Broadridge Financial Solutions has expanded its footprint in advisor marketing, announcing the acquisition of marketing automation startup AdvisorStream. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
AdvisorStream's marketing platform enables advisors to push out automated, personalized marketing and communications to clients. The company provides licensed content from outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, Barron’s, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
The acquisition will join Broadridge's stable of marketing solutions and services for advisors—from websites, to SEO marketing services, to email, newsletter and social media marketing and digital lead generation.
“Engaged clients stay with you,” said Kevin Mulhern, CEO and co-founder of AdvisorStream, during a January interview. His Toronto-based firm, which launched in 2013 and had grown to 50 employees prior to the acquisition, has paid particular attention since its early days to engaging with the third-party publishers it partners with, as well as advisory compliance departments, he said.
AdvisorStream provides its automated content to advisors and their end clients without hitting a pay wall, and without having to see advertisements.
“We took a gamble seven years ago,” Mulhern said of the decision to pay for content licensing upfront. He added the firm now works with some of their partners—Dow Jones, for example—in co-creating specialized content.
In a statement announcing the acquisition, Michael Alexander, president of wealth management at Broadridge, said the acquisition of AdvisorStream is the latest example of the firm growing out its wealth management business. Combining the new acquisition with what Broadridge already has in terms of marketing tools is expected to help advisors more easily connect with clients and engage prospects at the right time and using the most appropriate messaging channel.
AdvisorStream also has built integrations with many of the most common compliance technology providers advisors are likely to have at their firms.
William Trout, director of wealth management at Javelin Strategy and Research, said the acquisition helps “reposition Broadridge toward the front end.” The fintech firm that originated as a division of ADP is often thought of as more of a traditional middle- and back-office provider.
“How content is delivered makes a world of difference post-pandemic; people are consuming more of it and they want it on the device of their choice, whether mobile, desktop, wearable,” he said.
“The emergence of the millennial generation of investors makes such channel mastery more critical, as does finding ways to talk to and engage the children of clients and vanilla or generic content won’t cut it,” he said. Content that sits behind a paywall, he added, which AdvisorStream has access to, is generally going to have the most value.
“That’s the real value of these content marketing platforms: They break the trade-off between bespoke outreach and scale,” said Trout.