It’s another round for tech-focused advisory Farther, a Series B of $31 million.
The firm, founded in 2019, touted the successful closure of its “oversubscribed” round in an announcement Wednesday, noting its Series A closed just a year ago.
This brings it to a total of $53 million raised since launch.
The latest funding round will support Farther in further developing its proprietary wealth management portal, which offers clients a single, unified view of all of their financial products and holdings via one login. Further, the company states that “this investment infusion will also enable Farther to continue providing advisors with a competitive compensation structure—substantially stronger than at traditional institutions – and technology that frees Farther’s advisors to spend up to 90% of their time engaging with clients and prospects.”
Farther’s founders are Taylor Matthews—who previously headed up account management, customer success and business operations at small-business 401(k) provider ForUsAll, a strategy management role at Deloitte and most recently co-founded an Indian B2B e-commerce platform—and Bradley Genser, a West Point graduate and Army veteran who holds both an MBA and masters in mechanical engineering from MIT and prior to founding his startup spent five years with Goldman Sachs.
While his LinkedIn profile lacked details on his time at Goldman, a TechCrunch story from August 2022 stated his time at the investment bank was spent leading an artificial intelligence team focused on private wealth.
Leading the Series B round was Lightspeed Venture Partners, which was joined by previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Cota Capital, Khosla Ventures, MassMutual Ventures, and Moneta Venture Capital.
According to the firm’s most recent Form ADV, filed in June, it has over $675 million in assets under management, spread across 41 offices and a staff of 78 with 48 advisors.
Farther is also a multi-custodial operations, having assets held at Schwab, Apex, and Pershing respectively.
Vise Introduces AI-Powered Workflow Tools
Vise, the artificial intelligence-powered platform for advisors, on Thursday launched the AI-powered workflow tool Vise Intelligence.
Vise Intelligence is powered by a large language model and works like ChatGPT, but is custom-built for advisor workflows, according to the company. It integrates clients’ investment portfolios and automatically generates insights based on portfolio data, trade details, client preferences and investment strategies.
The tool will alert advisors to relevant global news, portfolio performance and industry trends. It also can help write client emails and build reports automatically; analyze the entire history of trades across an account; provide a detailed rationale on why the trades were made; and analyze a portfolio’s exposures.
Vise was founded in 2016 by Vasavada and Runik Mehrotra and has now raised $128 million over four rounds from investors, including Sequoia, Ribbit Capital, and Founders Fund. According to its latest Form ADV, filed in June, It manages around $481 million across more than 3,372 client accounts.
The firm has seen its ups and downs in recent years, having cut two dozen staff, mostly among its sales team, lost $197 million in AUM, and seen some key executives depart, as reported by Citywire in 2022.
Updates to SEI Investor Portal
SEI revealed enhancements to its Investor Portal, a white-labeled platform within SEI Connect.
With the latest enhancements, the Investor Portal and mobile app now feature a document vault to upload personal documents, secure messaging and account aggregation to connect investment, banking and real estate accounts directly from other financial institutions.
In addition to the Investor Portal, SEI Connect has also rolled out other recent enhancements including a multi-account opening process across the entire household, expanded analytics, a simplified trading experience including self-service limit orders and digital deposit capabilities, among others.
SEI was founded as a financial technology company in 1968, a time when the world’s finances had only just begun moving toward digitalization. SEI Private Trust Company, the federal savings association through which it offers custodial services, was chartered 33 years later in 2001—and SEI Wealth Platform, the first iteration of an end-to-end suite of technology solutions for advisors that custody with SEI, was available in the U.S. 10 years after that. SEI Advisor Business currently supports RIAs with approximately $29 billion in custody, while SEI manages, advises or administers approximately $1.3 trillion in total assets.
Report: API Security Incidents Rising In Financial Services
An annual report by Noname Security found the number of API security incidents has continued to rise over the past 12 months, especially in the financial services sector. The API Security Disconnect 2023 is the second annual survey from the API security platform company.
Of the six sectors surveyed in this year’s report, which included financial services, those that have a substantial amount of personal identifiable information (PII) data saw an increase in API security attacks. In the financial services sector alone, the percentage who said they had been targeted increased from 75% in 2022 to 80% in 2023.
The testing of APIs for vulnerabilities increased in every sector, but the most pronounced change was in financial services. Real-time testing jumped from 14% in 2022 to 23% in 2023, with 37% testing at least once a day. Sixty percent of respondents in the financial services sector reported either testing in real-time or at least once a day.
Noname Security commissioned an independent research organization, Opinion Matters, to undertake the second API Disconnect Survey in June. In all, 631 senior cybersecurity professionals in the UK and USA were surveyed from across a variety of enterprise organizations in six key vertical market sectors, including financial services, retail and e-commerce, healthcare, government and public sector, manufacturing, and energy and utilities.
Caribou to Host First Virtual Open Enrollment Summit
Healthcare—and how to pay for it—is one of the top concerns for retirees but too few advisors specialize in guiding clients on the topic. To help address this, startup Caribou is hosting a free two-day virtual summit for Open Enrollment, which begins Monday Oct. 2.
During the summit, more than a dozen experts in the finance and healthcare industries will discuss key topics and share information that will help advisors know what they need to answer client questions going into this Open Enrollment season.
Speakers will include financial planning leaders from several large RIAs, national firms, state insurance experts, and advisor specialists.
Wealth.com Adds Brian Hamburger as Strategic Advisor
Estate planning platform Wealth.com announced Thursday that Brian Hamburger has been added as its latest strategic advisor. Hamburger, very well known to the advisory industry, is the founder, president and chief executive officer of regulatory compliance consulting firm MarketCounsel. Last month, Wealth.com announced its first strategic advisor, Tyrone Ross, who recently launched his own RIA and nascent technology incubator.
New Jersey Selects Vestwell For Its Secure Choice Savings Program
Vestwell, the employer and individual savings platform, announced it had been selected by New Jersey to be the program administrator for the state’s Secure Choice Savings Program. The partnership with the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Board will provide residents access to the voluntary, state-facilitated retirement program through their employers, according to the company. Vestwell, in partnership with BNY Mellon, will provide the platform, recordkeeping, custodial services and customer support. The New Jersey pilot program will begin in 2024, followed by a phased rollout that kicks off later in the year. New Jersey now represents Vestwell’s seventh such state partnership, which started with OregonSaves in 2017. Since then, around $1 billion has been saved by residents of these states.