Yodlee, the data aggregation and analytics firm owned by Envestnet, announced on Thursday a new partnership to bring Yodlee’s technology to Morgan Stanley.
Morgan Stanley’s 16,000 advisors, who collectively manage more than $2 trillion in assets, will get access to Yodlee’s data aggregation and digital applications, as well as Envestnet’s data reconciliation capabilities.
John Bird, the vice president of product marketing at Yodlee, told WealthManagement.com that the partnership also creates a direct data pipeline between Morgan Stanley and Yodlee that didn’t previously exist.
Bird added that Morgan Stanley’s advisors and their clients will be the primary beneficiaries of the deal, as it replaces Morgan Stanley’s existing aggregation solution with one that provides better reporting on held away assets. In addition to letting clients view all of their assets in one location, Yodlee will help Morgan Stanley advisors deliver better performance reports, manage clients more effectively, introduce financial planning and accurately charge fees based on their advice.
That sounds like a checklist of features that wealthtech vendors say advisors need in order to comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule (if it survives a Trump presidency). When asked if the partnership was developed to help Morgan Stanley advisors comply with the rule, Bird said he couldn’t comment on their business.
“For a decent period of time, Yodlee and Morgan Stanley have been going back and forth with what’s the best way for them to reinvent their wealth management technology offering,” Bird said. “Wealth management has really seen an explosion in the need to provide better tools for both advisors and investors to look at the same things, which is going to drive engagement between the two parties.”
Morgan Stanley declined to comment beyond a spokesperson saying the company would “let Yodlee do the talking on this one.”
While Morgan Stanley advisors will benefit from better aggregation, it’s unclear what this means for other advisors using Envestnet’s technology. Would they get access to Morgan Stanley data? Bird would only say that Yodlee is built around consumer permissions, and that if a client gives an advisor permission to access an account, the data would be complete, accurate and trustworthy.
“In the end, what we believe is it’s the consumer’s data and they have the right use that in whatever service they deem necessary to deliver a better financial outcome,” Bird said.
This idea of data ownership has been growing over the last year since Bank of America cut off access to data over concerns around cybersecurity and losing business to third parties. Bird said the security Yodlee employs eases those concerns and allows banks to provide data without worrying about endangering the end consumer.
“The way we like to build our products and our services is through tight data products and providers that hold us to the highest standard possible,” Bird said. “We want to be able to respond, to be pushed by our clients to be the type of partner that will be there in 20 to 30 years.”