Welcome to the July 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 Pershing X has announced the launch of its long-awaited (and newly renamed) “Wove” advisor technology platform – which despite purporting to be an open-architecture, multi-custodian solution allowing advisors to smoothly integrate all the technology they choose to bring onto it, in reality seems truly geared towards advisors who want to use Pershing’s custodial and outsourced investment management solutions, along with Wove’s suite of native or partnered software tools… which may be especially appealing as an ‘out-of-the-box’ solution for breakaway brokers that Pershing is likely looking to attract, but raises questions about why Pershing would bother to promote Wove’s open-architecture capabilities in the first place given that they don’t appear to be what the platform will actually do best?
From there, the latest highlights also feature a number of other interesting advisor technology announcements, including:
- All-in-one software platform Blueleaf has launched a new “aggregation-as-a-service” solution, promising better client data aggregation capabilities than existing solutions by automating the process of weaving multiple sources together to ensure cleaner data – although it remains to be seen, given that it is still reliant on third-party aggregation providers that are prone to inaccuracy and account breakages, whether Blueleaf’s solution will finally be the avenue for client data aggregation to live up to its long-unfulfilled potential
- Sales enablement and client success platform Nitrogen has unveiled a new set of firmwide data analytics capabilities allowing firm leaders to compare the growth success and portfolio management of multiple advisors, as well as a new pricing tier for midsize advisory firms, further leaning into its recent rebrand as a growth platform by providing more insights for firms to track and manage their (multi-advisor) growth
- Estate planning technology provider Vanilla has pivoted from providing technology-supported document preparation services to being a standalone software solution for ‘estate advisors’, providing estate visualization and projection tools for complex estates – although with fewer and fewer clients being subject to estate tax, it remains to be seen just how big of a market there is of advisors who are willing to pay for not just standalone estate planning but an ongoing ‘estate advisory’ solution
Read the analysis about these announcements in this month’s column, and a discussion of more trends in advisor technology, including:
- RIA firm Ritholtz Wealth Management is launching a new robo-advisor offering to provide a blend of automated investment management and personalized financial planning (which could signal an intent to consolidate with its existing Liftoff robo-advisor solution and move away from the Betterment for Advisors platform that powers that solution), highlighting how successful Ritholtz has been at leveraging its media-driven marketing strategy into paying clients (though it’s not clear if any other RIAs will ever be able to replicate the success when implementing their own robo-advisor solutions?)
- Of all the tools that have arisen this year incorporating artificial intelligence, the ones that appear to be getting the most traction aren’t advice recommendation engines or chatbot interfaces, but simply ‘word calculators’ that can generate text on a blank page – reflecting the fact that AI can’t yet be trusted to reliably answer questions, but can save meaningful time for advisors who simply struggle and want help with writing emails, social media posts, and other written materials that they can simply edit (and use their own expertise to fact-check as appropriate)
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!