In the latest update to its Narrator Connect platform, Advicent announced several new APIs that enable firms to incorporate financial planning into digital offerings. Among the available APIs are a wealth management portal, lead-generation tools, a financial-planning portal, digital data gathering and client onboarding.
Advicent also announced a new “global API developer portal” that gives software developers access to the Narrator Connect APIs in order to build new financial-planning tools.
“With the shift in how advisors communicate with their clients in today’s market, firms need technology that can keep up with client demands,” said Cory Olson, Advicent’s director of global product management. “Creating a branded digital client experience with APIs helps firms remain competitive and reach a broader range of consumers seeking a mixture of self-directed analysis and human interaction.”
FolioDynamix Partners with Apex Clearing
The collaboration combines the turnkey investment technology from FolioDynamix with Apex’s automated account-opening and verification capabilities to make it easier for advisors to add a robo advisor to their digital platform.
FolioDynamix President and COO Steve Dunlap said, “The account-opening and onboarding process needs to be improved and automated across the industry. Apex has committed its resources to digitizing the entire custodial experience, placing itself on the leading edge of transforming this archaic, cumbersome and paper-driven process.
“This partnership is part of a necessary industry transformation, where we consider the entire investment process and reimagine it in a digital construct, so we can determine how to facilitate investor-advisor interaction and development of trust and rapport,” Dunlap added. “We think this effort to deliver a digital experience by which the investor considers, creates and consumes financial advice in new ways, makes the advisor more relevant, not less.”
Swell Introduces Impact IRAs
Swell Investing, an online SRI investing platform developed by Pacific Life, now lets customers open an IRA and roll over an existing 401(k) or IRA. Swell CEO Dave Fanger said the feature was in response to overwhelming client demand.
The company uses a rules-based approach to offer six portfolios focused on green technology, renewable energy, zero waste, clean water, healthy living and disease eradication. Swell strictly requires each company in the portfolio to derive revenue from its associated impact theme, indicating that it actively contributes to the cause.
The company said it has grown an average of 20 percent every week since launching in May, and the average account balance is around $4,000. Swell added that it is reducing its investment minimum to $50.
BizEquity Launches Online Business-Valuation Certification Program
Working in partnership with the Business Enterprise Institute, which provides exit-planning education and support for business advisors, BizEquity launched the Business Valuation Institute, an online-only certification course that will accredit advisors as a Certified Business Valuation Analyst.
The 30-hour program will train advisors to understand, interpret and utilize the principles, methods and tools associated with the valuation of a business. In a statement, BizEquity, an online provider of business-valuation services, said it hopes the course will help advisors serve an estimated 8 million small-business owners looking to sell their business over the next decade.
“Our mission is to democratize this knowledge with a first-of-its-kind business-valuation online certification for the over 1 million financial advisors and insurance agents that serve small-business owners,” said BizEquity founder and CEO Michael Carter.
Envestnet Tamarac Improves Salesforce Integration
Envestnet Tamarac president Stuart DePina says advisors lose hours of productivity if their CRM and portfolio-reporting apps aren’t in sync. To address the problem with one of the most popular CRM systems on the market, Tamarac now has an app available on the Salesforce AppExchange. Tamarac can now pull in client, household and account data from Salesforce. Advisors can create new clients and households within Tamarac, and use the app’s configuration to map Tamarac data to Salesforce’s customizable fields and records. For example, if a household address is updated in Salesforce, the mailing label for client reporting will be automatically updated in Tamarac.
Hearsay Adds to Executive Leadership Team
The cloud-based archiving technology firm announced it had hired Gaurav Agarwal as its new vice president of product and Bill Rusitzky as vice president of business development.
Agarwal comes from Splunk, a big-data analysis firm, where he led product management. Previously, he worked with GoodData to build out the company’s software-as-a-service analytics platform, and has also held leadership positions at Microsoft and Teradata. Rusitzky previously held the role of global vice president of strategic alliances at Adobe.
TradePMR Adds Chief Technology Officer
The small custodian from Gainesville, Florida, named Steven Durko as its new chief technology officer. In the newly created role, Durko will oversee TradePMR’s strategy with the technology platform it offers to advisors. Durko comes from OppLoans, where he evolved the brick-and-mortar financial startup into a fintech firm with $250 million of loans issued.