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WealthStack Roundup: ‘Invent Village’ To Debut At Wealth Management EDGE 2024

Also, BlackRock invests in Willow, Betterment For Advisors expands its partnership with XYPN and Fusion IQ introduces FIQ Freedom.

Later this month, the integration and data management developer will debut its Invent Village at the Wealth Management EDGE 2024 Conference

The collection of representatives from advisory technology and asset management firms will be available to attendees and exhibitors May 13-16 at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood Beach, Fla.

Invent Village will feature interactive demo stations to showcase the integrations these companies are building using the platform.

Developments on display from the assembled firms range from financial wellness at Envestnet, to digital onboarding from Allianz, CRM from Redtail by Orion Advisor Solutionstrading from Flyer, performance reporting from GreenHill, commission and fees management from BOSS by The Integra Group, generative AI from ARQA, implementation services by Norima and asset-liability management from Bonsai

In addition to demos presented by each company, the development teams behind them will be available to speak with those in attendance.

Invent was founded in 2019 by Oleg Tishkevich. In 2015, he sold his well-established financial planning software firm Finance Logix to Envestnet in a stock purchase ultimately valued at $32 million. He remained there for three years as the managing director and chief technology officer of financial planning. According to the company, the Invent platform now has over 20,000 unique users.

Also at the conference, Tishkevich will deliver a keynote address on May 14 titled, “How to Supersize Your Growth … The Secret Sauce for Entrepreneurial Advisors.”

BlackRock Invests In Willow, A Startup Specializing In Training Advisors To Work With NextGen And Women Clients

A lot has been written and discussed to date about how poorly the human advisor industry is doing overall in reaching women and nextgen investors.

In an effort to help change that, BlackRock has made a minority investment in Willow Network, a startup that specializes in helping financial advisors better serve those groups.

While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Willow stated in a prepared statement that it will use the funds to launch two new certificate programs to help advisors better respond to the unique financial and planning challenges faced by this next generation of clients.

Citing the much-covered intergenerational wealth transfer, the giant asset manager noted that a majority of these assets will be shifting into the hands of women and younger investors.

Willow has created new educational programs for advisors that will make them eligible for two new certificates: the “Advisor for Women” and “Advisor for NextGen.”

The training consists of on-demand continuing education video sessions and live coaching assessments (they must also agree to adhere to a set of ethical standards).

Upon completion, advisors will be able to access prospects via Willow’s digital marketing platform.

As part of the transaction, BlackRock’s head of advisor engagement Elizabeth Koehler joins Willow’s board of directors and Anusha Sriram, the head of strategic partnerships for Aladdin Wealth at BlackRock, will serve as a board observer.

Betterment For Advisors Expands XYPN Partnership

Automated advice platform, or so-called robo advisor Betterment now has an expanded partnership with XYPN, a platform for fee-only financial advisors.

XYPN advisors who use Betterment already receive an exclusive discount on the platform fee along with no AUM minimums, but they will no longer pay any additional technology fees.

Advisors on XYPN will receive access to Betterment for Advisors’ dedicated advisor support, client onboarding, integrations with the rest of the XYPN tech stack and monthly webinars.

The relationship between Betterment and XYPN stretches back a decade, when the two firms began exploring a partnership. In 2019, Betterment joined select XYPN members in offering free financial advice to government employees affected by that year’s shutdown.

Betterment launched in 2010 and was led by co-founder and CEO Jon Stein for the first 10 years. Stein stepped down in December 2020 and was replaced by Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, the former chief operating officer at Viacom Media Networks. In February 2023, Betterment announced that it had laid off 28 employees. According to the most recent Form ADV filed, the firm had 532 employees, 32 advisors and around $45.9 billion in AUM.

Launched in April 2014, XYPN had grown to nearly 700 members by early 2018, and today, it includes 1,800 members, most of whom are solo practitioners.

Fusion IQ Introduces FIQ Freedom

Woburn, Mass.-based cloud-native wealth management platform FusionIQ has launched the newest addition to its white-labeled software, FIQ Freedom.

FIQ Freedom is geared toward advisors who are thinking of breaking away and seeking to streamline the transition process.

Digital compliance, client onboarding, customizable risk tolerance and the ability to include advisor models and third-party strategies will all be included. 

Last month, FusionIQ named John Phillips as senior strategic advisor after serving as executive vice president and head of platform sales for Fidelity Institutional and chief operating officer at Gomez Advisors.

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