Fidelity announced plans Monday to purchase eMoney Advisor, a wealth planning software company, from Guardian Life Insurance to enhance technology offerings, and the custodian's registered investment advisors will be among the first to benefit from the acquisition.
Under the terms of the deal, which were not disclosed, Guardian will retain minority ownership. eMoney was founded in 2000 by CEO Edmond Walters. Today the company’s software is used to track more than $1.4 trillion in client assets managed by 25,000 financial professionals. eMoney software is also used by 46 out of the top 50 broker/dealers and 50 percent of the top insurance companies in the U.S.
“Our affiliation with Fidelity, and its multi-billion-dollar commitment to technology, only adds to eMoney Advisor’s already aggressive growth and innovation path,” Walters said, in a statement. “We have a long track record with many of Fidelity’s 10,000 advisory firm clients and hope to extend our growth among that base, while deepening and expanding our many relationships beyond the Fidelity footprint.”
Fidelity plans to use the eMoney acquisition to enhance its next generation broker and advisor platform, specifically around data aggregation and collaboration. The platform, which builds on its Streetscape and WealthCentral workstations, will eventually offer comprehensive data management, efficient and integrated office capabilities, and collaborative tools for investors, advisors and home offices.
As Fidelity started to research and talk with advisors on what they wanted to see in the next iteration of the custodian’s existing Streetscape and WealthCentral platforms, clients actually pointed out the value of acquiring eMoney when it came to tools like data aggregation, integrated financial planning and more collaborative tools.
“That’s exactly what we did. We listened to our clients and went and bought eMoney,” says Ed O’Brien, senior vice president of Technology Platforms for Fidelity Institutional. “It’s because it’s part of a longer strategy for us to expand beyond what Streetscape and WealthCentral offer today to what we’re calling the total advisor platform, O'Brien says, adding that Monday’s deal allows Fidelity to accelerate that game plan.
In December, eMoney released emX, a completely reengineered version of its platform, featuring a more intuitive interface, new financial planning options, updated data integration capabilities and additional resources to improve collaboration and efficiency.
But Walters says that’s just the beginning, adding that eMoney is already working on its next version. “In the next couple of years, you’re going to see us come out with a new client interface that is going to be state-of-the-art,” he says. “Our next version of the client experience, with the help of Fidelity, is going to be a big disruptor, which is vey exciting.”
According to Fidelity, eMoney will continue to operate with the “same entrepreneurial spirit that earned it success to date, continue on its strategic growth path, and remain focused on serving a wide range of financial services providers.” The company's leadership will remain in place, and the company will also maintain its current offices in Pennsylvania and California.
Updated 11:45 to add additional commetns from Edmond Walters and Ed O'Brien.