The scariest three letters to financial advisors should be PAS, Personal Advisor Services, for Vanguard’s hybrid robo offering, according to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. Philly.com, the news site for Vanguard’s home state, does a deep dive on the online digital investment platform, which costs .3 percent for clients with over $500,000 on the platform, provides unrestricted, on-demand access to human advisors via phone or email as needed. The author solicited the view of several “Bogleheads,” the online forum for Vanguard investors, who agree the service is great for those who don’t want to think about asset allocation themselves. The only downside? Taking the tax hit when selling current investments to move into PAS. Still, as they have in asset management, Vanguard is bringing the same low-fee disruption to advice givers. Wesley Gray, CEO of Alpha Architect in Broomall, Penn., said “Vanguard’s declaring war on financial advisers, squeezing the last 100 basis points out of their fees.” Industry watcher Michael Kitces said the “human advisor service is the most disruptive event of the decade in wealth management. Not robos.” Vanguard’s PAS was launched in 2015 and already has $106 billion in assets (though much of that is from client’s who were already with Vanguard).
Kestra has recruited a Paramus, N.J.-based Wells Fargo advisors team to its Private Wealth Services platform. Liberty Wealth Solutions, which oversees $300 million in client assets, includes Managing Director Steve Battel, and Senior Vice Presidents Rob Yevchak, Bruce Battel and Nancy Hurst. Kestra Private Wealth Services is a division of the independent broker/dealer that helps wirehouse advisors go independent, providing office logistics assistance, consultative compliance support, a comprehensive platform, a transition plan and daily management support.
Amid a flurry of rollouts and improvements, including a voice bot integration, Envestnet’s Yodlee is adding an asset transfer product to streamline its onboarding, the company announced at its advisor summit. After investors enter their credentials, the asset transfer service tool verifies account registration and assets, and provides support for full or partial account transfers. Utilizing counterparty information, the transfer tool is able to largely avoid Not-In-Good-Order errors that in the past would have necessitated more time and paperwork for back office staff or the end investor. The service is available through Envestnet’s tech systems and Yodlee’s API library.