Riskalyze Finds New Private Equity Backer in Hg
What Happened: Software and services investor Hg recapitalized Riskalyze, one of the industry’s leading risk-centric wealth management platforms. The firm will take a majority stake, buying out Riskalyze’s early angel investors and FTV Capital, which invested in 2016. Aaron Klein rolled a majority of his holdings into the newly recapitalized firm and will continue to lead the company as CEO.
Why It Matters: We try to avoid covering ourselves in this column, but I acknowledge this was big news in the past month, so with all the appropriate caveats: We are so thrilled to have found an amazing long-term partner for this next chapter of our story. We love serving great financial advisors and wealth management enterprises, and this deal means more investment, more innovation and creating more growth for the firms we serve.
Susan Theder Joins FMG Suite as New CMO
What Happened: After a five year run at Advisor Group as CMO, Susan Theder takes on the same role at FMG Suite, an advisor-marketing platform.
Why It Matters: What an exciting hire by the FMG Suite team. Theder has done a masterful job of leading Advisor Group’s marketing function as it has staked a claim as one of the strongest independent broker dealers in the industry. Theder has strong familiarity with FMG Suite, as Advisor Group built its MyCMO platform on top of FMG’s software.
Disclosure: I’m on the board of Snappy Kraken, an FMG Suite competitor.
Mobile Assistant Reveals the Assistant Template Manager
What Happened: Mobile Assistant announced the release of its Assistant Template Manager, which allows for administrative assistants to share dictation templates and processes across teams of advisors.
Why It Matters: Whether you’re an enterprise, or a team that’s bringing on a new advisor, it’s common that you need to be able to effectively implement shared processes across team members. Allowing your transcription software to help drive consistency in how advisors document client interactions and meetings is a really smart and innovative idea.
Walgreens Takes a Step Into Finance
What Happened: Popular pharmacy chain Walgreens has introduced a bank account and debit card, which will deliver personal finance planning tools to its customers.
Why It Matters: For years, the wealth management industry has worried about titans like Google, Apple and Amazon getting into financial services. Who would have guessed that retail giants like Walmart and Walgreens might be leading the way? I still maintain that every single tool focused on the front end of the financial services market is really good for financial advisors in the long term, creating new clients that will need their services 10, 15 or 20 years down the road.
First Ascent Buys Onboarding Technology Partner
What Happened: First Ascent Asset Management, a flat-fee asset manager, has acquired Forward Financial Technology, the company that powered the technology tools for proposal and account opening that have long served clients of the up-and-coming TAMP.
Why It Matters: Fresh off a win as “CEO of the Year” for Asset Managers at the 2021 WealthManagement.com Industry Awards, Scott MacKillop is making moves. After partnering with Forward Financial Tech to create these technology tools for his TAMP clients, he’s now brought that technology under the same roof and ownership.
Black Diamond and DPL Open Insurance Marketplace
What Happened: Black Diamond and DPL Financial Partners are launching an insurance marketplace for RIAs, which will provide fee-only insurance products like annuities.
Why It Matters: Holistic advice is the best advice, and one of the less-noticed innovations in financial services has been the creation of fee-based annuity products that eliminate costly commissions and are deeply compatible with the fiduciary requirements and fee structures of most RIAs. DPL has done a lot to drive this trend, and it’s exciting to see the technology rollouts occur to drive easier access to these solutions. Kudos to Black Diamond.
Disclosure: Black Diamond is a Riskalyze integration partner.
RightCapital Adds Retirement Income Planning
What Happened: RightCapital, a financial planning software company, has added dynamic retirement spending strategies. The new features will allow advisors to model spending outcomes based on expected portfolio performance.
Why It Matters: Even with a solid financial plan, retirement is never a certain period of life. That’s why advisors have to be so flexible in their ability to update plans on the fly. Still, investors want some semblance of a plan for their future, and income modeling like this gives advisors another tool to show clients what could happen so they can plan accordingly. It’s another feather in the cap for a financial planning company that’s growing quickly.
Disclosure: RightCapital is a Riskalyze integration partner.
With Annuities Heating Up, Luma Adds New Tech
What Happened: Luma Financial Technologies, an annuities and structured products platform backed by Navian Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, added an annuities comparison tool.
Why It Matters: Annuities again? That’s right. The Luma Compare tool compares prices and performance of annuities—which is good for advisors, but even better for investors who need to have more transparency into the many, many financial products available. When an advisor has easier access to know for certain that they’re finding the best options for clients, then their clients can make better decisions to support their financial goals.