Financial technology firm SigFig is unveiling a new digital wealth platform for advisors called CoPilot. The tool, built on the firm’s existing technology, is able to handle more investing strategies than other SigFig products and will let advisors onboard, track and monitor client behavior more easily, the company said. Initially planned for advisors at Citizens Bank, CoPilot is designed for firms with widely distributed teams, as it will let home offices more easily monitor and report on their advisors’ activity.
As a B2B software provider, the firm emphasized that CoPilot will facilitate advisors’ financial coaching of clients. “We’ve built a set of solutions that basically helps it be the extra eyes and ears, for advisors, in watching and monitoring [the financial behavior of] those clients,” said CEO Mike Sha. Advisors can run through CoPilot with end-clients over the phone or in-person, but the tool is intended to be a holistic system used by the advisor.
Although Citizens Bank Wealth Management is the first firm to be using CoPilot, UBS was not far from the scene. “A lot of the CoPilot solution was developed with firms like UBS in mind,” said Sha. The Swiss bank has a close partnership with SigFig and the “architecture” of CoPilot is in use at UBS and beyond, added Sha. While there’s the potential for the new platform to reach small registered investment advisory firms and individual advisors outside of large firms, the tool is aiming for enterprise firms.
Sha also addressed a recent deal between UBS and Broadridge Financial Solutions, where the bank’s Wealth Management Americas unit signed on as the fintech provider’s first major client. The deal didn’t come as a surprise, said Sha. “When we do a partnership we’re integrating with a lot of the existing bank’s core systems and so there’ll be some work for us to integrate into Broadridge as well,” he noted. “It’s something that we’ve known about for some time.”
As for the next steps, SigFig, like RobustWealth and Wealthfront, is looking at financial planning as ripe for a technological solution. “It’s a pretty likely evolution for us and others,” Sha said.
SigFig’s solution would not be posited as an advisor-replacement, however. “There are things that humans do well and there are things that software does well. Are those things static? No. The software’s going to change, the people are going to change,” Sha said. “A big job of companies like us is to provide these professionals with better tools so that they can do their jobs better.”
Over the next couple of quarters, SigFig’s partnerships will be putting the new software CoPilot in the hands of “thousands of advisors,” said Sha. Those partnerships could also be outside of the U.S., a position reaffirmed by Sha, following the company’s acquisition of tech components from UBS.