Here is your Riskalyze Fintech Five for March, a focused take on what we think are the recent top five stories in wealth management technology.
1. Tyrone Ross Takes the Offramp from Onramp
The move left a lot of advisors wondering about the viability of the platform. If Ross was leaving, how would Onramp go on without his one-of-a-kind charisma?
While co-founder Eric Ervin has stepped in as CEO to guide the ship forward, make no mistake: changing CEOs is not a small matter for a young startup.
That was quickly followed by news the company was seeking fresh capital from investors to stay afloat. The industry will be keeping a close eye on how Onramp navigates this volatility; if it’s any consolation, that volatility is correlated with the asset they are helping advisors to navigate in cryptocurrency. We wish our friends at Onramp good fortune as they figure it out.
2. Ed O’Brien Leaving eMoney to Become Fidelity’s Head of Tech
O’Brien led some massive changes at eMoney after its acquisition by Fidelity, helping it grow to over 800 employees and nearly 100,000 users.
Fidelity is clearly making some aggressive moves on the technology side, having also pulled fellow eMoney veteran Jess Liberi in as head of technology product
3. F2 Strategy, Girls Who Code Team Up to Address Equity in Fintech
We’re all aware of the gender gap in the advice profession—as an example, women only make up 23% of CFPs—but the gender gap in technology has often been even more pronounced. It takes effort and focus at the education and recruiting level to move the needle and ensure we create great opportunities for all, which ultimately builds stronger companies that serve clients more effectively.
Big kudos to Doug and Liz Fritz, the co-founders, for taking this step.
4. Gridline Enters the Alts Platform Game
Remember when “alternative” was mostly a genre of music? If this “alts” trend continues, people could begin to put “Nirvana” and “private equity funds” in the same sentence.
We’ve talked a lot about the democratization of investing in recent years, and alternatives are the next frontier for bringing additional asset classes to the table that can provide some non-correlated or high-growth solutions for investors.
Gridline’s vision was very focused on direct to consumer, but is increasingly talking about serving financial advisors, which has been the central focus of CAIS and iCapital, and then First Trust acquired Vivaldi and rebranded it First Trust Capital Solutions. Will another entrant in the advisor market work, or is this space getting too crowded already?
5. Carson Group Adds CTO to Their C-Suite
Our final story is an intriguing personnel move.
RIA giant Carson Group has added Nimesh Patel as its first Chief Technology Officer.
With Bain Capital coming aboard to back Carson last year, they pointed out Carson’s unique tech capabilities in their firm’s valuation. Ron Carson has been a pioneer in believing that technology differentiation drives value for advisors, and he’s increasingly delivering on that with a powerful strategy—leveraging best-of-breed solutions with strong APIs that Carson can uniquely tie together into an integrated whole.
We can’t wait to see what Nimesh accomplishes for the RIA industry’s newest unicorn.