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The Word on WealthTech for July 2024

F2 Strategy's co-founder and CEO provides his take on the most important wealth management technology news of the last month.

There were a slew of great headlines to choose from this month. We really like seeing the industry think creatively in their use of technology. We narrowed our focus to the usual five headlines for July’s Word on WealthTech to share our perspectives on the impact for the industry.

Mercer Expands Private Market Access with Launch of Aspen Partners

This launch brings institutional-grade private markets investing to Mercer clients. Initially, seeing this news, we had hoped it was open to the broader public, but it appears to be an internal platform (which is unusual). This will certainly help them in recruiting efforts and cement relationships with their current advisors. And this may be an emerging trend where large and well-known advisory businesses promote their technological progress as a marketing tool.

Ron Pruitt Named Orion Wealth Management President

Orion and its strong technical team, which includes the past hires and advisory roles of Natalie Wolfsen and Charles Goldman, continues to impress us. We love that they hire tech-savvy leaders from within our industry. Ron brings a background in ultra-high-net-worth, which is telling given their strength in the mass affluent market. This could be a sign that Orion plans to compete more aggressively with BlackDiamond, Addepar, Arch and other UHNW-serving technologies.

Corient Selects Addepar in Transformative Partnership

Addepar will be the exclusive portfolio data aggregation and performance reporting solution across Corient’s portfolio of more than $160 billion in assets. This is good news all around. It signals that Corient is serious about its technology and making it a competitive lever for the firms that join it. It also signals that Addepar can manage $100+ billion wealth management firms and scale competitively with price and servicing for very large firms. Other large aggregators should take note that Addepar is not just for single family offices or UHNW-serving businesses. It’s a compelling tool that can work at scale and be the backbone of a large aggregator platform’s tech stack.

Envestnet Partners With BlackRock, Fidelity, Asset Managers on Customized Portfolios

Envestnet will work with some of the world’s largest asset managers to build custom-tailored investment strategies that advisors can use to meet the specific financial goals, risk tolerance, and personal circumstances of individual investors; and deliver this at scale to over 109,000 advisors on its platform. They’re expanding from a TAMP/model marketplace toward helping asset management firms better serve advisory businesses far more directly than previously possible. We see this as a smart move by Envestnet and really cool for Fidelity and others to have Envestnet’s capabilities to deliver to their clients in a cost-effective way. It's a win-win for larger asset managers and smaller advisory shops.

AI Startup for Advisors Jump Announces $4.6M in Funding

Tools like Jump are interesting and well-proven uses of AI in wealth management because a tremendous amount of information, action and intel flows into or through firms every day and few firms currently harvest it. Having a tool to pull out meaningful aspects of advisor-client conversations takes a lot of post-call documenting work off the hands of the advisor. It can provide access to additional opportunities for subsequent follow-up emails and content. The concept of AI helping advisors translate client conversations and maximize their time and integrate it into their CRM is very cool. It can be implemented fairly quickly and provides a quick value.

Along with summer, we expect the wealth management headlines to heat up! We’ll be back with more fresh takes on all the action in August.

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