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Wealthtech Roundup

Weekly Wealthtech Report: Key Investment Services Develops Robo With Jemstep

Also this week: Smarsh acquires Cognia, Altegris moves $1 billion of assets to Artivest, and TD provides a robo update.

Key Investment Services, the retail broker/dealer and investment-advisory division of KeyBank, announced plans to bring a digital-advice product to market in 2017. The firm is using a customized version of Jemstep Advisor Pro and said it is ready to begin a phased implementation.

In a statement, KIS President Marc Vosen noted that the partnership with Jemstep will help the company comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and provide existing clients digital access to investment services. He added that Jemstep was the “clear choice” for a cost-effective platform, for integrating with firms KIS already has a relationship with, and for being a subsidiary of Invesco.

“I know they will be there tomorrow," Vosen said.

KIS’s robo will use investment portfolios provided by BNY Mellon’s Lockwood; trading and rebalancing will be supported by Pershing’s NetX360.

It's the second large partnership Jemstep has scored this summer. In July, the company announced it was building a digital-advice product for Advisor Group. 

Smarsh Acquires Cognia

To boost its information-archiving abilities, Smarsh acquired Cognia, a cloud-based voice-archiving and audio-analysis technology provider. Smarsh said it would use Cognia’s tech to offer its customers archive mobile and fixed-line voice communications. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Cognia captures voice content directly from mobile carriers, meaning archival can be deployed without having to download or maintain an additional app on the phone. Conversations are transcribed, allowing compliance teams to search, analyze and monitor conversations, and produce copies for regulators.

The acquisition also expands Smarsh’s presence in Europe, as Cognia’s technology helps advisors comply with the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), which goes into effect January 3, 2018. The regulations require any organization providing investment services to a European firm to capture, retain and reproduce complete records of all telephone calls and electronic communications.

Altegris Puts $1 Billion on Artivest

Altegris, an alternative-investment-strategies provider, is transitioning $1 billion of assets to Artivest’s digital marketplace for alternatives. The deal extends Artivest’s capabilities to accredited investors. Altegris advisors will be able to use Artivest’s digital tools for client onboarding, subscription execution, reporting and monitoring, and sales analytics. Altegris CEO Martin Beaulieu said the deal helps Altegris bring its investment solutions to a greater number of RIAs, family offices, and private banks serving qualified high-net-worth investors.

TD Issues Quarterly Robo Update

TD Ameritrade says it now manages $16 billion in assets between its two digital-advice products, Essential Portfolios and Selective Portfolios. In the first of a planned series of quarterly updates, TD reported the majority of those assets are in the hybrid Selective Portfolios product, which has been around since 2004 and was known as Amerivest before 2016. Its low-cost, mostly digital robo advisor, Essential Portfolios, has attracted $800 million since launching in January.

The firm also announced that it plans to bring tax-loss harvesting to its robos in the fall.

In other TD robo news, Essential Portfolios has a new “artificial intelligence experience,” where users can connect their Facebook accounts and allow IBM’s Watson engine to show how TD “might fit into your real-world investing plans."

Envestnet Tamarac Boosts TD Veo One Integration

Envestnet Tamarac enhanced its existing integration with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo One platform with single-sign on functionality, letting advisors access client data and reports within Tamarac’s portfolio-management application, Advisor View. Envestnet Tamarac President Stuart DePina said this will save advisors time and improve productivity by making it easier to retrieve information they need and act on requests.

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