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Frank Coates, co-group president of Envestnet Analytics, presenting at the Envestnet Virtual Summit.

Envestnet Virtual Summit Highlights Analytics and Engagement

New features showcased at Envestnet's online summit emphasize the importance of data for the firm and advisors using its platform and software.

While the Dynasty-powered Advisor Services Exchange may have gained much of the attention at Envestnet’s 2020 Advisor Summit On-Demand, there was plenty on tap for the June event. Edmond Walters narrated Envestnet Connect’s video debut and registrants got a look at an enterprise analytics feature that’s available to RIAs, plus they saw a platformwide recommendations engine that feeds advisors opportunities for engaging with clients, based on data held and analyzed by Envestnet.

Robbed of the stage and lights he seems to enjoy, Apprise Labs’ Edmond Walters had to settle for introducing Envestnet Connect to advisors via a webcast. The new Connect feature feeds off a survey distributed to clients, which records interests and priorities of clients, from views on the economy and legacy planning, to their own lifestyle and cooking interests.

The survey results feed an algorithm that populates the Envestnet Connect dashboard with news articles and images curated by AdvisorStream. The dashboard has the appearance of a personalized news site, but instead of being exclusively curated news, a band running across the screen below the news includes the client’s preferred investment reports. An integration coming later this year (Walters expects it to happen in Q3) will also bring Envestnet | MoneyGuide financial planning “Blocks” into the screen below that. In a column on the far right of the screen are videos and podcasts, also seeded by client interests.

“They’re all relevant to [clients’] particular interests,” said Walters. If certain categories of news fall out of favor with a client, those items will show up less often. Conversely, popular categories will see more screen time. Article bookmarking and sharing abilities are expected later, he said, and Envestnet is even considering adding crossword puzzles from The New York Times.

While designed to be engaging, Envestnet Connect is not designed to replace existing client portals, according to a company spokesperson. Instead, it can be accessed via an existing client portal or via text message or an email sent from the advisor. 

Envestnet also highlighted analytics features available for Tamarac-using RIAs that were once available only for enterprise users—including benchmark insights gleaned from the 1,100 firms using the software. Besides the typical revenue and client metrics, individual advisors can be scored based on their AUM growth, revenue growth and new and lost clients. Standout advisors can be rewarded, while advisors who aren’t as successful as their peers can be identified.

RIAs can generate custom reports, including reviewing their businesses based on the portfolio of clients they serve. Down the road, the analytics engine will be integrated with account software, to facilitate profit and loss analysis and profit margins compared with industry benchmarks. Bi-directional CRM integrations are also in the works—so that firms can compare client demands to the revenue those clients generate. Envestnet will also be adding automatic notifications for improving the firm, based on the data Envestnet is analyzing.

In fact, Envestnet is placing a strong emphasis on data throughout the conference. Its “Opportunities to Engage” interface also runs on data stored and evaluated by the firm, providing advisors with actionable items for improving their practice, cueing when to do things like reach out to clients—in a clear, easy-to-understand set of instructions.

“We just weren’t distilling down our analytics in the way that would allow you, as an advisor, to work” through uncertain situations, said Frank Coates, co-founder of Wheelhouse Analytics, which Envestnet acquired in 2016 and co-group president of Envestnet Analytics. To that end, Envestnet is providing “Business Scorecards” that allow advisors to see how they stack up against their peers, as well as a “Tell Me What To Do” screen that includes investment and client engagement opportunities.

It has the look of an automated to-do list: engagement opportunities flow into an action list, which gives advisors a way to check off actions completed. “We will tell you exactly what to do, based on what we see in the data,” concluded Coates.

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