LPL Financial has partnered with FutureAdvisor and BlackRock to provide a robo platform to the firm’s 14,000 advisors, the firm said. Advisor Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki, who was part of the program’s pilot, said in a tweet the independent broker/dealer’s announcement will provide advisors with the same capabilities that Betterment and robos have, including the onboarding of clients online. The firm will use BlackRock’s iShares ETFs as well as third-party funds for the underlying portfolios.
“The new solution will complement advisors’ existing practices and expand the availability of their services to current or potential clients who may prefer a digital alternative to the traditional method of receiving investment advice,” said Ryan Parker, managing director of Investment & Planning Solutions for LPL.
The robo will be accessible through a web portal and integrated into the firm’s custodial platform. The technology will include access to the firm’s model portfolios, and advisors will be able to manage investor accounts in alignment with those models. It will also feature aggregation of outside accounts, tax-efficient portfolio management, an investor portal and online account enrollment.
With @LPL taking the leap eventually all advisors and industry technology will improve. The robos are just distribution for MF and ETF.— Ross Gerber (@GerberKawasaki) April 13, 2016
In August, BlackRock announced it would acquire FutureAdvisor, with plans to enable banks, brokerage firms, insurers and 401(k) plans to serve mass-affluent investors and millennials. Through the acquisition, FutureAdvisor has kept its branding and is part of BlackRock Solutions, the firm’s risk management and technology platform. RBC Wealth Management recently announced it was working with FutureAdvisor on a pilot program for select advisors.
Last summer, LPL announced at its annual conference that it would partner with a third party to develop a robo-enabled solution intended to complement its advisors’ core business.