Welcome to the April 2023 issue of the Latest News in Financial #AdvisorTech – where we look at the big news, announcements, and underlying trends and developments that are emerging in the world of technology solutions for financial advisors!
This month’s edition kicks off with the news that RIA custodial platform Altruist has built its own full self-clearing capabilities, while nearly simultaneously buying competing (not-self-clearing) custodian Shareholder Services Group (SSG) – which given the heavy costs of being in business as a self-clearing custodian, suggests that Altruist has reached a tipping point in terms of growth and scale (and intends to push that growth further, given its acquisition of SSG) as it seeks to grow its market share as an alternative to the “Big 3” (or part of the new “Big 4”) custodians of Schwab/TDAmeritrade, Fidelity, and Pershing.
From there, the latest highlights also feature a number of other interesting advisor technology announcements, including:
- BlackRock has closed the retail arm of its robo-advisor FutureAdvisor and shifted its clients to Ritholz Wealth Management, in another sign of how direct-to-consumer robo-advisors have struggled to gain traction given the high costs of client acquisition
- Absolute Engagement has launched its Engagement Engine tool to provide opportunities for advisors to inject client input opportunities into advisor workflows and ensure that clients feel heard, understood, and engaged with on the issues that matter to them
- Advice delivery and engagement platform Lumiant has raised $3.5 million in seed funding to support its growth as it builds out its “end-to-end” financial planning and advice engagement platform (but will it be able to replace, rather than augment, advisors’ existing financial planning software?)
Read the analysis about these announcements in this month’s column, and a discussion of more trends in advisor technology, including:
- FP Alpha unbundles its Estate Planning Lab solution for automatically reading and summarizing clients’ estate planning documents available as a stand-alone option, and rolls out a new P&C Insurance Snapshot tool, as demand for AI-driven document analysis grows but different advisors focus on different documents
- Sora Finance has raised $3.9 million as it seeks to gain traction with its debt (re-)financing tool that allows advisors to take a more active role with their clients’ “liabilities under management” via executing on refinancing opportunities along with shopping for new loans at the most favorable rates
And be certain to read to the end, where we have provided an update to our popular “Financial AdvisorTech Solutions Map” (and also added the changes to our AdvisorTech Directory) as well!
*And for #AdvisorTech companies who want to submit their tech announcements for consideration in future issues, please submit to TechNews@kitces.com!