Technology

The RIA business has many tech vendors working hard to serve its diverse needs, and we're seeing technology become a more crucial part of setting up and running an RIA than ever before.

The Technology section includes unbiased tech reviews, tech-related news, and coverage of tech-related conferences.


Eric Clarke: It's our next phase.

Why Eric Clarke is pressing to give Orion's 1,500 RIAs first crack at BlackRock's Aladdin -- including two that already have feeds

The Orion Advisor Services CEO is working with a $5-trillion AUM asset manager but it boils down to his personal relationship with BlackRock's Brad Stanger

June 15, 2018 — 7:58 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: Recently Aladdin has taken on a cocktail-buzz aura. But it wasn't clear to me where it currently intersects with advisors -- i.e. what will need to happen to put the BlackRock analytics machine at RIA fingertips and why there is so much urgency around ...

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Mike Sha: It's way better for our clients if technology investments are amortized across  [multiple] large partners as opposed to one-off custom development for any one-off particular partner.

Mike Sha's robo-advisor faced tough choices until two wirehouses offered unique partnerships -- and maybe a new business model to boot

Sure, the SigFig's founder plays by some of UBS's rules in taking its financial backing and giant systems account but beyond that, the freedom to cavort with Wall Street rivals is pretty unlimited.

June 14, 2018 — 3:46 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: When I asked people who attended Pershing INSITE 2018 what was said about robo-advisors, they recalled not a word being spoken. Yet just three years ago it was all the buzz at every RIA conference. Back then the robos had few assets or ...

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Bernie Clark: Andrew and I have worked closely together on many projects over the past two decades at Schwab.

Bernie Clark gets an A-level exec to help him futurize Schwab's RIA platform

After Lightyear's Advisor Group nabbed Ed Obuchowski, Schwab went big in replacing him with Andrew Salesky

June 6, 2018 — 3:21 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: As a Schwab-watcher dating back to 2000 when my InvestmentNews bureau office sat across the street from Chuck in San Francisco, I could only be struck by Andrew Salesky jumping over to RIA custody. Apparently, it was set off by the poach ...

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Barnaby Grist: They asked me to help them find a firm to invest in and we’ve been talking to a bunch of firms. This was the first one I got really excited about.

Purchase of RIA in a Box with reclaimed Barnaby Grist as overseer shows ambition of New York buyer to create compliance 'robo-advisor'

Fresh off big AssetMark score, Aquiline's money talks, saying RIAs must spend big to comply but would like to spend smaller

June 1, 2018 — 3:01 PM UTC by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: RIAs serve two masters, even if in theory it's all one. Sure, the client comes first. But so does the SEC. Get one right and the other one wrong and the advisor, well-meaning or not, is sunk. So any attempt to innovate ...

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Andy Kalbaugh: It further supports their ability to manage and grow their businesses and provide even greater value in affiliation with LPL.

LPL Financial is latest to go the 'risk number' route by signing deal with LifeYield, which signed a Riskalyze deal in February

The Fort Mill, S.C.-based IBD will use the software to help advisors arbitrage between taxable and non-taxable accounts to minimize the bite of the IRS

May 30, 2018 — 8:14 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: When should assets rollover? As LifeYield jumps in to provide automation of the most basic needs in delivering advisor alpha, it's hard not to wonder why it took so long. Certainly pressure on firms like LPL to up their games is ...

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Lowell Putnam: We've all decided to band together to principles that arent even necessarily in our own best interests.

Envestnet quietly deals rivals in on Yodlee play to placate big banks and their latent threat of 'oblivion' in response to 'screen scraping'

The Chicago-based outsourcer orchestrates a Yodlee/Morningstar/Quovo show of force in response to vulnerability to 'throttling' by mega-custodians

May 17, 2018 — 7:24 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: The tragedy of the RIA business is that practitioners don't check their independence streaks at the door when a collective effort would prove fruitful going up against D.C. regulators, Wall Street powers and Silicon Valley meddlers. RIA custodians could be more effective by far ...

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David Ireland: We started with Advent and Black Diamond integrations, then APX … now we're talking with other [SS&C] portfolio systems.

As Salentica settles into life as SS&C's fair-haired CRM, downsides of being a sheltered software child are also apparent, critics say

Black Diamond and Advent are still in reach but the firm's appeal to smaller fry in need of low pricing is more limited

May 15, 2018 — 5:26 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Here at RIABiz we're accustomed to seeing nimble firms trump Wall Street might and all its advantages of scale. But as the RIA business grows, nimbleness increasingly plays a scale-seeking game of its own. Yet we can't claim that scale doesn't have appreciable benefits ...

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Brian McLaughlin: I wouldn't say we're directly targeting a go against a Salesforce, [But] from serving a lot of smaller advisors and firms, we are seeing a shift to larger AUM firms.

Downmarket Redtail hustles at 'crazy pace' to steal march upmarket as CRM rival Junxure wires merger and Salesforce relaunches as an off-the-rack product

The Sacramento-based CRM firm moves to 'Transaction Alley' in Atlanta from the Georgia 'burbs to attract urbane engineers

May 10, 2018 — 9:00 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: They say dogs are human's best friend because our two species co-evolved, each taking cues from the other about which senses to develop. That process is very much in evidence with CRM software and advisors. So it's hardly surprising that all players ...

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Craig Pearson: [Clients] said: If you come back, we're here.

A higher bidder ripped WealthTouch from Craig Pearson's grasp but his startup could rip the clients, free of charge, right back -- and leave Addepar gasping

After his noncompete expired, the founder and CEO of Private Wealth Systems is welcoming old UHNW managers whose language he speaks

April 25, 2018 — 6:27 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Philosophers are loaded with reasons why vast wealth can screw up your life. Not on that list is the bit where Midas lacks the proper software keep track of all his family's lucre. But Craig Pearson, whose family, he wryly states, went from "riches ...

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Paul Gamble is selling what academics do as he did at Financial Engines -- and that worked out.

After losing Lee Kranefuss and raising $10M, 55ip gets RIAs to buy Ph.D. smarts, though a critic calls it gussied-up market timing

Guided by an ex-Financial Engines ringer, Paul Gamble, the New York startup is now portfolio modeler for $100 million

April 19, 2018 — 10:38 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Your average RIA is about as excited about having a Ph.D. in mathematics manage client investments as they'd be about a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering piloting their aircraft. Take DFA as a prime example of that premise: RIAs love how it ...

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Hussain Zaidi: What they need is what Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise have … whole programs in place to help advisors drive financial planning and advice.

Advizr CEO reveals just how the lift-out of four Morgan Stanley breakaway engineers leapfrogs his plans ahead

Hussain Zaidi sees greenfields opportunities at small IBDs and Fortune 500 firms where planning software alone doesn't make the grade

April 13, 2018 — 7:48 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: My father was born in New York City and he liked to speculate about the inevitable day when the blighting of real estate in places like Queens, the Bronx or Harlem would reverse course. Eventually it began happening in earnest long after he moved ...

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Devin Vigil: [If] you dangle some money in front of Abar in his 20s, it's a different story than dangling some now .… He wants redemption.

Matt Abar hopes three's a charm with FinFolio cloud launch and robo play

FinFolio finally goes 2.0 and gets $20-billion assets bump, but there's a lot of ground to make up

April 5, 2018 — 12:08 AM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: If I knew software I might seriously consider starting a performance reporting firm. Sure it's a crowded field with quality firms but they all grow like crazy. Seems like every time we write about Orion, Tamarac, Black Diamond and Addepar we find they ...

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Larry Shumbre: Riskalyze doesn't work for any advisor who knows the basics of risk.

Totum's bid to beat Riskalyze, including its own 1 to 99 risk number, gets reward -- acceptance by Black Diamond and CircleBlack

CEO Larry Shumbres says financial advice industry is in for a shock, as thousands-strong uptick in users shows Totum Risk is the real deal

March 30, 2018 — 8:39 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: I've said it before: It's amazing that no software existed in the RIA marketplace dedicated to risk until five years ago. Then it was just as surprising there were no imitators. Now we have a risk analysis market leader and a feisty ...

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Eric Clarke: Brian [Hamburger] is right. If you don't have a culture of compliance, it's going to be difficult.

After Orion user conference, CEO Eric Clarke greenlights new software layer -- spearheaded by his general counsel

RIAs told horror stories to the Omaha software firm in Phoenix about SEC compliance -- encouraged by presentation by NorthStar's Kylee Beach -- and it fell on receptive ears this time

March 27, 2018 — 11:50 PM UTC by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: On some level SEC audits are such a grim specter that RIAs and their vendors find it easier to simply use the old standby plan -- figuring it out when they get there. But under the sway of his company's attorney and some ...

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Drew Sievers: [FIS support] is not just a huge moat in the banking business, it's a veritable ocean.

Trizic CEO raises $10M, poaches ex-FolioDynamix COO and luxuriates in 'ocean' of FIS 14,000-bank insider advantage

Drew Sievers vows that firm's five-year plan will make his bank clients massive competitors to Wealthfront and Betterment

March 21, 2018 — 8:13 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: The robos-to-bank sweepstakes just keeps heating up -- each with its own giant advantages. SigFig has Randy Bullard. See: Randy Bullard pitches himself into major role at SigFig to add his Placemark knowledge to a robo hothouse. Fidelity has eMoney and its banking relationships ...

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