Data and analytics will be featured prominently at Envestnet’s annual Advisor Summit conference, kicking off Wednesday in Dallas and is expected to draw 2,000 financial professionals.
On Tuesday, Envestnet revealed the first product using technology it acquired from Wheelhouse Advisors in October – a new suit of data intelligence tools it calls Envestnet Analytics.
Envestnet Analytics pairs the analytical capabilities from Wheelhouse with the massive data set it has from Yodlee, the aggregation technology it acquired in 2015. Frank Coates, the executive managing director of Envestnet Yodlee, said the various modules of Envestnet Analytics are designed to distill the massive amount of data now available to advisors into meaningful, actionable questions about the business or about clients.
“Knowing the right questions to ask is more important than having all the answers, which is where Envestnet Analytics comes into play,” Coates said in a statement. Some of those questions include how an advisor is doing compared to her peers within the firm (or across firms), or whether or not a client will run out of money before they die.
One of the biggest questions advisors still grapple with is fees. Similar to a tool released by Orion in December, the Fee Analytics dashboard in Envestnet Analytics shows advisors a comparison of account level fees across advisors within a firm, across an industry segment or across Envestnet's platform. The idea is to help advisors set competitive pricing, address any regulatory fee issues and analyze their fees for compliance purposes.
“In Fee Analytics, we’ve given a very powerful tool to advisors to do more than just benchmark themselves against a published industry number,” Coates told WealthManagement.com.
Unlike other benchmarking or business intelligence products on the market, Coates said Envestnet Analytics draws on Yodlee’s aggregation technology to include information on client spending and credit to data from managed accounts.
“We call our industry ‘advisory,’ but the reality is it’s been heavily weighted to investments or insurance products. Not a lot of work [done on] spending or credit,” Coates said. And this information, he said, will work together with analytics to show an advisor if they’ll run out of money in retirement. “Financial advisors are now going to be able to offer advice on those other buckets; helping clients understand that they’re spending more than they can afford to.”
Envestnet Analytics also provides performance benchmarking to help advisors see how they are performing against other advisors and professional strategists to evaluate their proprietary strategies. Other modules include a partner portal, forecasting tools, product availability, Tamarac business intelligence, and analytics tailored to administrators at financial institutions.
Coates said Envestnet Analytics is the first of several technology announcements expected to come from the Advisor Summit. The company revealed the first products built using its $590 million acquisition of Yodlee at last year’s conference, and this year should bring even more clarity to Envestnet’s overall strategy.
“What you’re going to get is a very clear picture of how all of that stuff is coming together in a practice way,” Coates said. “Real solutions in the hands of real users – the potential is starting to get realized in real products.”