Like most people, financial advisors love technology that is easy to adopt and makes them more productive. That’s why the wealth management industry is keeping a close eye on tech guru Zohar Swaine, who, up until very recently, was building up the technology start-up inStream Solutions.
In a business where new bells and whistles are rolled out seemingly every day, three-year-old inStream has created a better mousetrap for drafting and implementing personal financial plans. InStream helps create financial plans and then monitors market events and life cycle changes to generate alerts for the financial advisor and investors.
A Gulf War Marine Corps veteran, Swaine joined Virginia-based inStream last December as president after many years at online brokerage giant TD Ameritrade Institutional, where he gained renown for helping develop and roll-out an innovative, open access platform for TD’s registered investment advisor customers.
“He always seems to be in a position of managing a visionary project or product,” says Tim Welsh, who runs San Francisco-based consulting firm Nexus Strategy.
Swaine’s legacy had been opening up access to VEO, the interface to TD Ameritrade’s brokerage workstation, which allowed a multitude of outside technology companies to develop tools and products that plug right in. InStream is like VEO in that it offers open access to any number of outside providers.
But Swaine’s role at inStream recently changed; he’s still serving as a senior advisor to the start-up, but he’s no longer president. During his time in that role, however short, Swaine helped set the corporate strategy, shaped the product offering, and assisted with the adoption strategy.
“At this point what they’re needing is someone who’s on the ground in the D.C. area, and that’s not the role I would wish to play going forward,” he tells REP.
What’s next? Swaine is now bringing his expertise of RIA technology to the broker/dealer world through his consulting firm Mink Hollow Advisors. Many b/ds are now dressing up their offerings to retain and attract RIAs—the fastest-growing advisor channel—and Zohar is helping them navigate the myriad technology choices in that market.
“There are numerous options that broker/dealers have in integrating technologies and in selecting who they partner with. And helping them sift through some of those options is something I plan to do,” he says.