Wealthtech Roundup: GeoWealth, Preqin, Kovair, Syntax, Interactive Brokers And More

Q&A With Colin Falls Of GeoWealth – Our Wealthtech Leader Of The Month – And Product News Featuring Preqin, Orion, Syntax, Altruist, TIFIN Give, Kovair, Interactive Brokers, Wealth.com, Vestmark And Morgan Stanley.
Colin Falls, CEO, GeoWealth
Colin Falls, CEO, GeoWealth
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, Colin Falls, CEO of GeoWealth, who discusses his firm’s partnership with BlackRock on custom models, including for private markets.

Other entries include BlackRock agreeing to acquire Preqin, Orion introducing Orion Trading and Foundation Stack, Syntax providing market share data that underlies the S&P 500 Economic Moat Index, Altruist launching TaxIQ, TIFIN Give integrating with AssetMark on donor-advised fund solutions, Kovair joining the Boomi Technology Partner Program, Interactive Brokers releasing an advisor survey, Wealth.com launching Family Office Suite, Vestmark partnering with PureFacts Financial Solutions on fee billing and Morgan Stanley launching an OpenAI-powered notetaker for advisor-client meetings.

Larry’s Take

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

The already rapid pace of technological advancements in the wealth management space is accelerating to such an extent that solutions one might call “state of the art” today are likely to become “out of date” in less than a year. That helps explain why wealthtech firms are constantly making new product launch, integration and enhancement announcements.

For example, in addition to our entries below, over the past month Conquest Planning enhanced its strategic advice manager (SAM); Snappy Kraken unveiled a digital Marketing Hub to boost client relationships; RISR launched as a business owner engagement platform for advisors; and Asset-Map integrated with the Holistiplan tax planning software for advisors.

Yet RIAs and broker-dealers must commit to a limited number of providers for a meaningful period of time, in order to learn the software, use that tech stack effectively and make the costs worthwhile. That’s why it’s so important to choose providers that engage in smart wealthtech partnerships. This can bring a steady pace of innovations to advisors, and reduce – although never quite eliminate – the time spent testing out new platforms.

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. GeoWealth CEO On BlackRock Partnership, Simplifying Private Markets Access

GeoWealth, a turnkey asset management platform (TAMP) and fintech solution for RIAs, partnered with BlackRock to provide advisors on GeoWealth’s platform with access to BlackRock’s custom models. The goal is to offer end-clients access to private markets, direct indexing, ETFs, mutual funds and fixed income separately managed accounts (SMAs), in a single account.

Separately, BlackRock agreed to acquire the private markets data provider Preqin, for approximately $3.2 billion. Preqin provides global coverage of 190,000 funds, 60,000 fund managers and 30,000 private markets investors. It reaches more than 200,000 users, including asset managers, insurers, pensions, wealth managers, banks and other service providers.

As of Dec. 31, GeoWealth had over $28 billion across more than 180,000 accounts and nearly 200 RIAs. Its third-party model marketplace includes over 700 models from more than 70 asset managers. And now for our Q&A with Colin Falls, CEO of GeoWealth.

WSR: Why did BlackRock choose GeoWealth for this partnership?

Colin Falls, CEO, GeoWealth
Colin Falls, CEO, GeoWealth

Falls: For their broader custom model aspirations, inclusive of private markets components, Blackrock needed both a technology and implementation partner. GeoWealth is a TAMP that utilizes its own proprietary technology to operate. Inherently, GeoWealth can be flexible when it comes to sleeving, reporting, billing, model trading and manager communications. Additionally, GeoWealth has built its service model to serve the unique needs of RIAs, the target market for these offerings. Our UMA capability [unified managed account], technology flexibility and service model are really the big picture points on how this partnership came together.

WSR: What aspects of GeoWealth’s proprietary technology enable advisors to access BlackRock’s custom models?

Falls:  Foundationally, GeoWealth’s portfolio accounting was built on the portfolio/sleeve/model level. (These terms are synonyms for GeoWealth, but not for all TAMPs.) Every other capability was built on this infrastructure – reporting, billing, model trading/OMS (order management system), etc. For this partnership with Blackrock, GeoWealth will be implementing the models within a UMA framework, inclusive of manager traded sleeves for some components.

WSR: How does the ability to provide private markets, direct indexing, fixed income SMAs, ETFs and mutual funds, all in a single account, benefit advisors’ end clients?

Falls: Traditionally, HNW (high net worth) households would have separate accounts each (for example) a FI MUNI SMA, Tax efficient direct indexing strategy, Alternatives, and Equities and ETFs. Building a scalable model suite comprised of all of these exposures has the potential to create improvement in operational efficiency. For example, rebalancing will be a single automated Service Request on the GeoWealth platform, instead of needing to journal money across multiple accounts.

2. Orion Adds Standalone Trading To Boost Flexibility, Foundation Stack For Small RIAs

Natalie Wolfsen, CEO, Orion
Natalie Wolfsen, CEO, Orion

Orion Advisor Solutions introduced the “à la carte” offerings Orion Trading and Foundation Stack. Orion Trading gives advisors a standalone integrated trading and rebalancing solution they can access and use alongside their current platform and technology. Foundation Stack is targeted mainly at smaller RIA firms and those new to the space.

Earlier this year, Orion introduced Risk and Compliance Supervision tools as standalone solutions. As of March 31, Orion serviced $4.3 trillion in assets under administration and $68.3 billion of wealth management platform assets, and supported more than six million technology accounts and thousands of independent advisory firms.

“By offering a unified, flexible ecosystem of offerings where every firm can do business with us as they see fit, we aim to provide unrivaled opportunity to all advisors, no matter their size or business model, to set their growth plans and scale their business on their terms,” said Orion CEO Natalie Wolfsen.

3. Syntax Provides Market Share Data For New S&P 500 Economic Moat Index

Patrick Shaddow, President & CEO, Syntax
Patrick Shaddow, President & CEO, Syntax

Syntax, a financial data and technology company, is providing market share data that helps S&P Dow Jones Indices to offer its new S&P 500 Economic Moat Index. The factor-based benchmark identifies and measures companies that have long-term, sustainable competitive advantages versus their competitors.

The index selects companies based on an S&P DJI proprietary Economic Moat Score, which averages sustained high return on investor capital (ROIC), sustained high gross margin and high market share. Syntax Market Share Scores are based on proprietary Functional Information System data that evaluates companies by product line revenue.

“Syntax is proud to support the launch of the S&P 500 Economic Moat Index that leverages our proprietary Market Share Score methodology,” the company posted on LinkedIn. “Market share serves as a key indicator of a company’s competitive advantage.”

4. Altruist Launches TaxIQ For Advisors To Pursue Tax Alpha For Clients

Adam Grealish, Head of Investments, Altruist
Adam Grealish, Head of Investments, Altruist

Altruist, an RIA-focused custodian, launched TaxIQ, a suite of tax management tools designed to help advisors automate their clients’ tax savings in coordinate with Altruist’s rebalancer. TaxIQ allows advisors to implement gains deferrals, wash sale avoidance and opportunistic tax-loss harvesting at the account level.

The goal is for advisors to be able to pursue tax alpha for clients at scale, without managing individual positions, selecting tax lots or timing trades. Within TaxIQ, tax-loss harvesting is available for 10 bps per year. Tax-loss harvesting will remain cost free in fee-based models on Altruist’s Model Marketplace. Altruist’s platform also includes account opening, trading, rebalancing, reporting and billing capabilities.

“Advisors have long been searching for tax-sensitive investing capabilities that don’t require complex, manual processes,” said Adam Grealish, Head of Investments at Altruist. “Coupled with other capabilities at Altruist, like Direct Indexing and fractional shares, independent firms now have a robust set of tax-optimizing tools to help deliver exceptional client outcomes at a much greater scale.”

5. TIFIN Give Integrates With AssetMark On Donor-Advised Funds

Paul Lussow, CEO, TIFIN Give
Paul Lussow, CEO, TIFIN Give

TIFIN Give – a technology-based philanthropy platform serving wealth enterprises, families, employees and cause-based communities – integrated with AssetMark to offer advisors and their clients a donor-advised fund (DAF) solution designed to streamline charitable giving and enhance tax planning.

TIFIN Give’s DAF technology strives to simplify the process of setting up, managing and distributing charitable donations. AssetMark’s wealth management platform serves more than 9,200 advisors and 257,000 investor households. As of March 31, it had nearly $117 billion in platform assets.

“This relationship represents a significant step toward our shared mission of making philanthropy more accessible and impactful,” said Paul Lussow, CEO of TIFIN Give. “Together, we will empower financial advisors and their clients to create positive change in the world.”

6. Kovair Joins Boomi Technology Partner Program

Sid Yenamandra, CEO, Surge Ventures and Kovair
Sid Yenamandra, CEO, Surge Ventures and Kovair

Kovair Software, a Silicon Valley software products company, joined the Boomi Technology Partner Program, bringing managed DevOps-as-a-Service to the Boomi Enterprise Platform. According to Kovair, with its suite of integrated development tools, Boomi’s customers will be able to automate development pipelines and expedite global application delivery in a secure and compliant manner.

The Boomi Technology Partner Program consists of software companies across multiple applications that reach across various industries, including government, education, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing. Kovair creates software product development tools and solutions for a range of regulated industries, including wealth management, and supports global software development and management.

“Leveraging the Boomi Enterprise Platform with Kovair’s Managed DevOps-as-a-Service solution, CIO/CTO teams can effectively achieve their business goals by integrating best-of-breed elements of DevOps tooling into a single overarching system,” said Sid Yenamandra, CEO of Kovair and Surge Ventures. “Adding Kovair’s DevSecOps capability allows enterprises to further benefit from a prioritized, automated, resilient, quicker, and consistent value stream from the cloud platform to the services and products of the business.”

7. Interactive Brokers Reveals Survey Findings On Independent, Fee-Based Advisors

Steve Sanders, EVP of Marketing & Product Development, Interactive Brokers
Steve Sanders, EVP of Marketing & Product Development, Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers, an automated global electronic broker, released the results of its 2024 Interactive Brokers Advisor Insights Survey. It gathered responses from 100 independent, fee-based financial advisors with an average 24 years of experience and $74 million in assets under management (AUM). Twenty percent of respondents managed an average of $278 million in client assets.

Its findings include that 65% of advisors believe new account opening and client onboarding could benefit from more automation; cost is advisors’ number one factor in choosing a custodian; 64% of advisors use at least two custodians, and more than 33% use at least three; and that 80% of advisors think that, as fiduciaries, they should manage client cash balances in accounts with high interest rates.

“Automation in day-to-day operations makes processes more efficient, so advisors have more time for clients and cultivating new relationships,” said Steve Sanders, Executive Vice President of Marketing & Product Development at Interactive Brokers. “Advisors want robust technology that keeps costs low so they can manage their firms the way they want – this is why we’ve leaned into automation since the beginning and it’s why others are now doing the same.”

8. Wealth.com Rolls Out Family Office Suite Of Automated Estate Planning Tools

Danny Lohrfink, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Wealth.com
Danny Lohrfink, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Wealth.com

Wealth.com launched Family Office Suite, a collection of estate management technologies designed for the highly complex estates of high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families. The suite aims to help advisors and family office wealth strategists add value while automating scalable and repeatable processes.

New features such as Heritage Map, Legacy Navigator, EstateFlow and Irrevocable Trust One-Pagers enable advisors to address sub-trust distribution schemes, federal and state estate tax implications, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax (GST) exempt and non-exempt trust breakdowns, administrative costs and more. Other features include estate tax calculators and scenario analysis to quantify tax implications and identify tax optimization opportunities.

“As we advance our product roadmap, particularly for advisors serving high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients, we are committed to transforming all aspects of the estate planning service model to be a more efficient and effective process,” said Danny Lohrfink, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Wealth.com. “The Family Office Suite not only elevates the client experience but also unlocks greater productivity for advisors – what used to take weeks now takes mere minutes.”

9. Vestmark Partners With PureFacts On Billing Solutions

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

Vestmark partnered with Toronto-based PureFacts Financial Solutions, a provider of revenue management, enterprise reporting and insights solutions for the asset and wealth management industries. Vestmark’s core capabilities – which include portfolio management, trading and client reporting tools – were enhanced to provide integrated support for billing that includes hourly, retainers, AUM-based and account-based models.

PureFacts’ enterprise billing platform, PureFees, offers an AI-enriched, revenue lifecycle process that can accommodate small independent practices, regional broker-dealers and wealth managers, and large national clients. PureFacts’ platform also aims to enable advisors who leverage Vestmark’s customized investment solutions to track and measure every dollar spent.

“This partnership with PureFacts represents a necessary step in Vestmark’s journey to provide a comprehensive, end-to-end solution for a wide range of firms in the wealth management space, including broker-dealers, RIAs, RIA aggregators, asset managers, and other service providers,” said Karl Roessner, CEO of Vestmark. “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with a cutting-edge firm focusing on fee billing excellence and scalability.”

Wirehouse / Big Bank Activity

10. Morgan Stanley Unveils OpenAI-Powered Notetaker For Advisor-Client Meetings

Vince Lumia, Head of Wealth Management Client Segments, Morgan Stanley
Vince Lumia, Head of Wealth Management Client Segments, Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM) launched AI @ Morgan Stanley Debrief, an OpenAI-powered tool that, with client consent, generates notes on a financial advisors’ behalf in client meetings and raises action items. After the meeting, it summarizes key points, creates an email for an advisor to edit and send as they choose, and saves a note into Salesforce.

In March 2023, MSWM announced an exclusive partnership with OpenAI. In September, the firm rolled out the AI @ Morgan Stanley Assistant, a generative AI powered chatbot that provides advisors with access to Morgan Stanley’s intellectual capital. As of June 26, 98% of Morgan Stanley’s advisor teams had adopted the chatbot.

“AI @ Morgan Stanley Debrief drives immense efficiency in an advisors’ day-to-day, allowing more time to spend on meaningful engagement with their clients.” said Vince Lumia, Head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Client Segments. “Because at the end of the day, the financial advisor’s service, advice and relationships with clients – the human touch – remains fundamental.”

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

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