Independent RIA firm and platform builder Lifeworks Advisors announced it has acquired the fintech startup Aimvest Technologies, which will be integrated into the Lifeworks Advisor platform.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Advisors will likely have first heard of Lifeworks as one of the successful participants in the 2020 season of ScratchWorks.
Founded by MIT graduate technologists, Aimvest had begun providing algorithmic allocation strategies to family offices and independent RIAs prior to the acquisition. Co-founders Hugo Castalan and Alex Mathé-Cathala studied under and built upon some of the work of Nobel laureate and MIT professor Robert C. Merton. Both co-founders will be joining Lifeworks.
Technology from the startup can be used to create custom investment portfolios for clients based on their unique financial planning data and changing life events. It will also enable real-time adjustments to clients’ Lifeworks portfolios to protect assets during down markets while maximizing the probability of each client successfully achieving their goals.
Lifeworks' Ron Bullis said he and his team had been disappointed in existing risk profiling tools, finding them too academically based, rigid and not fully reflective of the real world and actual client needs.
“Basically we are reversing the typical way Monte Carlo simulations are run—essentially, they [Aimvest] have built a goal hedging portfolio,” said Bullis. “They bring to the table the ability for us to move everything to factor-based investing and direct indexing.”
Once Aimvest is fully integrated with the Lifeworks platform, it will enable advisors and clients to focus on building durable financial plans and develop clear goals, Bullis said. It will allow investment strategies to be adjusted in real time as the client's financial picture changes, whether it is due to the purchase of a new home, a 401(k)’s value increases, the birth of a child, dealing with an inheritance or something else.
Lifeworks' financial advisor platform provides tools and templates to support a scalable, fee-based, subscription model for financial planning and wealth management, including automated digital onboarding, in-app document signatures, ACH and credit card processing, investment account management, performance reporting, automated billing and two-factor authentication using either Apple ID or Google’s technology. The platform also has a native mobile application for both the Android and iOS operating systems.
On the road map for a second quarter release in June will be account aggregation, and many additional planning features, including budgeting, cash flow projections and asset and liability projections. Full integration of Aimvest’s technology is planned for release at the end of the third quarter.
While Lifeworks has only a handful of advisors live on its platform, another half-dozen are queued up for migrating to it in the months ahead.