiness).

“Lydia is an expression of our core belief at Alai that artificial intelligence can and should amplify human brilliance,” said Andrew Smith Lewis, Founder and CEO of Alai Studios. “We’re excited to share Lydia and help advisors develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their clients, all while delivering an exceptional service.”

6. Opto Rolls Out CIO Toolkit, Custom Funds And Pre-Trade Analysis Enhancements

Matt Reed, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Opto Investments
Matt Reed, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Opto Investments

Opto Investments, a private markets platform that builds customized solutions for the wealth management space, announced product enhancements and strategic appointments. Co-Founder Jake Miller was named Chief Solutions Officer and Co-Founder Matt Reed was named Chief Technology Officer.

The CIO toolkit is designed to help investment managers conduct comprehensive, data-driven analyses of their client roster and demographics. Custom fund creation and management allows advisors to create a single, fully customized and white-labeled fund, composed of multiple underlying private funds, all managed within its technology platform. Pre-trade analysis gives advisors data sets, tools and workflows to analyze private markets opportunities, enabling them to make data-driven investment decisions for clients.

“Much like our prior innovations, these enhancements focus on automation and integrating seamlessly with existing systems,” Reed said. “Opto sees a tremendous opportunity to empower investment decision-makers with the data, tools and confidence to unlock the potential of private markets.”

7. Vestmark And Pensionmark Announce Strategic Partnership

Karl Roessner, CEO, Vestmark
Karl Roessner, CEO, Vestmark

Vestmark, a provider of wealth management software and services, is collaborating with financial advisory firm Pensionmark, a division of World Insurance Associates, to create a digital wealth management platform. It provides ongoing tax management capabilities and gives advisors access to separately managed accounts (SMAs), unified managed accounts (UMAs), curated investment options that are managed by the advisor and other solutions.

Additionally, the partnership aims to help advisors transition assets to the Pensionmark platform. Vestmark supports over $1.5 trillion in assets and 5.5 million accounts, while Pensionmark’s nationwide network of advisors and staff manages thousands of retirement plans and wealth management clients.

“Pensionmark’s extensive expertise in the retirement space and commitment to the wealth management space, combined with Vestmark’s innovative technology platform VestmarkONE, and breakthrough outsourced portfolio management solution VAST, positions us to deliver front-line solutions to Pensionmark’s advisors,” said Vestmark CEO Karl Roessner. “This partnership represents our ongoing commitment to shaping the future of wealth management, empowering advisors to provide exceptional service and outcomes.”

8. RIA-Focused Custodian Altruist Launches Cash Management Solution With 5.10% APY

Jason Wenk, Founder and CEO, Altruist
Jason Wenk, Founder and CEO, Altruist

Altruist, an RIA-focused custodian, launched Altruist Cash, a cash management solution that offers end clients 5.10% annual percentage yield (APY) on cash held in Altruist Cash accounts – 11 times the national average as of Feb. 20.

Altruist Cash users have access to FDIC insurance through partner banks, at up to $1 million for individual accounts and $2 million for joint accounts, along with same day transfers. There are no minimum balance requirements, and no setup or subscription fees.

“We heard it from countless advisors: ‘Please offer a high yield cash account,’” said Altruist Founder and CEO Jason Wenk. “Altruist Cash joins a growing list of features that help advisors drive greater impact, including fractional shares, fully-paid lending and a suite of upcoming tax management features.”

9. Orion Ascent: Survey Results, New Tools And Upgrades

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

Orion Advisor Solutions held its Ascent 2024 Conference in San Diego from March 12 to 15. During the conference, Orion announced results of its second annual wealthtech survey. It found that 90% of advisors expect continued strong growth this year, with the growth expectation averaging 16%.

Orion also announced an estate planning tool designed to provide intuitive presentations and what-if scenario modeling; the expansion of its behavioral finance toolkit with PulseCheck, to integrate personal fulfilment and wellness into financial planning; a post-trade supervision tool integrated into its Client Oversight module; Redtail CRM enhancements; and its Compare tool, which integrates advisors’ data in real time across the firm’s tools and systems.

“Very few firms reported that they had all the needed technology working together. That’s one of the big challenges that we’ll be taking on,” said Brian McLaughlin, President of Orion Advisor Technology, speaking of the survey results. “We want advisors that use our technology to have an easy, intuitive flow across all the applications.”

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

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