United Capital has been quietly building since the announcement of its acquisition by Goldman Sachs in May. The registered investment advisor announced Tuesday that it has integrated some of Goldman’s capabilities into FinLife CX, United Capital’s white-label, open architecture technology platform, and installed a Goldman executive to lead the platform going forward.
Rachel Schnoll, head of retail product strategy for Goldman Sachs Asset Management, will serve as the new head of FinLife CX. Most recently, she was responsible for the development and product strategy for Goldman’s mutual funds, collective trusts and closed-end funds.
“FinLife has definitely been in the startup mode, and sometimes being in a startup mode means that technology is not as stable or things don’t work as you would like,” Schnoll said.
Goldman has provided some 200 developers to United Capital to help improve the platform and iterate faster.
FinLife CX now includes MarketPlace, a suite of extended, curated offerings. It will provide a kind of link to approved providers, such as mortgage providers, insurance, banking, tax and estate planning, trust services and securities-backed lending.
“We intend it to be an open architecture location where advisors can deal with everything from investments to insurance to lending to wellness issues,” Schnoll said.
“Our view is that the independent firm needs more and more to provide complete solutions,” said United Capital CEO Joe Duran. “If you don’t, then it's likely that they’ll go to a bank and the bank will offer solutions and try to get the wealth management from the client as well. We just want to arm the independent firm with a whole suite of services that allows them to, in an open architecture way, solve the needs of their clients.”
There will be two different flavors in MarketPlace; the first is where the firm has negotiated a preferred rate, and it’ll be more of an arms-length relationship between the vendor and that advisor. The second flavor will be where the provider is a dedicated resource, the firm has a negotiated price, and they are deeply integrated with application programming interfaces (APIs) directly into the other vendor, Duran said.
MarketPlace will also include access to GS Select, Goldman Sachs’ securities-backed loan platform. Clients can borrow between $75,000 and $25 million against the value of their securities—including stocks, bonds, mutual funds or exchange traded funds—and the loans can be used for any purpose, such as home renovation, to cover tax obligations or travel. Unlike other securities-backed lending solutions, GS Select’s technology enables speedier loan processing that, from start to finish, takes less than 24 hours. There is little to no paperwork involved.
Schnoll also said the firm plans to make Goldman’s automated investment solution, or robo advisor, available on MarketPlace. Goldman has been working on its robo, to be part of its online consumer bank, Marcus.
FinLife CX will also be priced differently going forward; whereas it was previously based on how many households are on the platform, they’ll now charge per advisor. An RIA firm can decide how many advisors to put on the platform, and an unlimited number of clients can use it.
United Capital introduced its initial FinLife OS version in 2016, which includes a client portal, an advisor dashboard, CRM and investment management tools. The FinLife CX version was rolled out in April 2018, allowing its white-label advisor tech tools to work with any legacy client relationship management service that an advisor may be using, removing a significant hurdle for those considering the suite.