Registered investment advisor-focused custodial and technology platform Altruist is partnering with trading software provider DriveWealth and financial services firm Citibank, according to a blogpost. Altruist will be using DriveWealth’s broker/dealer capabilities to settle trades executed in U.S. trading venues and Citibank will be providing “all custody,” according to Altruist CEO and founder Jason Wenk. Altruist is designed to operate as a “software engine” for facilitating the opening of clients’ accounts and making trades with zero commissions.
Altruist decided to use DriveWealth, the independent custodian and b/d for startup MoneyLion’s investment accounts. Partnering with DriveWealth, which also provides back-end technology to Bambu, a firm that builds custom-designed automated advice platforms, or so-called robo advisors, is meant to “fast-track” Altruist's launch, said Wenk. It will continue developing its own clearing capabilities in the meantime.
Altruist, which took the stage at XY Planning Network’s fintech competition last year, is still in the pilot phase of brokerage with a small group of advisors. It plans to broaden its market in 2020, according to the blogpost, attracting advisors with commission-free, fractional share trading and paperless account openings.
The partnership with DriveWealth comes down to automation and efficiency, said Wenk. “They have by far the best APIs in that space (compared with Apex, Pershing, etc.),” he said in a note to WealthManagement.com. Meanwhile Altruist is leaning on Citibank to provide “security and stability,” said Mazi Bahadori, CCO and VP of securities at Altruist, in a statement. The duo of third-party financial service providers “allow [Altruist] to deliver unparalleled brokerage and custodial services to RIAs, free from conflicts of interest,” he added.